London SEND college awarded top Ofsted marks

Great Oaks College branded as ‘very inclusive’ with staff that ‘go above and beyond’ their duties

Great Oaks College branded as ‘very inclusive’ with staff that ‘go above and beyond’ their duties

ofsted

A London-based specialist college delivering vocational courses for high needs adults has been praised for its “highly inclusive and supportive” education in an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report.

The watchdog undertook its first full inspection of Great Oaks College in the London borough of Hounslow in April and awarded the college ‘outstanding’ across the board.

The college had 98 learners aged 19 to 25 at the time of the inspection, all of whom have high needs or education health and care plans (EHCPs), and had learners with moderate, severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties (PMLD), including some with autism spectrum disorder.

The relatively new college had shown positive signs from an early monitoring visit in 2021, which found it was making ‘significant progress’ after opening in 2018. The college is co-located on the same site as Oaklands School.

Inspectors said staff and learners have “very high levels of respect for each other”, and that staff understand learners’ needs “extremely well” and have a “clear and very effective vision” for learners to live as independently as they can.

The report found the majority of learners achieve their learning goals and continue onto positive destinations after college, such as supported living and employment.

It said that teachers “thoroughly” prepare learners for post-college life through careers support and interview skills training for those on a vocational pathway.

It also found that staff are highly trained to identify safeguarding concerns through frequent training.

“College staff go above and beyond their statutory legal duties to help learners,” inspectors said, regarding safeguarding.

The college additionally taught students “sensitively and appropriately” about sexual identity and sexuality and how learners can keep themselves safe in college, at work and in the community surrounding online safety and consent.

Elsewhere, Ofsted said teachers were given an extensive training and development programme including SEND-related topics such as how to support learners who have Autism, moving and handling learners and behaviour management.

College Principal Nickyie Thomas told FE Week that everyone is “thrilled” to receive the rating and the achievement was a testament to the college’s commitment to excellence.

“The inspectors acknowledged and praised the hard work and dedication of our staff, who provide a stimulating and engaging educational experience for our students,” she said.

She also praised staff for their “tenacious enthusiasm” and “consistently excellent” teaching.

“The teachers, therapists, medical team, and support staff work collaboratively to provide bespoke learning packages,” she added. “Their work enables students to develop their independence, communication and to ensure that they are fully prepared for their next destination, as they take their place within the community.”

Thomas also said she was “immensely proud” of the students. “They have shown they are resilient, positive, and ready to challenge barriers and misconceptions.”

“I am proud to be the Principal of Great Oaks College and will continue to strive to develop our outstanding practice alongside a highly skilled team and our inspirational students.”

Latest education roles from

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Tutorial Learning Mentor

Barnsley College

Casual Teacher – Hospitality

Casual Teacher – Hospitality

Gateshead College

Casual Teacher – ESOL

Casual Teacher – ESOL

Gateshead College

Executive Director of Learner Services

Executive Director of Learner Services

Hull College

Casual Teacher – Early Years

Casual Teacher – Early Years

Gateshead College

Apprentice Development Leader

Apprentice Development Leader

GP Strategies

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, colleges and schools can be confident that learners...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

A new chapter in education protection!

Gallagher is a specialist in the Further Education sector, working with over 75% of Further Education colleges in the...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Ofsted

BCTG bounces back from damning Ofsted judgment 

Birmingham provider aims to 'rise from the ashes' with more contracts following 'dark period'

Billy Camden
Colleges, Ofsted

Second ‘outstanding’ for Cheshire college

Inspectors said teachers and leaders were “passionate” about providing life-changing opportunities for young people and adults

Josh Mellor
Ofsted, SEND

Specialist arts college strikes the right chord with Ofsted ‘outstanding’

Inspectors said the college empowers young adults with special needs to progress into the world of work

Josh Mellor
Ofsted

Big Listen: Ofsted must enforce ‘humane accountability’, say leaders

The way Ofsted delivers its judgements remains a key concern for the sector

Josh Mellor

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *