Ofsted boost for Oaklands College

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

OAKLANDS College has achieved its best-ever Ofsted rating – just five years after it was found to be failing to meet the needs of its students. The St Albans-based college of further education received the second highest attainable national grade of Good

OAKLANDS College has achieved its best-ever Ofsted rating - just five years after it was found to be failing to meet the needs of its students.

The St Albans-based college of further education received the second highest attainable national grade of Good following an inspection by the government inspection service.

It was praised for its exceptional progression since its last inspection in 2005 which followed a damning report the previous year that was highly critical of the college in six of the 14 curriculum areas and found the leadership and management to be unsatisfactory.

But this time the college's processes for assuring quality of teaching were described as "rigorous" and the support provided by teachers as "highly effective". Inspiring leadership, an open management style and effective team working were attributed to the overall success of the college which has two campuses in St Albans.

The college also received acclaim for its strong leadership, campus learning environment, its safeguarding policy, inclusive ethos, celebration of diversity and its robust assessment features.

Students were praised for producing work of a high standard and developing good skills that effectively contributed to their future economic well-being. The extensive enrichment programme provided by the college was noted as offering many students the opportunity to participate in additional activities.

Among the curriculum areas singled out for praise were health and social care, literacy, numeracy and English for Speakers of Other Languages, performing arts and media and construction learner responsive provision.

Mark Dawe, principal and chief executive of the college who took over after the last Ofsted inspection, commented: "Achieving this grade is an important milestone for us and reflects the strength of our teachers and curriculum.

"By working together, being innovative and pursuing excellence, we have achieved a high standard of teaching and learning.

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