Eastleigh College has been awarded the highest inspection grade possible by Ofsted.

Inspectors said the college was “outstanding” in its quality of provision, outcomes for learners and ability to improve further.

It follows a grade two inspection result published in 2007.

Tony Lau-Walker, chief executive of the college said it was a “fantastic achievement” and represented the commitment and effort of staff across the college.

“We are very proud to be recognised for the work undertaken to support and inspire our 22,000 learners and 1,400 employers each year to achieve their potential,” he said.

“We will continue to develop the quality of service we provide to ensure we meet the needs of region both now and in future years.”

The inspection report highlighted the quality of teaching and assessment at the college, which it said was good “with examples of outstanding practice.”

“Teachers plan lessons well, with varied activities which help learners make good progress,” the report said.

“Learners value their teachers’ extensive vocational knowledge and expertise, which develop their understanding of current industrial and commercial practice.”

The report also praised the success rates of the college, which were “well above average” for longer courses and work-based learning provision in 2010/11.

Meanwhile West Nottinghamshire College, which was inspected in June, has fallen from a grade one to a grade two.

Inspectors said the college was ‘good’ with ‘many positive features’, but needed to improve aspects of its teaching and learning.

Asha Khemka OBE, principal and chief executive of the college, said: “For a college that prides itself on being outstanding, ‘good’ isn’t good enough for us.”

The report, published earlier this week, highlighted some areas of outstanding provision, including the achievements of learners on specialist short programmes or those with a specific learning need.

It also said the college was outstanding at improving the life chances of young learners who had “previously been disaffected from education”.

Mrs Khemka added: “We are pleased that inspectors highlighted many strengths and examples of outstanding practice.

“The challenge is to build on these strengths and make the improvements necessary to regain our outstanding status.”

Stoke on Trent College, which was also inspected in June, has fallen from a grade two to a grade three.

Inspectors said the proportion of learners successfully completing their course had “declined significantly” since its last inspection.

It later said the leadership and management of the college was “satisfactory”, with success rates varying depending on the type of learner and course.

“The college is successfully implementing a recovery plan, following a period of declining success rates and financial issues,” the report said.

“It is too early to see the impact of measures to improve success rates, but retention is higher in the current year and inspectors found improvements in a number of curriculum areas.

“Performance management has improved and the college has a clear strategy for the future, which is well supported by staff.”

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  1. Jason Wheels

    That’s a pretty shocking report for West Nottinghamshire College which has one of the highest paid Principals in the land!

    Of serious concern is their grade 3 ‘Satisfactory’ result for their Literacy/numeracy provision – this from a college that purports to be the best supplier of software (Bksb) to address the Functional Skills curriculum area – Do they actually use their own tools?