A college has lost its ‘good’ rating and been told to improve following an inspection by Ofsted.

Heart of Worcestershire College, which has campuses in Worcester, Malvern, Redditch and Bromsgrove, has been rated ‘requires improvement’ by watchdog Ofsted – falling from the ‘good’ rating it received in 2018.

Ofsted said the college was making a “limited contribution” to meeting the demand for skilled jobs in the county.

The college’s leaders were criticised by inspectors following the inspection in October for failing to make sure that all students and apprentices received good-quality education, training and support.

Ofsted inspectors said the college’s leaders did not have a “fully accurate oversight” on progress at the college which meant they could not step in to help students and apprentices catch up.

“There is too much inconsistency in the quality of the curriculums that learners and apprentices study,” the report by Ofsted said. “There are significant differences in the quality of taught curriculums across each site, as well as across each subject area.

“Leaders and managers do not ensure that the quality of curriculum planning and sequencing is consistently strong.

“As a result, a sizeable number of learners and apprentices do not benefit from taught content that is well structured, logically ordered, or works to support them in retaining information in their long-term memories.”

Heart of Worcestershire College was given a ‘requires improvement’ rating in all but two of the categories judged by Ofsted – with ‘behaviour’ and adult learning at the school given ‘good’ ratings.

Ofsted also criticised the college for failing students and apprentices with higher needs.

Governance at the college also came in for criticism saying it was not “fully effective.”

Inspectors said governors at the college were not provided with information on the quality of education, performance or improvements.

“As a result, governors do not hold leaders to account with the rigour that is required to improve rapidly the quality of the taught curriculums.”

College principal Michelle Dowse pointed out the positives inspectors had witnessed such as students' positive attitudes to studies and feeling supported by college staff.

"The report also recognises the college has developed a curriculum that responds to skills needs in the area to ensure our students are well equipped for the jobs of the future.

"Ofsted inspections provide an opportunity to look at ways to make the College even better. In the few months since I became principal, I am delighted to say a plan is already underway to address the areas identified for improvement.”

David Ash, chair of governors at the college, said: “We are looking forward to working with [Michelle Dowse] and the leadership team to ensure the college grows and ensures our students continue to develop the skills needed to support businesses in Worcestershire and beyond.”