A Catholic sixth form college has been judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted – 14 years on from its last inspection.
Cardinal Newman College, in Lancashire, was handed top marks across the board in a report published today following a visit in February.
The college teaches more than 4,200 young people on a mix of level 3 A-level and vocational programmes.
Inspectors found students who were “overwhelmingly positive about the education that they receive and the care and support that staff give them during their time at college”, adding that students “thrive in the supportive and nurturing environment that leaders and staff have created”.
Teachers were praised for promoting and advocating the “Newman mindset”, which includes “high expectations and aspirations for future life beyond college”.
Teachers also plan students’ learning “meticulously so that they gain a deep knowledge of the content but also develop high levels of transferable skills such as critical-thinking, problem-solving and data analysis”.
Leaders were lauded for providing “an ambitious, focused and high-quality curriculum offer”, as well as a “broad variety of A-level and vocational programmes to provide progression to university, apprenticeships or employment”.
Inspectors also found that leaders “provide a highly effective foundation learning programme for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) that helps them to achieve in line with their peers and prepares them for their next steps in independence, further training or employment”.
This was Cardinal Newman College’s first inspection since 2009, at which point the college was also judged ‘outstanding’.
Since the last visit Ofsted has introduced an enhanced inspection framework, meaning inspections place less emphasis on exam results and more on the quality of teaching and curriculum, as well as the skills inspection element which assesses how well it is meeting the needs in the area.
Principal Nick Burnham said: “Cardinal Newman College is proud to have been rated as outstanding by Ofsted once again.
“The outcome of the report is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our wonderful staff, students and the wider Newman community, who always go above and beyond.”