A BASINGSTOKE college has maintained its “good” standard following an inspection.

Ofsted visited Queen Mary’s College (QMC) on January 25, and a letter to principal Ali Foss, published on April 4, said: “Your students continue to receive good-quality education and training. You work effectively with governors, managers and students to promote a learning culture strongly focused on continuous improvement.

“With other senior leaders, you monitor students’ performance closely and take decisive and effective actions to reduce the impact of the few courses or staff that perform below your expectations.”

The college, in Cliddesden Road, was previously graded as “good” by the education watchdog in May 2010.

The latest findings showed that QMC provides a “pleasant and harmonious environment for study, in which students and staff treat one another with respect”.

The letter, from inspector Richard Beaumont, added: “The majority of your students achieve beyond the expectations of them at the start of their courses. Students progress well onto higher levels of study while at college and the vast majority progress successfully into higher education or employment upon leaving.”

Ofsted found that students studying GCSE English and/or maths achieve particularly well, and that students develop a broad range of useful skills either through studies or diverse extra-curricular activities.

Mr Beaumont said: “Most students develop employment skills through work-related activities or work experience. However, you and your managers recognise that this aspect of the study programmes needs further improvement.”

The inspector also found that students at QMC have a similar level of achievement to other sixth form colleges nationally, and that the college has continued to improve attendance this year.

He added: “The proportion of students gaining A* to C grades in GCSE mathematics and/or English is well above that of similar colleges. However, a significant number of A Level students do not maintain the high level of progress they made at AS Level.”

He said the quality of teaching, learning and assessment for students on 16-19 study programmes continues to be good, adding: “Students enjoy their lessons, participate well in discussions, and teachers manage question-and-answer sessions skilfully.”

However, Mr Beaumont said feedback from teachers does not always provide students with “sufficient detail to tell them where or how they can improve”.

He added: “You have recognised that a minority of A Level students are not sufficiently well prepared to interpret exam questions and are unable to give the fullest of answers to improve grades.”

The college was asked to make a number of changes to improve, including ensuring that all students benefit from well-planned work activities and high-quality work experience; managers to help teachers to develop their teaching skills further; and for all students, particularly A Level students, to have the necessary skills to interpret the requirements of examination papers fully.