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Middlesbrough College gets Ofsted seal of approval with glowing report

02 Apr 2024
Staff at Middlesbrough College celebrate OFSTED result

Education standards watchdogs have given Middlesbrough College their seal of approval with a glowing report on the quality of the learning, skills and training it provides.

Inspectors from Ofsted rated the College as ‘Outstanding’ – the highest grade possible – in six out of eight areas of inspection with the other two areas rated ‘Good’.

Ofsted particularly praised the strength of Middlesbrough College’s skills provision, the personal development achieved by students and their behaviour and attitudes and the leadership and management of the College.

Inspectors also rated Middlesbrough College’s apprenticeships, adult learning programmes and provisions for learners with high educational needs as outstanding.

Giving the College an overall rating of ‘Good’, Ofsted said that: “Learners and apprentices benefit from highly welcoming, inclusive and supportive learning and training environments.

“Leaders are ambitious in their intent to provide education and training opportunities that respond to the skills needs of local, regional and national employers.

“The college makes a strong contribution to meeting skills needs.”

Zoe Lewis, principal at Middlesbrough College, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive such an excellent report from Ofsted.

“The students and staff here put so much time and effort into what they do so it is extremely pleasing to see that all of their hard work and the excellent results it produces have been recognised by the inspectors.

“This report reflects so well, not just on our learners, apprentices and educators, but also on the many fantastic partners which we have in the area, from the brilliant employers and companies who we work with to the community groups and families who support us.

“Success in any walk of life is always a team effort and we could not have done this without you.

“Despite the achievements and progress outlined in this report, we remain focused on always striving for more for our students so that they can achieve their aspirations, whatever they may be.”

Ofsted inspectors visited Middlesbrough College from February 6 to 9, taking in all areas of the college’s work from A-level tuition through apprenticeships to adult learning programmes.

They noted how: “Learners and apprentices are supported very well to develop their confidence, sense of identity and character.

“Learners and apprentices develop a sense of citizenship and community pride by participating in social action projects… [they] are rightly proud of the valuable contribution they make to the wider community.”

Inspectors were particularly impressed with students’ attitudes and behaviour, noting that “learners and apprentices enjoy their time at the college which they demonstrate through very high attendance” and that students “behave very well in college social and communal areas”.

Praising Middlesbrough College’s “vibrant learning environments that are very well resourced”, Ofsted said that such provision made a big difference to student outcomes: “Learners and apprentices are exposed to the world of work and are well prepared to progress into employment.”

Inspectors were also quick to praise the College’s partnerships with local employers.

The report said: “Leaders and managers engage very effectively with key stakeholders to understand the skills needs of the local, regional and national economy and plan their curriculum accordingly.

“Leaders and managers collaborate closely with employers and key stakeholders to ensure that the curriculum is ambitious and current… [they] ensure that teaching staff maintain their strong industry backgrounds.”

As a result, inspectors said that: “Younger learners benefit from high quality work experience. They make good use of the opportunities to develop the professional behaviours and attitudes needed to progress in their chosen subjects and gain valuable job-related skills.”

College leaders were also praised for caring for staff and being “very considerate of their workloads and well-being” while the College’s governors were highly rated for their “wealth of expertise” and for being “relentless in their pursuit of excellence”.

The glowing report comes as the College continues its development, with the new £12m TTE Technical training and education centre due to open in September and almost £7m worth of funding recently secured for new facilities for adult education, health and care students and the development of ‘green’ skills.

Read the full OFSTED report here.

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