OFSTED REPORT OCTOBER 2016
‘MUCH TO CELEBRATE’
Marple Sixth Form College has been highly praised by Ofsted after its recent inspection. The college has received a glowing report together with the award of a Grade 2 ‘Good’ ranking. The inspectors also recognised areas where the provision was close to outstanding and praised the college as such.
‘Since the previous inspection, the principal and senior leadership team have successfully promoted a culture of high expectations and high standards of teaching, learning and assessment. This has resulted in improvements in outcomes for learners which are now good across most of the provision’.
This is a real achievement given that the new common inspection framework introduced last year is universally regarded as being far more rigorous and challenging than its predecessor. Most pertinently, greater emphasis is put on ‘outcomes for learners’ which relates not only to achievement rates but also what proportion of learners’ progress to their desired destination, be it higher education, apprenticeships or employment.
As a consequence, a significant proportion of schools and colleges inspected under the new format have dropped a grade or even two since they were last inspected. The college is therefore proud of its achievements since the last inspection in 2014, the significant strides it has made since, and the official recognition of this fact by Ofsted.
THE REPORT PRAISED LEADERS, MANAGERS AND STAFF, AS THE FOLLOWING EXTRACTS ILLUSTRATE:
- ‘Learners benefit from very good impartial careers guidance which helps them to make informed choices about their futures. As a result, a high proportion of learners’progress to positive destinations.’
- ‘Learners successfully develop the skills that they need for work. They benefit from relevant and purposeful work experience and participate in a wide range of other activities to improve their work-related skills.’
- ‘ Learners with high needs and those who need additional help benefit from encouraging and challenging additional support that enables them to make good progress.’
- ‘Leaders, managers and staff successfully promote a culture of equality and tolerance in the college. Learners demonstrate a high level of respect for each other and for their teachers.’
- ‘Teachers provide good pastoral support that helps learners to overcome barriers to their learning and make good progress.’
- ‘Leaders and managers work successfully with a wide range of partners, including high schools and another sixth form college in the borough, to plan local provision and ensure that it meets the needs of young people. Staff from the college provide helpful information, advice and guidance in local schools, including those with sixth forms, on progression opportunities at the college for school-leavers.’
- ‘Leaders and managers promote inclusion and equality successfully, and have created a strong ethos of tolerance and respect in the college.’
- ‘Learners at the college feel safe. They have a good understanding of all potential risks and how to protect themselves and others.’
SPECIFICALLY RELATING TO TEACHING, LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT THE INSPECTORS NOTED THAT
‘Teachers have high expectations for their learners. They use challenging activities in their lessons that are matched appropriately to meet the needs and abilities of most learners.’
‘Learners participate in a wide range of activities to improve the skills that they need for work.’
‘Many learners on A-level programmes carry out relevant placements and internships related to their career aspirations.’
– ‘On entry level and level 1 programmes, enthusiastic teachers have a very good understanding of each learner’s needs. They use a range of carefully designed activities that enable learners to improve their independent living and work skills.’
IN TERMS OF THE ALL-IMPORTANT ‘OUTCOMES FOR LEARNERS, THE FOLLOWING WAS OBSERVED:
‘The majority of learners on 16 to 19 study programmes make at least the progress expected of them and achieve well.’
‘On vocational courses, a high proportion of learners make good progress from their starting points, and the rate of achievement on these programmes is significantly above that for similar providers.’
‘Actions that leaders and managers have taken to improve the progress that learners make on A- and AS-level courses resulted in improvements in 2015/16.’
‘The proportion of apprentices who achieved their qualification on provision delivered directly by the college improved significantly in 2015/16 and is now well above the rate for similar providers.’
‘Most learners on level 3 programmes progress to positive destinations. A high proportion of learners on A-level programmes progress successfully into higher education, and most learners on vocational programmes progress to higher education, employment or an apprenticeship.’
Principal Jenny Singleton said
“We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the inspection which recognises the significant improvements the College has made, particularly in relation to student outcomes. This improvement is particularly pleasing, given the rigour of the new inspection framework.
I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised the huge strides we have made with regards to driving up standards and creating a positive and inclusive learning environment which our students really respond to. Of course there is room for further improvement and Ofsted has highlighted those areas where we can still do more.
We will continue to target these areas and seek to provide an outstanding experience for present and future students”