Ofsted recognises more improvements at Telford College

Education watchdog Ofsted has recognised further improvements in teaching standards and practices at Telford College.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College
Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College

Inspectors spent two days at the Haybridge campus for its latest monitoring visit in January, evaluating the college’s performance in three specific areas.

They reported ‘significant’ progress in English and maths teaching across all course areas, as well as progress in ensuring that the curriculum tackles skills gaps in the local economy, and meets the needs of local employers.

Telford College’s governors were also judged to have made progress in supporting the senior leadership team to ensure learners receive ‘high quality education and training’, while apprenticeship achievement was said to have improved ‘rapidly’.

The report said: “Leaders and managers have significantly improved the teaching of English and mathematics across the curriculum areas.

“As a result, achievement of GCSE and functional skills qualifications in these subjects have increased consistently over the last three years, and are high.

“Teachers have thoughtfully developed projects which have motivated and enthused students to learn new skills and knowledge.”

The report also praised the way in which governors and senior leaders have managed the merger of Telford College of Arts and Technology, and New College Telford.

“In a climate of uncertainty and change, they have managed the merger process effectively, creating a warm and harmonious environment for both staff and students,” it said.

Ofsted recognised the pivotal role played by Telford College’s governors in supporting the new curriculum, creating partnerships with national companies in fields such as heavy engineering, manufacturing, and aerospace.

“They have devised a range of courses matched closely to employers’ needs. Consequently, students have relevant job opportunities in emerging career pathways, regionally and nationally.”

The report added: “Senior leaders have developed very effective strategic links with local and regional business groups, working with Telford Business Board (TBB), the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), and local schools.”

Paul Hinkins, who chairs the college governors, added: “The college is committed to being fully-engaged with schools, parents, communities, businesses, students and stakeholders, and has adopted a collaborative approach.

“We have the right skill set on our board to meet the ever-changing demands being placed on the FE sector, which includes an all-important commercial-facing approach.

“I was delighted to see Ofsted acknowledge what it describes as our ‘innovative’ virtual and augmented reality suite, which is pioneering new learning technologies in addition to strengthening traditional career pathways, and will be of great benefit not just to our own students, but the wider Shropshire business community.”

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College, added: “We’re delighted that Ofsted inspectors have recognised the progress we have made at the newly merged campus in a short space of time.

“We have invested a great deal of effort in ensuring that students have access to work-relevant education and training. I’d like to say a big thanks to our team, who have embraced the challenge for colleges such as ours to evolve, and continually improve.”

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