City of Bristol College has been awarded a ‘GOOD’ rating from Ofsted and has been shown to be meeting local and regional skills needs following its most recent inspection (January 2023).
Ofsted praised the college across a number of areas including the way that: “staff and students collectively create a culture where students and apprentices can be themselves. As a result, students and apprentices are respectful and value the diverse and inclusive college population.”
During the four-day inspection, a team of fifteen Inspectors found that “teachers and other college staff foster mutual trust and respect. Students and apprentices are keen to learn and are supportive of each other in their learning. As a result, students and apprentices display high levels of positive behaviours and are proud of their work. They enjoy their lessons and are motivated to engage in new experiences.”
The inspection team praised the teachers at the college by recognising their extensive subject knowledge and experience, which helps students to deepen their understanding of the subjects they are studying.
Inspectors also found that for courses designed and delivered for students with high needs, “Leaders and managers have designed a varied specialist curriculum for students with high needs” to “focus on the individual targets of students”. Ofsted described this curriculum as having: “strong links to community groups and preparing students well for independence and employment”.
Inspectors also praised apprenticeship programmes: “leaders and managers have developed effective apprenticeship programmes. Teachers deliver the topics apprentices need in order to be better in their jobs and pass their assessments”.
In addition to the focus on the quality of education, the new inspection framework also assesses providers on how well they meet skills needs. The report recognises the important role that the college plays in the city and beyond:
“Leaders and managers work effectively with employers and stakeholders to identify the current and future skills needs…They actively contribute to the reduction of worklessness…[and] work with national employers…and with local small to medium enterprises to provide the skilled workforce they need. As a result, City of Bristol College curriculum aligns well to local / regional skills priorities.
“Leaders and managers involve a substantial number of employers in curriculum design and teaching across the college. Employers provide specialist input to ensure the curriculum accurately reflects the industry. For example, employers provide careers talks and highlight the realities and expectations of the industry they work in.“
Speaking about the Report, Peter Rilett, Chair of the Corporation said:
“I am delighted that the recent Ofsted Report recognises the journey that City of Bristol College has been on and the distance travelled; rewarding us with a GOOD rating.
“As Bristol’s College, the report is clear that we have strong relationships with a wide range of partners which helps us to meet local, regional and national skills needs.
“The Corporation appointed Julia Gray to the post of Principal & Chief Executive at the start of this year. Julia brings over twenty years’ experience working in the Further Education sector to this role and will lead the college on the next phase of our journey.”
Julia Gray, Principal & Chief Executive added:
“I am so pleased to have joined City of Bristol College at the right time to have had the privilege to work with staff, students, apprentices and stakeholders to lead us through this most recent Ofsted inspection.
“The college plays a key role in the city and region and this successful inspection outcome recognises the hard work of the whole-college team and the significant achievements of our students and apprentices.
“This Ofsted outcome will allow us to look to the future, our continued improvements and the further work that we can do to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”
The full report can be viewed on the Ofsted website here.