Ofsted inspectors have praised Middlesbrough College for its positive culture, high grades, employment outcomes and strong curriculum that meets the needs of Teesside, in a report rating the college Good.
Inspectors also highlighted well-qualified staff with industrial experience who deliver courses to “highly motivated” and enthusiastic students with positive attitudes, in well-equipped learning environments.
The report, published today, emphasises Middlesbrough College’s culture and environment, describing it as caring and supportive, welcoming and harmonious, and with an ethos of raising aspirations.
And student behaviour received strong praise with inspectors noting that learners were “eager to learn”, well behaved and felt safe in college, valuing the support they received.
It was also noted that students benefit from a wide range of enrichment activities in the college and compete successfully in regional and national skills competitions.
“Inspectors visited the college during induction week when many learners were just starting their programmes; learners were enthusiastic and eager to start their courses because of teachers’ innovative use of induction activities.”
Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “This inspection recognises the hard work and dedication of all of the staff across the college and we are particularly pleased that it recognises the positive culture of respect and tolerance, and of course our excellent teaching, high grades and employment outcomes.
“The quality of our teachers has also been highlighted and it is pleasing to see that inspectors noted that under their guidance our learners quickly develop industry-standard skills, and knowledge they can apply with confidence.
“The report draws out the fact that a high proportion of learners on Level 3 vocational courses make good progress from their starting points and achieve high grades. This represents the vast majority of students at Middlesbrough College and is one of the reasons that our employment outcomes are so high when students leave us.
In the latest Department for Education published statistics, Middlesbrough College was the highest performing Tees Valley college; and with 97% of our students securing employment, an apprenticeship or moving on to University we are proud to playing an active part in supporting our local economy and our communities.
The College received a GOOD overall rating with Good ratings also being achieved in eight of the nine categories underpinning the overall grade – including provision for school leavers, adults, high needs students, teaching and learning, outcomes for learners and leadership and management. This means 11,000 of our students are studying in GOOD provision.
However, inspectors said the College’s apprenticeship provision requires improvement.
Responding to the assessment of Middlesbrough College’s apprenticeships provision, Zoe Lewis said: “Middlesbrough college remains in the top 30% of apprenticeship providers across the country and Ofsted has acknowledged the experienced and knowledgeable tutors we have at Middlesbrough College, and points to the success of our apprentices in developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours that meet the needs of their employers and most importantly the fact that almost all apprentices remain in employment following their apprenticeship.
“The report also highlights the effective relationships our staff build with employers, and their flexibility in creating programmes that meet business needs.
“However, we agree with Ofsted that nationally too few apprenticeships complete their programme due often, to reasons associated with their employment.
“We are therefore committed to working with our employers to ensure our apprentices have the best possible chance of success of completing their programme in a timely manner and are committed to continually improving all of our provision including our apprenticeship provision.
“As one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the North East of England we are confident that our reputation with employers remains strong and we are well placed to provide first class apprenticeship training over the coming years.
“We’re also proud that our teaching staff were rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework Awards – a rigorous review of higher education standards that rates the College as the best general further education college in the Tees Valley and among the best in the UK for quality teaching and employment outcomes.”