A “high performing” further education college has become only the third in the country to retain its overall grading of “good” after a full Ofsted inspection since the assessment criteria was changed.
Bishop Burton College has been praised for its impressive success rates, inspiring resources and facilities and strong links with employers and other partners, which ensure the vast majority of students secure work or a higher level of study at the end of their course.
In rating the College “good” in all aspects, Ofsted highlighted the “positive culture of learning and respect” and “expert and enthusiastic” teachers as key factors in the high number of students who succeed.
Following a four-day ‘full’ inspection of the College, the government department concluded: “The principal and senior managers have energetically and successfully pursued their vision of creating a high performing college. Governors and the senior leadership team have implemented an ambitious plan to provide exceptional facilities for training and research. All staff promote a positive culture of learning and respect that motivates learners to achieve.”
Bishop Burton College, near Hull, is a land-based college specialising in agriculture, animal management, equine and sport. A two-time winner of the British Quality Foundation’s prestigious UK Excellence Award, the College has its own 360-hectare mixed farm, industry-leading animal unit, international Equine Arena and dedicated Centre for Sport and Fitness.
Along with its specialist areas, the College runs a wide range of vocational further education courses in subjects including art and design, business, construction, engineering and tourism. Students can also study the majority of subjects at degree-level.
In reaching its assessment, Ofsted found;
• The great majority of learners and apprentices achieve their qualifications and progress to positive destinations in education and employment.
• Teachers use outstanding resources and carefully prepared activities to enable the large majority of learners and apprentices to gain academic and vocational skills successfully.
• The majority of teachers are expert and enthusiastic in their subjects and lead lively and interesting sessions.
• The great majority of learners behave well, are eager to learn and are respectful of their peers and teachers.
• Teachers provide very high levels of care and support and the arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
It also praised the College for the high expectations it sets students to reach industry standards and prepare them for work, including practical farm duties for agriculture students and participation in regional and national competitions, often at elite level. Students also make a positive contribution to the local community, Ofsted found, including running sports training sessions for local primary school children.
Areas for further improvement identified for the College include the delivery of entry level and GCSE maths and doing additional work to ensure all students are aware of the risks posed by radicalisation and extremism.
However, Bishop Burton is only the third further education college in the country to retain overall ‘good’ status after a full inspection since Ofsted updated its assessment criteria in September 2016 to have a much greater focus on Prevent – the government’s strategy to safeguard people from terrorism. Since then, the majority of colleges have received a lower grading.
“Ofsted found a high achieving college, where students are inspired to reach their full potential and are prepared for long and successful careers in their chosen area.
“Our students benefit from expert teaching, outstanding resources and excellent employer links, which help them secure work at the end of their studies. They feel safe and supported and learn the importance of strong values here at Bishop Burton.”
The College was also recently shortlisted in the ‘Further Education College of the Year’ category in the annual Times Education Supplement (TES) Further Education Awards.
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