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College celebrates Ofsted 'good' rating

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  • News date: Mar '24
  • News author: Liam Waite

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LAKES College is celebrating receiving a glowing Ofsted report rating its provision ‘good’ overall.

The inspection in January was the first at the college since December 2017, when inspectors also issued a ‘good’ rating.

Inspectors said: “Leaders use their acute understanding of local and regional needs and the challenges specific to the locality to inform strategic planning of curriculums and the college’s offer.”

Chris Nattress, Principal at Lakes College, said: “This endorsement of our great work from Ofsted is a very welcome testimony to the commitment of our learners, college staff, partners and employers who do brilliant things together week-in, week-out.

“I’m very proud of everyone connected to our wonderful college and look forward to continuing our collective endeavours to the direct benefit of our regional economy and the social wellbeing of our communities.”

Inspectors said the college has ‘developed ambitious curriculums in line with the local skills improvement plan’ in response to skills needs in the county.

The report highlighted the way the college collaborates with stakeholders including the National College for Nuclear to identify needs for specialist roles in nuclear decommissioning and civil engineering.

The college was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour in higher and further education, in February for its outstanding work in developing highly-skilled technicians for the UK’s nuclear and low carbon energy sectors.

Inspectors said curriculums for high needs learners had been redesigned and were ‘ambitious and well tailored’ with a renewed focus on preparing for adulthood, independence and employment.

Michael Priestley, Chair of Governors at Lakes College, said: “What a great team effort! Just reward for the hard work of everyone involved – staff, students and employers – and their openness to news ways of working, which enriches the lives of our communities through education and training.

“This Ofsted recognition of the work that we do is reflected in the growing numbers of young people attending college and there can be no greater endorsement than that.”

The college was praised for maintaining ‘calm and inclusive environments’ for learners who ‘take pride in their work’.

The report said: “Learners and apprentices take their learning seriously as they know how important it is to their next steps in apprenticeships, employment or further study.”

Inspectors agreed teachers ‘have the appropriate expertise and experience in their subject area’ and that learners ‘benefit from current industry knowledge and practice’.

They said: “The large majority of learners and apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours throughout their courses and progress to positive destinations on completion of their studies.”

The college’s learners ‘develop the English and mathematical skills they need to prepare them well for their next steps’.

Inspectors said the college’s safeguarding arrangements are effective and that learners ‘feel safe and know how to report any concerns’.

The report said: “Leaders and managers have put in place a personal development curriculum which provides a rich set of experiences for learners and develops their understanding of both their locality and the wider world.”

The college was rated ‘good’ in eight areas assessed by Ofsted, including: quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management; education programmes for young people; apprenticeships; provision for learners with high needs.

Adult learning programmes – which account for about five per cent of the college’s total learners – were rated ‘requires improvement’, although it was acknowledged that leaders had already recognised this and begun improvement work in these areas.

You can read the full report here.