Following the recent full inspection by Ofsted of City of Bristol College, the inspectorate has confirmed improved grades in six of the nine judgement areas and removed all inadequate grades. The published report confirms an overall effectiveness judgement of ‘Requires Improvement’ – with Adult Learning Programmes and Provision for Learners with High Needs graded as ‘Good’.
Since its previous full inspection in January 2016, the College has been driven by its post-inspection action plan to address areas of weakness. “Senior leaders and governors have secured a better financial position, halted the decline in poor achievement rates and driven forward improvements in the quality of provision across the College,” reported Ofsted.
Lee Probert, Principal and Chief Executive commented: “With the full support of the city, we have worked tirelessly since January last year delivering improvements for our students and I’m delighted that we are no longer judged to be ‘Inadequate’.
Peter Rilett, Chair of Governors at City of Bristol College added: "The positive outcome of the Ofsted inspection is a reflection of the leadership and vision of the College's Principal and Chief Executive, fully supported by the governing body and all staff. As recognised by Ofsted, strategic leaders are held to account by governors to ensure the College fulfils its strategic objectives and secures improvement for students. I have every confidence that the College will continue to improve the outcomes for students in order to support our city and secure the skills it needs now and in the future."
The College’s leadership and management has been also commended for the way it has implemented tools for tracking students’ progress. “Leaders and managers have introduced comprehensive quality improvement initiatives, with detailed reports, which they monitor closely. Staff now have much better access to reliable information, which allows them to monitor closely the progress of learners and identify earlier those at risk, resulting in improvements in attendance and retention in the current year.”
Furthermore, Ofsted recognised the College’s commitment to its new strategic vision with the focus on access to higher learning, employment and career progression through the development of technical and vocational skills and professional behaviours. “Teachers on study programmes provide useful, effective feedback which helps learners know what to do to improve their work. Staff across the college use their occupational and academic knowledge, experience and high-quality practical resources well. Learners benefit from appropriate work-related learning through work placements or through a wide range of work-linked activities which are well matched to their interests and potential. Managers have excellent links with employers regionally, and successful work-experience programmes have led to employment for learners.”
Ofsted also recognised the journey the College has made to deliver improvements in the area of Apprenticeships by highlighting: “A new, specialist management and recruitment team is now in place and apprenticeships are managed well. Staff plan practical, off-the-job training sessions well so most apprentices make good progress in the development of their technical skills. Managers and staff monitor the progress of apprentices effectively…”
The new judgments for Overall Effectiveness and Apprenticeships means that the College now meets the eligibility criteria for the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers, securing the futures of over 1500 apprentices at the College.
“The new Ofsted report is a positive endorsement of the progress we have made in just over 12 months. We asked for an early inspection in order to secure access to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers; this means we knew we would go into the inspection with no new data about student success for the current academic year. We also know we have not yet achieved everything that we want to, but the fundamental improvements we have made in the key areas of quality of teaching and learning, and student progress and attendance, will ensure those results are much more positive. Thanks to the dedication of our staff, governors, students and partners in supporting our vision, I am confident we will continue driving improvements in our College.City of Bristol College is a key education provider in the city and we will continue to strive hard to ensure best outcomes of our students and the prosperity of our local communities.” concluded Probert.