Say hello to a brighter future – staff and learners celebrate Ofsted good rating
Stoke on Trent Further Education College is celebrating following its recent Ofsted inspection. Now rated as ‘Good’ the College has much to shout about.
The report describes the College ‘as a place where learners are highly motivated and well supported and where teachers and coaches have expert knowledge. Working well with employers in the community and a wide range of stakeholders, they ensure the best possible experience and progression for their learners, and identify skills that learners need to work in their chosen sectors.
‘Learners develop their English and maths skills and there is effective careers guidance to support them into employment, education or apprenticeships. They apply the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours they learn at the College in different contexts and develop effective employability skills. Learners have access to an extensive range of work placements and industry opportunities.’
Until now, the College had been given a rating of Requires Improvement in its last 3 inspections, most recently back in 2019. This latest Ofsted report says:
‘Since the previous inspection, there have been significant changes to the leadership team at Stoke on Trent College. Leaders and the governing body have achieved significant improvements to the quality of education and the experience that most learners receive.’
Stoke on Trent College is one of first set of colleges being inspected under the new ‘enhanced framework’ including a new sub-judgement on how well the college meet the skills needs of the area and employers. The College got a good rating for this (termed as reasonable) which is great news for the City’s employers and businesses.
The College already boasts some of the best facilities in the area for specialisms such as digital and creative industries, construction, engineering and health and social care. It has recently won a further £13m for more capital developments and will be offering the new T Levels this September.
Principal and CEO Lisa Capper MBE said “We are delighted with the outcome of the inspection. Thanks to our staff, governors and students there has been a tremendous collective effort across the College to get to this point and there is more to come. There are great opportunities ahead with our skills-based and technical curriculum and for the success of all of our students whatever age or stage they are at. Our ultimate ambition is to ensure all our students have a great experience and gain the skills needed to positively progress during their time with us.”
Praise was given for personal development and for the College safeguarding processes with inspectors commenting that learners and apprentices feel safe during their time at college and know who to speak to if they have any concerns.
Student Governors Tom Foster and Sidra Bhatti said “We are proud to be learners as well as student Governors at Stoke on Trent College – helping to shape the College for all those who come to study here. We are really pleased with the fantastic Ofsted result. This clearly demonstrates the awesomeness of our college and all of the amazing support and learning experiences we receive.”
The report states that leaders have identified and nurtured effective relationships with a wide range of stakeholders working in conjunction with employers to enhance and shape the curriculum,
Apprenticeships provision has also improved since the last inspection, and remains a fast-developing offer to employers. The College has invested in and continues to strengthen apprenticeships as one of our key priorities. The team will continue to work with employer partners towards excellence and to ensure apprentices achieve to the level they are capable of and are aware of the range of opportunities open to them.
Jeremy Cartwright, Chair of the Governing body, commented: “We are proud of the team at Stoke on Trent College. We look forward to continuing to work alongside our young people and adult students and staff as we continue to build on this success. The College has an important role to play in Stoke on Trent and our role as the governing body is to ensure we meet the needs of all our students, apprentices, employers and civic and community partners and keeping our standards as high as possible.”
Lisa Capper MBE added, “The improvements we have achieved are palpable and we are really excited about all the future holds as we continue on our journey to the best possible Technical College for the City of Stoke-on-Trent and the region.