South Thames College has been told it “requires improvement” by Ofsted inspectors who said leadership, management, teaching and adult learning all fell short.

The college, which has sites in Wandsworth, Tooting and Merton, was inspected for four days at the end of May this year. Its report was published in July. It scored “requires improvement” in six sections and ‘good’ in three. 

In its last inspection, released in 2012, the college achieved an overall rating of "good".

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According to the report, teachers do not develop their pupils’ mathematics abilities for everyday life and the proportion of people completing their qualifications – while improving – was not yet good. Their courses, and attendance and punctuality in lessons, while improving, were also below ideal.

The report highlights the decline in pupils' achievements in 2013/14 but states: "Senior leaders and governors are ambitious for the college and continue to strive to secure improvements in learners’ achievements. They have yet to achieve this for learners in all subject areas.

"Following the decline in the achievements of young learners in 2013/14, governors and senior leaders made significant changes within the management team to secure rapid improvement. Current managers focus more sharply on learning and monitor learners’ progress frequently.

"Teachers have a clear understanding of what is required of them, but as yet, improvements have not been swift enough or had sufficient impact to ensure that learners achieve well or make good progress."

Too few teachers take "learning requirements" of each student into account, the report said, and they do not always develope sufficient understanding of the skills the pupils still need to acquire.

According to the report: "This is because teachers do not always check what learners have understood and learned in lessons well enough and consequently they are not able to plan further learning that is sufficiently personalised to what each learner needs to do to achieve well."

Poor punctuality is also mentioned, although this is said to be improving among pupils who started at the college in 2015.

The principal and chief executive of South Thames College, Sue Rimmer OBE, said: "Ofsted found that South Thames College is an improving college.  Achievement rates are now higher than when the College was last inspected and are better than many other London colleges, which are graded as good. 

"The College is ambitious to secure the highest results for learners, which was noted by inspectors, who judged that learners develop very good skills to prepare them well for employment and higher education."

The report praises the college for having effective safeguarding arrangements, including good guidance for staff on issues such as child sexual exploitation, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Teachers were praised for having good knowledge of their vocational subjects and for working effectively to support pupils and apprentices overcome personal and social barriers that could limit their achievements.