East Riding College has this week received the best Ofsted report for a general further education or sixth form college since the new, tougher inspection regime was introduced last September.
The College, which has campuses in Beverley and Bridlington and a smaller site in Hull, was rated “good” overall and “outstanding” for personal development, behaviour and welfare, and courses for adults.
Inspectors praised the “culture of high expectations”, the outstanding learning facilities and the close alignment of its courses with the skills needs of the local economy.
Their glowing report also highlighted well qualified tutors who are role models for students, high levels of positive progression into employment and further study, and the ambitions of the Principal and senior team which staff are highly motivated to achieve.
Of the 30 FE and sixth form colleges inspected this academic year, East Riding College has the best profile of grades yet, with two outstanding and four good grades in the six sub-sections and a grade of good overall.
Download the full report (PDF 184kb).
Principal Derek Branton said: “We are proud to receive this excellent report after such a thorough examination of the College’s work with students of all ages, employers and the local community.
“This is testament to the hard work of our staff who have faced challenging times through a period of unprecedented change in the further education sector and a tightening of resource brought about by reductions in public sector funding.
“They have demonstrated impressive professionalism, creativity and dedication to their students, who in turn have shown a focused and committed attitude to learning.”
He added: “Inspectors clearly recognised the outstanding learning environments we provide for practical and academic learning in two new campuses in Beverley and Bridlington, and our recently refurbished site in Hull.
“The report demonstrates that East Riding College is the ideal choice for young people and adult learners, whether they wish to progress to employment, university or in their current career.”
Simon Wright, Chairman of the College Governors, said: “My fellow governors and I are delighted with the outstanding achievements highlighted in this report.
“Since its creation in 2002, East Riding College has recorded year-on-year improvements to student success rates and has transformed its campuses to become one of the best-equipped colleges nationally.
“My congratulations and thanks go to all the hard working staff and students of East Riding College.
“I would also like to point out the recognition Ofsted gave to the governors’ involvement and thank all of them for their commitment to the College.”
Ofsted carried out the four-day inspection in late February, five years after the College secured a “good” overall in its previous inspection.
The report gave “outstanding” grades to personal development, behaviour and welfare, and adult learning programmes.
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment, outcomes for learners, 16 to 19 study programmes and apprenticeships were all rated as “good”.
Some of the areas highlighted were as follows:
- Provision is very well matched to the local enterprise partnership priorities and the needs of the local economy
- There is a culture of high expectations for all and the good quality of teaching promotes good progress for students and apprentices
- Good information, advice and guidance ensure that students and apprentices are on the right course, resulting in very few students dropping out and strong progression to further study and employment
- Students develop excellent skills for employment
- The Principal and senior leaders have set an ambitious mission and vision
- Staff are very well qualified for their roles and are good role models for students
- There is a strong culture of respect and tolerance leading to good student behaviour and a calm, professional learning environment
- Governance is exceptionally strong. Governors use their wide range of experience and expertise to positive effect
- College facilities give students access to industry-standard equipment in excellent realistic working environments
- There are high levels of positive outcomes for students and apprentices
- Apprenticeships which are tailored to employers’ needs have been developed in construction, engineering, food processing, tourism and digital media, and importantly in the emerging renewable energy sectors
Inspectors said the College was not rated “outstanding” overall because English and mathematics results, despite being above the national average, are not yet good enough.
They also suggested improvements, all in the minority of cases, to the promotion of equality and diversity, ensuring activities meet all needs and written feedback.
For more information about East Riding College, go to www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk or call 0345 120 0044