GOVERNORS at a Worcestershire college say they are “devastated” by the verdict of a damning Ofsted report which deemed it inadequate.

Inspectors visited South Worcestershire College’s campuses in Malvern and Evesham at the end of October.

They criticised the college for the number of students who fail to achieve the qualification they signed up to and said too many were not sufficiently challenged to achieve their full potential.

Inspectors said governors, leaders and managers had made “slow progress” in improving students’ outcomes and in rectifying areas for improvement identified at the last inspection, when the college was rated satisfactory overall.

However, they praised the college for its “inclusive, welcoming and friendly” environment, where students feel very safe, its good work-based learning provision that enables apprentices to develop high level practical skills and to achieve well and its good pastoral support for students, particularly those who are vulnerable and with special educational needs.

In a statement, the college described the latest judgement as “a real disappointment” for all involved.

But it said it was pleased to see Ofsted recognised its strengths and that there had been improvements since the last inspection, although there are still many to be made.

Bryan McGinity, the chairman of governors, said: “We are all devastated. Everyone here has been working so hard to show Ofsted how well we support our learners to achieve and our success rates have been improving.

“Unfortunately, Ofsted judged that our progress had not been fast enough. But one key benefit of the inspection has been to refocus intently on our core role to our students and our communities.”

Meanwhile, the college performed well in a student feedback survey conducted by Ofsted.

Of the 290 learners who responded, 96 per cent said the course they had enrolled on met their needs, 93 per cent felt that we were preparing them for their next step of employment, university or another course and 95 per cent would recommend the college to a friend.