Extracts and headlines from the most recent report
The college was inspected as part of the routine cycle of inspections in Spring 2016 and the visiting inspectors recognised many positive aspects of life, study and learning at the college.
In particular, it is important to us that inspectors recognised that our students’ behaviour is good, both in lessons and elsewhere, with inspectors reporting that "the college is a welcoming place to study and relationships between students are respectful". Furthermore, the recent investments in an extensive enrichment curriculum were also praised in the report and was considered as being important in helping students to develop good social and personal skills alongside their core studies. Inspectors noted that “A high proportion of students participate in these activities”.
Inspectors also confirmed that "Students feel safe and know what to do if they have concerns about their own safety or that of others", as well as highlighting that "students comment positively on the high level of pastoral care and support they receive."
Whilst the Inspection team considered some of our own assessments to be too positive, they recognised that the college has appropriate planning in place to make improvements and stated that “Judgements about outcomes for students are accurate and the quality improvement plan deals with most of the areas for improvement identified by Inspectors”. This was further supported by the findings that "Curriculum managers have produced accurate assessments of their own subject areas and their quality improvement plans are appropriate."
Following the inspection Paul Wilson (Principal) commented that "Inspection visits always bring a fresh focus for driving improvement and this inspection has provided the college with useful feedback on this occasion to inform and support our ongoing work. The report has rightly recognised that the college has established a clear direction and an ethos that is valued at all levels. It is also pleasing that some of the key strengths that already existed have been recognised and highlighted, especially in respect of the good apprenticeship provision, good student behaviour and that the majority of students are well supported to ultimately progress to university."
Paul Glossop (Director of Quality & Improvement) will be planning follow up actions and made the following comments following publication of the report; "As with all inspection reports there are key areas that have been identified to support our improvement over the next few years and we will now begin the process of planning our actions to address all of these. Even before the visit our staff had been working on most of these areas, though inspectors have advised that some of the actions already taken have not yet been fully effective and we will now be redoubling our efforts to speed up the implementation of these plans and to ensure further improvements result. This includes a priority to improve some aspects of teaching and assessment, where inspectors noted that it was too early for the steps that have already been taken to have had sufficient impact." However Inspectors reported that "Students find their teachers approachable and helpful" and they also identified that "Many teachers work successfully to help those students who may be struggling with their courses."
A summary of the overal inspection findings is available here: Summary of Inspection Findings March 2016
Whilst inspectors no longer routinely inspect specific subject sector areas the strengths with Science and Maths and with the Arts remain a feature at the college. Though these areas were not specifically inspected and reported on this time around, the past reports on these areas can still be accessed here for reference;