INSPECTORS have downgraded Brockenhurst College after a decade at the top of the ratings.

The New Forest college lost its ‘Outstanding’ grade after a four-day visit from government inspection body Ofsted.

Brock received an overall rating of ‘Good’ with apprenticeships graded as ‘Requires Improvement’.

They praised “decisive and swift” action taken to address a dip in performance last year and said teaching was good in most subjects.

Inspectors said students enjoyed learning, behaved well and enjoyed supportive and interesting work placements.

But they said attendance was too low in GCSE and Level 1 vocational courses and not enough apprentices achieve their qualifications within the planned timescales.

They also said a small number of students on some Level 3 vocational courses failed to progress and achieve as well as they should.

The college has roughly 6,500 learners per year with most taking A levels.

An Ofsted survey of students’ views undertaken during the inspection revealed 97 per cent felt their studies met their needs, with all other teaching quality marks rated at over 90 per cent.

Eleven government inspectors spent four days on campus before reporting their conclusions in early March.

They said: “Leaders, managers and teachers are passionate about raising the aspirations of students to achieve and progress.

“Teachers are vigilant in ensuring that high quality learning takes place in most sessions and that well-planned and challenging lessons extend learning and development.”

College Principal Di Roberts CBE said: “The new Ofsted inspection framework, instituted in September 2016, is more rigorous than ever, and we welcome that new framework for its added opportunities to reflect critically on our performance.

“Maintaining high standards is an ongoing process and one to which every member of staff here at Brock is 100 per cent committed. As Ofsted recognises in its report, we respond to any areas needing improvement ‘swiftly and decisively’ amid a ‘culture of high expectation throughout the college’.”