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Ofsted Inspection: 'Good' assessment

Ofsted Inspection – September 2017

The college was inspected by Ofsted in September 2017 and received a ‘Good’ assessment for overall effectiveness. As part of this overall judgement, Teaching and Learning, Outcomes for Learners, Leadership and Management, Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare, as well as the 16-19 Study Programmes at the college were all considered to be ‘Good’. Inspectors identified the very small apprenticeship offer as a priority for further improvement.  For a copy of the full report click here. 


In summary, inspectors spent four days at the college prior to producing a detailed report for publication to their website. Inspectors noted the significant progress made by the college in the past two years in particular and the report contains the following judgements and conclusions;


“Leaders and governors have high expectations of staff and students, and a clear and ambitious vision for the college. They lead by example, creating a highly respectful atmosphere where everyone is valued.”


“Students choose to study at the college because of its caring and supportive ethos.”


“Teachers and personal supervisors provide high levels of support and care for students.”


“Students enjoy enthusiastic and supportive teaching and they achieve.”


“Managers, teachers and personal supervisors have high expectations of their students. They raise their aspirations and self-belief so that a focus on success in life beyond college is central to the ethos of study programmes.”


“Teachers structure lessons carefully to make sure they are highly productive. This helps students to learn quickly and to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding appropriately.”


“Most students now make good progress from their starting points." 


"Most students following courses at level 3 successfully complete them and progress to higher education.”


“Overall achievement improved substantially in 2016/17 and is now high and above the achievement rates for similar colleges.”


“Most students without a grade C or above in English or mathematics produce work of a high standard in lessons. They achieve at more than double the low national rate for mathematics and well above the national rate for English.”


“Students from a range of faiths, ethnicities and backgrounds work harmoniously together. They show high levels of respect and care for each other, which creates a safe and comfortable place in which to learn.”


“Most students progress successfully to the university course of their choice.”


“Governors are committed to ensuring the success of the college. They use their wide range of educational experience and expertise very effectively to support senior leaders. They engage fully in discussions about the future direction of the college and are highly committed to securing a sustained future.”


“Leaders, managers and college staff have developed an inclusive, supportive and caring environment.”


“Leaders and managers have successfully improved the quality of almost all teaching and learning. Quality improvement processes are detailed and thorough.”


“Leaders have overseen the development of a broad range of courses which effectively meet students’ needs.”


“The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Leaders and managers take all aspects of their safeguarding responsibilities very seriously.”


“Students and apprentices are safe, feel safe and know how to alert staff if they have concerns about safety.“


“Students and apprentices from widely varying backgrounds and cultures work harmoniously, behave sensibly and enjoy their learning.”


“Students and apprentices enjoy learning and want to succeed. They work enthusiastically, behave sensibly and the great majority achieve their qualifications.”


“Teachers and assessors have high expectations of their students. This has a beneficial impact on students’ and apprentices’ enthusiasm. They are attentive in lessons and they try hard to complete their work as accurately as they can.”


“Most teachers plan lessons appropriately to challenge students of all abilities.”


“Students benefit from purposeful and well-planned lessons.”


“Students learn how to work with each other cooperatively. They make good progress in most lessons.”


“Teachers help students to understand how to develop the skills that they need to succeed in their studies.”


“Teachers identify accurately any gaps in students’ knowledge, skills and understanding at the beginning of their course. They use this information very successfully to design effective lessons that help all students to make good progress.”


“Staff identify students who need extra help and provide effective personalised support quickly.”


“Most students make good progress during their time at college. They take pride in their work and develop the knowledge and skills they need to progress.”


“Lively, interesting and well-managed debates also help students to develop their oral communication skills”


“Students’ progression to higher levels of learning and higher education is very good.”


“Students, including the most vulnerable, receive good support during their time at the college.”

“Personal supervisors track the attendance, punctuality, progress and welfare of students diligently and intervene when necessary to help them to achieve. They know and understand their students well.”


“The vast majority of students and apprentices are eager to learn and want to succeed. They arrive at lessons on time, work enthusiastically and develop good practical and work-related skills.”


“Good careers advice and guidance prepare students very effectively for their next steps.”


“Almost all students completing courses at entry level and level 1 progress to the next level and the large majority of students taking courses at level 2 progress to level 3.”


“Most leavers progress to the university course of their choice.”


“The highly supportive ethos established by leaders, managers and teachers helps students to develop personally and socially throughout their time at college.”


“Students grow in confidence and develop independence.”


“Students develop new skills by taking part in a wide range of additional activities.”


“Almost all students take part in a wide range of work-related activities which develop the skills they will need for work.”


“Personal supervisors provide effective pastoral support for students and communicate effectively with parents.”


“Students who were previously looked-after are successful and make better than expected progress, particularly at level 3.”


To view or download a full copy of the September 2017 inspection report click here.

Alternatively, the most recent report and wider information, including other local reports, can be accessed through the main ofsted site Ofsted website or 


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; 


Link to Mathematics and Science SSA Inspection     Link to Arts, Media and Communication SSA Inspection

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