Staff and students are celebrating their best ever inspection result after Ofsted graded Sandwell College ‘Good’. [All quotes taken from Further Education and Skills inspection report published 19 June 2014, Inspection Number: 434083.]

The college has officially been awarded a Grade 2 in a glowing report by inspectors, praising its “accommodation and resources of the highest quality” and “often outstanding” teaching and learning.

Outcomes for learners, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and effectiveness of leadership and management have all been given the Good seal of approval.

And English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) received the highest possible grade of ‘Outstanding’.

Ofsted inspectors’ key findings were that:

  • Students develop very good personal, social and employability skills that prepare them well for further study and for the world of work
  • Progression between different levels of study and from college into higher education, employment or further study is very good
  • Teaching and learning are good, and often outstanding
  • Teachers and support staff work exceptionally hard to ensure that all students achieve
  • Students benefit from the college’s excellent teaching, study and social spaces, with very high quality resources and equipment to support learning
  • Leaders and managers’ excellent engagement with external partners and their ambitious vision for the local community are now vital to meeting the needs of the area’s diverse communities and in promoting economic and social regeneration
  • Students study in a safe environment, where equality and diversity are very well promoted

The college was singled out for the way it ensures students are ready for work; its vision for the local community; its apprenticeships, which meet much needed demands from employers; for attracting and welcoming a tremendously diverse student population; and the good additional support it provides for students, including those with dyslexia.

Students’ enthusiasm for learning, high standards of work, progression into higher education, employment or further study, and their pride in the college have all been praised by Ofsted.

Principal Graham Pennington, who took over the reins of the new £77 million college in January, commended staff and students for their hard work in achieving such a fantastic result. He said: “I know how hard everyone has worked since the last inspection and in the final preparations. I can’t thank everyone enough for the support they have provided. Achievement of this Ofsted grade is a milestone for the college and marks both the completion of one journey but the start of another one.”

To see the full report, click here.