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Staff and students at St Helens College are celebrating after the fantastic results from their recent Ofsted inspection were revealed.

The College received a 'Good' rating, achieved despite a newly introduced inspection framework which includes tougher and more stringent inspection criteria.

During February, three of Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) and eight additional inspectors spent a week at the College's two campuses. They used group and individual interviews, telephone calls and online questionnaires to gather the views of employees and learners. They observed classes, assessments and progress reviews and considered the student's results and the College's success in preparing students for work or further study. The inspectors also evaluated the effectiveness of the College's leadership and management.

The final report, which was published this week, highlighted and praised several aspects of the College including the following:

  • Students gain skills and knowledge rapidly – particularly those that prepare them for work
  • There is a culture of high ambition and achievement
  • We have exemplary standards of behaviour and mutual respect
  • Teaching is good
  • We provide excellent care and support to students
  • Students receive effective advice and guidance enabling them to make rapid progress.
  • Proportion of students gaining qualifications now above average for similar colleges
  • Relative to their prior attainment, students make better progress than would be expected
  • Students benefit from the new college building and the learning environment that it provides
  • The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is good
  • Well motivated teachers and support staff have high expectations for their students and provide exceptional levels of care and support
  • Teachers use their vocational experience and knowledge of industry well to bring the world of work into the classroom
  • Strong links with employers have resulted in most students taking part in highly beneficial work placements.

Dr Jette Burford, Principal, said, "We are extremely pleased with our result. The achievement is an excellent outcome for the College and is the culmination of hard work and determination shown by both students and staff.

"We made a clear commitment to drive up education standards in the Borough and this is just one of the many successes we have seen recently that reinforces the realisation of that ambition. However, we are still striving to move forwards. We have a clear strategy as we progress on our journey to become Outstanding and achieve even better results for our students and stakeholders."

This inspection result follows a recent announcement from the Department for Education that St Helens College topped league tables as the best General Further Education College in Greater Merseyside and one of the best performing General Further Education Colleges in the country.

Read the full Ofsted report here http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/130488