Scarborough TEC is celebrating as the only college in Scarborough region to be awarded the top grade of Outstanding by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted).
The award of grade 1 by Ofsted is the highest it can award and is significant as Scarborough TEC, part of the TEC Partnership and formerly known as Yorkshire Coast College, is the only college in Scarborough to be awarded the Outstanding grade and is only the second college in this academic year to achieve this grade across all English further education colleges inspected.
The new, more stringent, Ofsted Common Inspection Framework launched in September 2015 and since that time only two other general further education college has achieved the Outstanding grade which makes the achievement of Scarborough TEC even more remarkable.
Scarborough TEC now tops the table of the 22 colleges that have been noted for improving the overall effectiveness of their provision.
During the comprehensive inspection Ofsted’s inspectors observed outstanding teaching and learning practices and talked to learners, staff, employers and the community about their experiences. The report highlights:
- The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding
- A culture of high expectations in both staff and students have led to significant improvements
- The vast majority of students make excellent progress from their individual starting point
- Standards of students’ work are high. Students demonstrate a very good awareness of the technical knowledge required for their course
- The appointment of Ann Hardy as Principal has created a clear focus in Scarborough
- High meeds provision is outstanding and learners make significant progress and achieve at least as well as their peers
- Governance, leadership and management are highly effective
- The development of partnerships and collaborative relationships is outstanding
- Students of all ages receive highly effective support, advice and guidance
The inspection highlights the significant progress Scarborough TEC is making in delivering a strong further education provision in the area and celebrates the achievements of its students. The report highlights how learners who enrol with the Group make significant progress and how teaching and learning is above the national benchmark.
Ofsted’s inspection framework reviews nine areas and the Group was graded Outstanding in eight out of the nine areas with one area receiving a well-respected Good grade. The nine areas inspected, with their grades, were:
Graded Outstanding for the effectiveness of leadership and management, Ofsted’s report shows Scarborough TEC sets high expectations and has a strong vision for high quality provision, and ensures highly effective staff development which leads to outstanding teaching, learning and assessment. The improvement in quality of provision at Scarborough TEC over the last year was noted and the college is also recognised for its outstanding development of partnerships and highly effective use of labour market research to create a very effective curriculum.
The grade of Outstanding for the quality of teaching, learning and assessment affirms how the college ensures its students make excellent progress, often from a very low starting point and that standards of students’ work are high. Ofsted notes that students demonstrate a very good awareness of the technical knowledge required for their course and that all learners receive highly effective support.
Personal development, behaviour and welfare of learners is a strong and positive culture and in receiving its Outstanding grade Ofsted confirmed Scarborough TEC’s students’ personal development is excellent. Ofsted reported on how students enjoy and value their learning and are highly motivated. They acquire an extremely positive attitude to learning, take pride in their work and talk enthusiastically about the benefits they have gained since enrolling at the college and are well prepared for employment.
Graded Outstanding for the college’s 16-19 study programmes, Ofsted reported that students’ satisfaction with their courses is extremely high. Ofsted also recognised how the college’s study programmes are improving learners and they noted learners’ positive attitudes, confidence and excellent levels of knowledge and skills relevant to their future goals.
Adult learning programmes were graded Outstanding, with adult learners making very good and sustained progress whilst at the Institute. Ofsted saw that adult learners maintain a high level of interest in learning, and know that staff will give them excellent support to be successful
Provision for students with high needs was also graded Outstanding. Scarborough TEC sets high expectations and manage this provision well so that students with high needs in mainstream programmes make substantial progress from their starting points and achieve at least as well as their peers.
Apprenticeship provision was graded as Good and Ofsted recognised the significant improvements Scarborough TEC and its learners have made over the last three year period with overall achievement and completion rates. Ofsted commented on how Apprentices
recognise and appreciate the skills and knowledge that teachers, instructors and assessors have because of their current industrial and technical knowledge and skills.
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment ensures exceptional outcomes for learners, Ann Hardy, Principal of Scarborough TEC, whose appointment was praised in the report, said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled with our Outstanding result, which is a testament to all of the hard work that our staff and students have demonstrated in transforming Scarborough TEC into a leading provider in the Scarborough region.
“The Outstanding grade is the perfect grounding for our new start as we move into our new campus on Filey Road in September and I am ecstatic that we are able to share this fantastic news at such a crucial time in Scarborough TEC’s history.”
Students met with Ofsted throughout the inspection and Sarah Robson, 18, who is training for a Level 2 Professional Chef qualification at Scarborough TEC., said:
“I think the Scarborough TEC really deserves this grade. I enjoy being a student here because the college has a relaxed, community atmosphere. We all have a great relationship with our tutors, they treat us all like individuals and will take their personal time to help and encourage us.
“At the beginning of my course I didn’t feel I was achieving as well as I could but I was supported by the tutors and other staff; they helped me to enjoy the course more and get as much from it as I could.
“I’m coming back in September for Level 3 and I’ve found out more about the progression opportunities through college from the staff and I’ve been working with the current Level 3 students. This has really helped me by giving me a taste for next year and I now know what to expect in September.”
Scarborough TEC was also praised for its work with partners and its collaborative relationships, these strong partnerships and relationships enable the Institute to provide relevant and high-quality education and training opportunities. Stephen Burlinson, General Manager for Hare Structural Engineers in Scarborough, commented:
“We have worked well with the college by way of constantly reviewing the feedback from the students and the college adapting and selecting course work units to suit our business and more importantly the students need. We have regular update meetings to enhance and improve student reviews and planning for the future.
“Local colleges, such as Scarborough TEC, require the support of our businesses to train the future of our industries and ensure a good flow of trades for the future. We have seen a decline in apprentices over the last 20 years throughout all trades and we for one are doing all we can to improve that.
“We have worked well with College and the students over the last few years developing a strong relationship that I believe has not only improved the students but also aided in improving the college and being part of that journey has been a good experience and we look forward to developing it further in future years.”
Scarborough TEC is part of the TEC Partnership, its Chief Executive, Gill Alton said:
“I am delighted with this recognition for our staff, learners and the community. Achieving outstanding status is not easy, and highlights what a fantastic college Scarborough TEC is. We set a vision across the TEC Partnership to become an Ofsted Outstanding college and I have immense pride for my colleagues who have all helped us to achieve the top grade Ofsted can bestow on a college.
“Ofsted’s report makes excellent reading and future learners can be assured that what Ofsted saw in their inspection is our everyday life, that is, learners at Scarborough TEC can be outstanding.
“The report also shows the work that we have done in the community and with local employers to build a future-focused curriculum and I’m very pleased that this has been recognised.”