A COLLEGE has been told it needs to improve by Ofsted inspectors.

The education watchdog told bosses at Blackburn College, which has 4,614 students, that it ‘requires improvement' after a recent inspection.

Inspectors said the college was not performing well enough in six out of eight areas, including for effectiveness of its leadership and management, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment and the outcomes for students.

However it was rated ‘good’ for its apprenticeships and for the personal development, behaviour and welfare of its students.

The Feilden Street college was last inspected in 2017 when it was also given a ‘requires improvement’ rating.

In a new report, concerns have been highlighted over the students’ progress and the quality of teaching while attendance was too low on some programmes.

However, inspectors praised the college's links with employers and the progress made by apprentices.

Newly appointed principal and chief executive of Blackburn College Dr Fazal Dad said the college has already implemented strategies and changes which will improve outcomes for students this year.

He said: “We are encouraged that Ofsted were able to recognise key areas of strength for Blackburn College.

“These areas of strength include: recognising the culture of respect that exists at Blackburn College; our students’ behaviour; identifying the strength of our links with local and regional partners and employers that leads to high quality work-placements; the strength of our students’ technical skill development which leads to employment; and our student’s positive attitude to learning.”

“Indeed, inspectors clearly recognised the strengths of our apprenticeship provision and the strengths of personal development, behaviour and welfare of students at the college – all of which Ofsted graded as ‘Good’.

“Blackburn College’s Ofsted inspection findings are largely in line with the college’s own self-assessment. This means that college leaders and managers have already correctly identified strengths and areas for improvement.

Dr Dad added: “The inspection represents a view at a point of time and as such the college has already implemented strategies and changes which are having a significant impact in-year and will ultimately improve outcomes for students in 2018/19.

“To date this has led to retention (the number of students retained on their programme) being 10 per cent higher than the same time last year which will support a significant improvement in results at the end of the academic year.”