West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield has retained its ‘good’ rating by inspectors.
The college's latest report published today, Tuesday, March 21, highlighted its role in the area’s cultural and economic regeneration, and 'high standard' of vocational training facilities, which help students develop the skills for employment.
The college, with its main campus in Derby Road, has been praised for the effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, student outcomes - and almost all regulated areas were marked as good by the education watchdog.
Senior leaders have put the college 'at the heart of the community', according to the college, which has been praised for its specialist resources and apprenticeships, where young people develop a 'good range of vocational skills, which allows them to contribute well to their workplaces'.
The report stated: “The large majority of apprentices and adult learners enjoy their studies and make at least the progress expected from their starting points, with many making strong progress. Younger learners who take A-levels also make good progress. Apprentices develop a good range of vocational skills that allow them to contribute well to their workplaces.”
Highlighting the impact that the college’s £50 million redevelopment and investment in state-of-the-art training facilities had had on teaching and learning, inspectors added: “These improvements support the development of learners’ vocational and work-related technical skills well.”
However, too few learners on classroom-based programmes achieve their qualifications in English or maths, or improve their skills sufficiently in these subjects.
Although study programmes for 16 to 19 year-olds were deemed to require improvement, in particular progress in English and maths, inspectors acknowledged that managers had implemented actions to improve teaching and learning in these subjects. While “early indications suggest that current learners are making better progress,” they said it was too soon to judge the full impact of these measures.
Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive, said: “The report confirms our position as one of the top-performing colleges in the East Midlands. I’m pleased inspectors recognised our many strengths and the progress our students make – all of which provides a fantastic platform on which we can further build upon.
“It’s particularly pleasing they noted the contribution the college makes to the local community and the way we support employers through a high-quality apprenticeship programme.
“We recognise there are areas for improvement and had already put arrangements in place to address these, for which we are now seeing clear signs of progress.
“Through the continued efforts of our loyal and committed staff team and highly-experienced board of governors, I am confident we can now reach even greater heights. This is a good day for the college.”
Chair of governors, Nevil Croston, said: “Retaining our ‘good’ status reflects the high ambitions that staff have for their students and the exceptional work that they dedicate to them each and every day, which was recognised by the inspection team. It also reflects the commitment of the students themselves, which they clearly demonstrated during the inspection process.”
The college was rated ‘good’ at its previous inspection in 2012.