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South Cheshire College Praised By Ofsted Following 'Good' Inspection

South Cheshire College was praised by Ofsted inspectors following a good grading inspection in February. 

As a result, the Crewe College confirmed its position as a leading Further Education provider in the region.

The inspection team observed a range of classes and college activities and met with students, employers and stakeholders and were impressed with what they saw and heard.

Inspectors commented on the ‘good teaching, learning and assessment’ and highlighted that the large majority of learners make good progress compared to their starting points and the majority of learners meet or exceed their target grades.

They also said that teacher feedback following assessment is good and they provide thorough feedback that helps learners to improve their work.

The inspection also highlighted that teachers monitor learners’ progress well and those who fall behind in their work receive good additional support and attend study skills workshops to help them catch up quickly.

They described the implementation of 16 to 19 study programmes as ‘highly effective’ and they meet the needs of learners well.

Inspectors went on to praise the good quality teaching, learning and assessment in both classroom and practical sessions which enables learners to develop good personal and social skills and make good progress in their vocational and academic skills.

Learners participate in high quality, meaningful external work experience, enrichment activities and undertake additional qualifications to improve the skills they need for work.

A-Level student Lydia Whittaker, Chair of the College’s Student Executive Committee, said: “This grade is great news for the College and well deserved. This is a fantastic place to study and feedback from students on many different courses here is very positive. I’m off to study Geography at the University of Cambridge later this year so the College has prepared me in every way for my next step.”

Inspectors also reported that personal skills, self-confidence and skills for active citizenship in modern Britain are developed well as learners prepare for further study, higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

South Cheshire College achieves outstanding results year on year and in 2015 announced an A-Level pass rate of 99.7% and a 98% BTEC Extended Diploma pass rate.

The inspection team highlighted that leaders, managers and governors provide high levels of challenge across the whole college, ensuring a detailed and accurate evaluation of the provision. 

They also commented on the ‘very effective’ continuous improvement plans for underperforming curriculum areas enabling leaders and managers to closely monitor improvements.

Another key focus of the inspection was how English and Maths is being embedded into different college courses which was identified as ‘good’ and inspectors commented on the ‘good use of strategies’ in specific areas.

They also said that staff act with integrity in entering learners for Mathematics and English qualifications that are at least one level higher than learner’s attainment level on entry to the college.

In 2015, the College’s Starting Point Child Care Centre, which is based on the same site, achieved ‘Outstanding’ status.

South Cheshire College Principal Jasbir Dhesi said: “We are delighted with the outcome. This was very much a team effort and the Ofsted inspectors who visited went away with a positive impression of the College. I am proud and privileged to work with amazing staff and students who make South Cheshire College a special place. It has been a great couple of weeks for the college with our financial health being assessed as outstanding by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). Our financial strength has allowed us to invest an additional £1.5m over the last 18 months to further enhance the world class learning facilities in our purpose built £74m campus.”

Key leaders across the region have congratulated the College on its Ofsted success.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Edward Timpson said: “It’s pleasing to see South Cheshire College continuing to provide a good strong local college offering for students in both Crewe and Nantwich and further-a-field. Congratulations to Principal Jasbir Dhesi and all his staff for their hard work that has helped to bring about this important achievement.”

Rachel Bailey, Leader of Cheshire East Council, added: “I congratulate South Cheshire College on this achievement.  This is further evidence that Cheshire East is a good place to learn.  It is widely known that we have an excellent reputation for our high standards of education and Ofsted ratings and we can now add South Cheshire College to the long list of schools and colleges rated good or outstanding by Ofsted. More than 90 per cent of our secondary schools and 95.3 per cent of our primary schools have been ranked ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.”

In the wider community, the inspection highlighted the excellent work taking place between the college and employers, stakeholders, the LEP and Chamber of Commerce.

Lynne Williams, Head of People Development and Talent Management at Bentley Motors, said: “All employers face an on-going challenge to recruit skilled, work-ready, young people. That’s why a sustainable source of future employees is essential to the success of businesses in this area. South Cheshire College continues to work closely with Bentley and we are pleased to see the College achieve this well-deserved recognition.”

The inspection feedback also pointed to a ‘leadership team which is committed to quality improvement’ and highlighted the ‘swift and decisive actions taken in performance management.’

Dhesi added: “Our aim is to continue to adapt and innovate. Everybody associated with South Cheshire College is committed to continuous improvement and we will be working hard in the months and years ahead to achieve that goal.”



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