A South Cumbria college has been graded as "good" overall with "outstanding" features.
Kendal College has been awarded an overall "good" performance rating in its first Ofsted inspection under the governing body’s rigorous new criteria.
Seven inspectors spent four days at the College last month and the college was rated "good" in most categories but was notably "outstanding" in its provision of personal development, behaviour and welfare. The "outstanding" grade acknowledged that students are "motivated to learn," possess "excellent employability skills," and are safe and feel safe at college.
Ofsted said learners "develop practical skills very well" and demonstrate "very high standards of expertise". Standards of behaviour shown by learners and apprentices within the college are "outstanding".
Graham Wilkinson, principal at Kendal College, said: “We’ve achieved a really strong score and I am proud of the high standards our staff and students perform to all year round – not just during an Ofsted inspection.
“This is definitely reflected in the numbers of students increasing year on year with many now choosing to combine their courses with one or more A-Levels, opening up more options in terms of progressing onto their first choice of university or into the workplace.”
He added: “We’re really pleased that the inspectors specifically highlighted our commitment to providing a safe and all-inclusive learning environment and accepting that our students have an excellent understanding of how to keep themselves safe.
“It was also clear that our students are immensely satisfied with the quality of learning they receive at Kendal College.”
The report says learners and apprentices "benefit from well-resourced and industry-standard facilities" that provide them with "good professional working environments, " and teachers and assessors provide "excellent information, advice and guidance for learners and apprentices" preparing them "extremely well for their next steps".
Ofsted judged apprenticeships as "requires improvement" but the report says leaders have recognised the need for improvement. They have made recent changes to the provision is beginning to have a "positive effect."
Apprentices told the inspectors they "enjoy their learning and feel they are on the right programme to meet their career aspirations." The report says they benefit from good initial advice and guidance and "receive appropriate advice about their next steps".
The report also highlighted the impact that Kendal College has on the local community and the value that dedicated teaching programmes bring to employers across the region. Inspectors said: “Managers establish highly effective and productive relationships with large and small employers and develop programmes which up-skill the local community and provide the workforce for priority areas of employment.”
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