Accrington and Rossendale College bosses said they are taking ‘swift and robust action’ after its Ofsted rating plunged.
The college, based in Accrington, was found by Ofsted to ‘require improvement’ in all but one key area after previously being given an overall ‘outstanding’ rating at its previous visit.
The result comes a week after college bosses confirmed they were discussing a ‘collaborative’ partnership with Burnley College.
Ofsted said ‘too few’ learners successfully achieve their qualifications and attend maths and English classes, ‘too many’ apprentices do not complete their apprenticeships and learners and are ‘not challenged sufficiently by teachers’.
They also said governors were ‘too slow’ to address a ‘significant decline in learner outcomes’ in the 2014/15 academic year and that teaching, learning and assessment are ‘not of a consistently high standard’.
In her report, lead inspector Anita Pyrkotsch-Jones praised the adult learning programmes - which received a good rating - saying they meet the needs of the local community, ‘particularly the most disadvantaged’.
The inspector also said that learners develop ‘good personal, social and work-related skills to prepare them well for their next steps’, benefit from ‘very good support’ on pastoral issues and help with specific learning difficulties or disabilities, and that the careers guidance is ‘highly effective’.
Principal Sue Taylor said they are expecting to turn around the Broad Oak Road college’s rating.
At its last major inspection in March 2009 it secured an overall grade 1 ‘outstanding’ rating across the board.
She said: “We accept the outcome of Ofsted’s visit and we are already addressing the areas for improvement, to get the college back to where it ought to be.
“The Ofsted inspectors highlighted many of the college’s strengths, and recognised that our learners develop good personal, social and work-related skills which prepare them well for their next steps.
“We were praised for our strong collaborative links with employers and our community, for our inclusive and welcoming environment and for how we give our learners a broad range of opportunities to develop the skills needed for their future employment.
“Our adult learning programmes were identified as particularly strong. We are confident that we are building upon these strengths and that we have taken swift and robust action to address the areas for improvement. We are fully expecting this year’s results to return us to at least Good.”
The college is in talks with Burnley College about ‘a more collaborative approach to education’ across their areas of work, as revealed last week.
A spokesperson for Accrington and Rossendale College previously said: “Whilst the precise nature of any potential collaboration cannot yet be predicted, there is an opportunity to transform and strengthen the further education and university opportunities available to the area whilst maintaining the government’s value for money.”