It's all good at Middlesbrough College . . . and some of its outstanding! A new Ofsted report sees the college shoot up the rankings into the top 25 per cent in the country.
Inspectors who visited the college earlier this year praised the college’s pass rates, retention of students and attendance – and singled out its partnership working as ‘outstanding’.
The report also recognises the college’s commitment to enterprise activities and says that its ‘good use of enrichment broadens students’ understanding, develops employability skills and enhances their health and well-being.’
Achieving an overall grade two or ‘good’ the results are excellent news for the college – and show a marked improvement since the last inspection in 2008 when it was judged grade three or ‘satisfactory’.
It has stepped up a grade in the outcomes for learners, quality of provision and leadership and management categories as well as in several subject areas.
Several key areas were mentioned as having outstanding features, including the provision of additional learning support, hair and beauty, leisure, travel and tourism and health and care.
This is the first Ofsted under the leadership of new Principal Mike Hopkins who was said to have ‘built on existing good practice and re-energised the college and its vision for the future’.
Delighted by the results, Mike said: “This inspection report, conducted under rigorous conditions by Ofsted, demonstrates that the college offers a consistently high quality of service to its students, employers and communities.
“Combined with high quality, the report also shows that we are a caring college putting the needs and interests of our students first. We are big enough to deliver and small enough to care.
“The college has been recognised as officially 'outstanding' in the way that it works in partnership with employers, schools, the local authority, Teesside University and many others.
"We are determined to be a key driver of a buoyant and sustainable economy in the region, as well as helping people become socially mobile and partnership is the cornerstone of our approach.
“All this is a fantastic tribute to the hard work, skill and dedication of our governing body, our staff, our students and our partners.
“It really is a humbling privilege to lead this community that is Middlesbrough College and I look forward to leading it to even greater achievements.”
The report says: “The college provides an inclusive, supportive environment that welcomes and encourages students to become involved in a wide range of activities while completing their studies.
“The college takes good account of students’ individual and additional learning needs. Very good focused support is provided early in students’ programmes.
“Students exhibit good health and safety practices, grow in confidence, develop good personal and employability skills and make positive contributions to the local community.
“Partnership work is outstanding across a broad range of partners such as schools, HE, employers, community groups and the local authority.”
However Middlesbrough College will not be resting on its laurels, Mike said: “We will be looking at the few areas where improvements have been suggested and working towards getting an even better grade at the next inspection.”