Ofsted has commended the new leadership team at a London college as it moves up to be rated ‘good’ while the grades of other providers fell.

Richmond-upon-Thames College climbed from grade three to grade two in a report published on November 17 which congratulated the new principal, senior management team and governors for their success in “rapidly” improving student outcomes.

The report said staff had “carefully redesigned” the curriculum to suit the needs of the community, and “share a determination to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, which is now good”.

The college, which offers both academic and vocational courses, was inspected on October 10 and inspectors found students were well-behaved with “high aspirations”, and that “experienced staff” were developing the confidence and independence of high needs learners “very well”.

However, other colleges faced difficulties this week.

Bradford College fell from a grade two to a grade three when Ofsted published its report on November 14, and was hit with a financial health notice to improve from the Education and Skills Funding Agency the next day.

The college later confirmed its group chief executive, Andy Welsh, would be standing down at the end of this academic year.

And Redcar and Cleveland College faced an ‘inadequate’ rating on November 16, after receiving grade threes across the board at inspections in February 2013, July 2014 and November 2015, and a notice of concern for financial health from the ESFA in March 2015.

The same day, the college announced plans to merge with grade two rated Stockton Riverside College.

Elsewhere in the sector, Stoke-on-Trent Unitary Authority maintained its grade three rating on November 15 after being marked as ‘requires improvement’ in every category apart from apprenticeship provision, which was ‘good’, and a monitoring visit to grade four rated Gateway Sixth Form College in Leicester found it was making “reasonable progress” to improve.

Seven providers maintained their grade two ratings in short inspections: East Surrey College, Hereford College of Arts, South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Hair and Beauty Industry Training in Durham and the borough councils of Luton, Havering and Lewisham.

GFE CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Redcar and Cleveland College10/10/201716/11/201743
Bradford College10/10/201714/11/201732
Richmond-upon-Thames College10/10/201817/11/201723


Adult and Community LearningInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Stoke on Trent Unitary Authority17/10/201715/11/201733


Sixth Form CollegesInspectedPublishedGradePrevious grade
Gateway Sixth Form College09/10/201715/11/2017Monitoring


Short inspectionsInspectedPublished
East Surrey College11/10/201714/11/2017
Hereford College of Arts11/10/201713/11/2017
Hair and Beauty Industry Training Limited25/10/201715/11/2017
Havering London Borough Council11/10/201716/11/2017
South Gloucestershire and Stroud College17/10/201717/11/2017
Lewisham London Borough Council11/10/201717/11/2017
Luton Borough Council27/09/201713/11/2017

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