Sussex Coast College Hastings has been graded a ‘good with outstanding features’ in a ringing endorsement from Ofsted, just 793 days after being branded ‘inadequate’.
Following an inspection, which took place in November 2011, the College was deemed ‘inadequate’ by the education watchdog, with a grade 4 rating. A re-inspection in 2013 pointed towards significant improvements in literacy, numeracy, IT and retention, with the College being told they had made a ‘remarkable turnaround.’ This week’s inspection confirmed major and sustained improvements across teaching standards, student success rates and retention.
The Ofsted inspection, allows just three days’ notice before examining college management, finances and learning / teaching, with spontaneous class visits and a thorough review of the College’s systems and processes.
The full report, which was released on March 7th, praised the College for its exceptional change. Some highlights in the report included ‘teaching, learning and assessment are good which reflects the strongly improving success rates over the past few years.’
Ofsted continued to say ‘Outstanding senior leaders and managers have focused relentlessly and successfully on improving the learning experience for all students and apprentices.’
In one of the outstanding areas, Ofsted commented ‘teaching, learning and assessment are outstanding, reflecting the particularly high success rates in 2012/13 and sustained improvement over the previous few years. Attendance, punctuality and behaviour are excellent. Progression to higher education, employment and to further studies at the College is good overall.’
Principal, Clive Cooke said ‘I am delighted. My colleagues have worked incredibly hard to turn around the College, and it is wonderful that it has been formally recognised. It doesn’t stop here though – we are aiming to be outstanding overall next time. Sussex Coast College is well on its way to becoming the outstanding College Hastings and Rother deserves.’
Tony Campbell OBE KSG FRSA, Chairman of the College’s Board of Governors expressed his thanks to all members of the Corporation, the Principal and Senior Leadership Team, the staff, and students, for their tremendous efforts over the past two years. He further stated ‘The College has emerged from a difficult period, with inspirational new facilities, an outstanding leadership team and exceptional teaching staff. Students here now and in the future can expect an inspiring educational experience.’
Amber Rudd MP, said, ‘I am delighted for everyone at Sussex Coast College and have seen first-hand the sterling work being done there. The College has become a fantastic asset for the continued regeneration of the town and a beacon for learning for local residents. This Ofsted report is a testament to the hard work and dedication shown by the Principal, Clive Cooke, and his team.’
Saffron Peterson, a sixth form student, at the College, said ‘I have been studying A Levels at Sussex Coast College for over a year now and love everything about it. The staff are a great support and the facilities are wonderful.’
The student experience was reflected in the report, with Ofsted commenting ‘students are at the heart of the College, typified by the ‘Student First’ approach, and understand that their voice has real value and that their opinions have an impact.’
You can find out more about the college and the courses it has on offer by visiting the site here.