15 August 2017

Staff and students at Ashton Sixth Form College have been celebrating after being rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. The inspection, which took place in March 2016, found that the college has maintained its high standards since it was last rated as ‘Good’ in 2011.

In the summary of key findings, the inspectors commented that “governors, leaders and staff have high expectations and ambitions for learners and successfully raise learners’ aspirations. Learners experience a strongly inclusive ethos in the college which recognises and celebrates the achievement of all”.

Good teaching and learning, teachers’ subject expertise and experience, exceptional pastoral and additional learning support and effective careers guidance all helped the college to make the grade.

“Good teaching, learning and assessment exist across the college” inspectors commented. “Teachers have high expectations of their learners and use their expertise and experience skilfully and create innovative and exciting activities to inspire learners”.

The report also recognised the great majority of learners who “progress successfully to higher education, employment or an apprenticeship”. Inspectors commented that “careers guidance is particularly effective in enabling learners to make fully informed decisions about their next steps”. Students coming to the college receive “comprehensive and helpful” information, advice and guidance to ensure a “smooth transition from school to college and “individual needs and career aspirations are met”.

Support for students is heavily praised in the report “Learners benefit from exceptionally good pastoral and individual support and Additional Learning Support. There is quick identification of those who need extra help, with a range of highly effective support on-hand, all of which is valued highly by learners”.

The college takes very seriously safeguarding arrangements and learners say they “feel very safe in college”.  Inspectors found that the college was “very effective in ensuring all learners are safe from all risks including those of radicalisation and extremism”. Learners are in the hands of “highly trained staff who deal swiftly and decisively with issues. Recording and evaluation of incidents are exemplary; there has been proactive implementation of the ‘Prevent duty’ and exceptional training of governors, staff and learners”.

This inspection confirms Ashton Sixth Form College’s position as the best provider of post 16 education in the borough, being the only provider to achieve an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’. It was noted in the report that “most of the students at Ashton Sixth Form College achieve well and a high proportion exceed their target grades.

Principal Dr Janet Nevin said:  “I am delighted with the outcomes of this inspection which is a reflection of our fantastic teachers, governors, managers, support staff, and hard-working students. It is particularly encouraging to have achieved such a complimentary report at a time when Ofsted have set a very high performance bar for colleges. This report is a testament to the hard work of everybody who works and learns at this college”.

The Ofsted report for Ashton Sixth Form College is published here on the Ofsted website.


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