Essex sixth form college celebrates Ofsted upgrade to ‘outstanding’

Principal describes the feat as a 'ringing endorsement' of 'high quality work'

Principal describes the feat as a 'ringing endorsement' of 'high quality work'

14 May 2024, 10:19

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A sixth form college in Essex is celebrating top marks from Ofsted – in a report that its principal describes as a “ringing endorsement” of “high quality work”.

The Sixth Form College Colchester was today awarded ‘outstanding’ grades across the board following an inspection in March.

More than 3,100 young people aged 16 to 19 study at the college and benefit from “high-quality teaching by subject specialists” in “calm and highly focused learning environments that support and enable students to learn very effectively”, according to Ofsted.

Inspectors found that nearly all students pass their qualifications, often with A* grades.

This is achieved in part by college bosses who “identify good teaching practices and share them successfully”, ensuring that “teachers are confident to try different approaches making teaching relevant and interesting”.

Inspectors also found that staff have “high aspirations for what students will achieve and where they will move on to when they leave college”, ensuring that “students are very effectively equipped to make successful decisions to identify appropriate career choices and pathways”.

Students also “consider the views and beliefs of others and treat each other with dignity and respect”, the report found, adding that their behaviour is “exemplary” and “quickly become empowered to take ownership of their futures and their place in society as active citizens”.

The Sixth Form College Colchester’s most recent previous Ofsted result was a ‘good’, achieved in 2018.

Since then, leaders have been “successful in further raising the quality of education”, the latest report said, adding: “They have diligently focused on all aspects of provision to rectify any weaknesses identified through their effective quality assurance processes.”

Principal Ian MacNaughton said: “This ‘outstanding’ judgement is a ringing endorsement to the ongoing high quality of the work here at The Sixth Form College.  

“We have all worked hard to sustain a very positive and inclusive ethos for many years and this has enormously contributed to the impressive success of our students.

“I must, of course, take the opportunity to thank our fantastic team of staff: we have, for many years, benefitted so much from a team of committed professionals, very skilled at working with students this age.”

The feat makes Colchester the 17th sixth form college, out of 43, to currently hold a grade one Ofsted result.

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