NEW College Pontefract celebrates Ofsted Outstanding

NEW College was inspected in April and the report has now been published.

The 13-strong team of Her Majesty’s Inspectors spent a week in the college carrying out a full inspection. They judged the college to be Grade 1, Outstanding, in every area.

The full report can be found here but the summary grades are as follows:
Outcomes for learners – Outstanding – 1
The quality of teaching, learning and assessment – Outstanding – 1
The effectiveness of leadership and management – Outstanding – 1

NEW College is the first sixth form college locally and nationally to be judged outstanding in every area inspected. The latest inspection framework is extremely robust and the bar to outstanding is particularly high.

The inspectors noted the college’s many strengths and these include:
• …substantially above the recent average for sixth-form colleges…
• Attendance and time-keeping are excellent.
• Students work hard, show mature attitudes to study and achieve very high standards.
• The high success rates and attainment of the students at NEW College not only reflect the hard work that teachers and students put in, but also considerably add to the social cohesion and economic prosperity of this area of West Yorkshire
• …90% of those who completed their studies progressed to higher education, further training or employment. A large number go on to prestigious universities
• All staff are fully committed to ensuring that the standard of provision remains at the highest level across all areas of the college.
• The Principal and senior managers, with the full support of staff, have created a positive and supportive learning culture with a strong focus on motivating and inspiring students to succeed.
• Teachers in all subject areas use a wide range of interesting learning activities supported by high-quality resources that engage, motivate and challenge students. Teachers plan learning carefully to ensure that activities meet the individual needs of students.
• Personal tutors provide very effective support to all students including those aspiring to achieve the highest grades and those at risk of falling behind.
• Students participate fully in a wide range of activities that enrich their learning and enhance their confidence and skills, including sporting activities.
• Staff provide comprehensive advice and guidance that enables students to choose study pathways that meet their needs and aspirations.
• The Principal, senior managers and governors have developed, and successfully communicated, a comprehensive and ambitious strategic vision and direction for the college. Strategic management and planning are highly effective and have resulted in very successful outcomes for students.
• Highly responsive partnership work with schools, the local authority and higher-education institutions has a very positive impact on people of all age groups in the local community. Managers work innovatively with partners to share best practice to improve the quality of teaching and learning across organisations.

Principal Pauline Hagen said
“I am very proud of our students, our staff and Governors and of course our parents and partners who have been very much a part of our journey to Outstanding. Every member of the NEW College team has worked extremely hard over the last three years and Ofsted have recognised the culture of hard work and success which is a defining feature of our college.”

The Chair of Governors, John Gough echoed this and affirmed the college’s commitment to “sustaining and further strengthening our exceptional performance”.