In its first ever Ofsted, Salisbury Sixth Form College has been rated good – to the delight of its chair of governors.
Describing the rating as a ‘remarkable achievement’ Neil Owen praised the team behind the college, (S6C) which opened in 2014.
“The whole team has worked incredibly hard to turn the dream of creating a new sixth form college for Salisbury into reality,” he says.
“This judgement from Ofsted confirms what we already knew, that we have succeeded in creating a sixth form college we can all be proud of.”
In the Ofsted report, which rated all areas as good, inspectors say governors and college leaders have created an ethos of tolerance, respect and high aspirations for learners.
“They have quickly and effectively responded to the need for additional, local sixth form provision for learners who have a wide range of academic achievement at the end of key stage 4,” says the report.
It continues: “College leaders have developed very strong strategic links with schools and stakeholders which they have used well to establish quickly a high-quality option for school leavers.
“A high proportion of learners complete and achieve their qualifications, especially on vocational courses.”
The report also praises the staff saying: “Staff nurture and promote good study habits in their learners; as a result, learners are hardworking, use their time well and improve their confidence. They develop good study skills and the skills they need to progress to further study.”
The report states that: “Learners are well prepared for their next steps into university, apprenticeships or employment.” But, says the College could “Provide more opportunities for learners to develop work-related skills through work experience and greater contact with local employers.” But Principal, Simon Firth says the college is on track to give students more opportunities to develop such skills. “As a new college, we are working hard to grow and develop our links with employers,” he explains. “We are now working to develop enterprise, employability and entrepreneurship into our programmes of study.”
The inspectors also say leaders and managers ‘do not provide sufficient guidance to some teachers on how to improve their teaching’. But Vice Principal Richard Davies points out; “We are doing more and more to share the expertise of our best teachers, who are working with small teams of staff to ensure that no student misses out on meeting their full potential.” The report goes on to say, “Teachers are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. They carefully plan activities that successfully develop learners’ understanding of the subjects they study.”
Final word to Simon Firth who says the Ofsted is an important milestone in the college’s development. “We can move forward with pride and purpose knowing that we’ve created a solid foundation for the future.”