East Sussex sixth form college upgraded to ‘outstanding’

Bexhill College receives top Ofsted marks after first full inspection in 14 years

Bexhill College receives top Ofsted marks after first full inspection in 14 years

A sixth form college in East Sussex that teaches over 2,250 students has been upgraded to ‘outstanding’ following its latest Ofsted inspection.

Bexhill College was awarded grade one marks across all areas apart from its adult learning programme, which was deemed ‘good’.

Inspectors examined Bexhill between January 23 and 26 and found “highly motivated” students and a “consistently high” standard of teaching across the college.

The sixth form college had 2,200 students aged 16 to 19 enrolled at the time of inspection studying level 3 programmes as well as 59 adult students and 16 students in receipt of high-needs funding.

The ‘outstanding’ award is an improvement from its last full inspection in 2010, where it was graded ‘good’. The college since had two short inspections in 2015 and 2019, both of which were grade two.

Principal Karen Hucker said: “To be recognised as ‘outstanding’ is an extremely significant achievement and the result of years of hard work, determination, and dedication from all staff.

“I am absolutely delighted for all the students, staff, and everyone connected with the college.”

During the full inspection, inspectors praised leaders’ use of their “detailed” knowledge of the provision to provide development activities that improved teaching practice, which was shared amongst colleagues.

For example, science teachers shared their knowledge of using online polling software to gauge students’ opinions with colleagues in the English department. 

“As a result, the standard of teaching is consistently high across the college,” the report said.

The quality of education was also found to be “consistently high” after the watchdog found leaders’ quick solutions to issues at the college.

Leaders had recognised that too many students were not completing their programme successfully and executed “sensible actions” to retain more students. 

Hucker added: “This report is recognition of that and is something that not just the college, but the town of Bexhill and the surrounding area can be proud of.”

“We strive to provide the highest standard of education possible in a college that welcomes, encourages, and embraces its students,” she said.

The report also found that the college makes a strong contribution to meeting skills needs through liaising with employers and integrating stakeholders into the curriculum.

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