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Cambridge Regional College celebrates ‘good’ Ofsted inspection

Cambridge Regional College has been praised for its work to meet the region’s skills needs in its latest Ofsted inspection.

Cambridge Regional College staff celebrate 'good' Ofsted
Cambridge Regional College staff celebrate 'good' Ofsted

The college was graded ‘good’ in all eight areas assessed and was also awarded the highest outcome of ‘strong’ in meeting skills needs in the region under the new, enhanced inspection criteria.

At its previous inspection, the college, which has 2,689 students on education programmes for young people and 2,703 adult learners, was graded ‘requires improvement’.

Mark Robertson, CEO and Principal of Cambridge Regional College, said: “To receive the external recognition of the efforts and care we put into providing high quality education and meeting the needs of our community is great to see. To hear feedback that we are seen as the ‘provider of choice’ by our region’s employers is a fantastic accolade and one that we are highly committed to.

“The fact that our students and apprentices feel safe, love learning and importantly feel well equipped with the right skills and qualifications to enter the world of work with confidence is music to our ears.

“Further education changes lives and the successes of our students and the dedication of our staff and governors inspires me, and I would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who is involved in delivering this high-quality education including our learners, staff, governors and the employers, partners and stakeholders we work with.”

Both the college’s campuses in Cambridge and Huntingdon were examined by a group of 13 inspectors.

The eight inspection areas were the quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, education programmes for young people, adult learning programmes, apprenticeships and provision for learners with high needs.

Highlights of the report included feedback from learners saying that they value their time at college and the friendships they are forging.

Learners felt that they receive high quality support and are set demanding work – but they appreciate the challenge, describing their lessons as “interesting” and “thought-provoking”. Students and apprentices said they felt they gained confidence and resilience during their time at college, with employers and stakeholders expressing high levels of confidence in the subject content being taught and said they used CRC as “a provider of choice”.

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority said it valued its relationship with the college to develop a curriculum which meets future workforce needs in sectors such as health and social care, construction, hospitality and green skills.

To improve further, the college should ensure that students attend their English and mathematics lessons frequently and that teachers and assessor trainers correct students’ and apprentices’ spelling, punctuation and grammar consistently.

Corrin Hoyes, vice principal for quality and improvement at CRC, said: “The report supports that industry standards are paramount to teaching staff and along with promoting professional behaviours, staff use real life scenarios to prompt discussions and create case studies, which was further supported by students’ and apprentices’ feedback that they understand how their courses are helping them prepare to be successful in the workplace.”

Michelle Dowse, deputy principal, added: “Ensuring that we prepare and train the future and current workforce to meet the skills needs of the region is central to what we do to set people up for success and our regional economy. This being recognised by Ofsted with the ‘strong’ judgement in how we meet the skills needs of the region is testament to this.

“The time and support of our partners in representative and regional organisations alongside the region’s employers enable us to respond and adapt our curriculum to deliver the right skills valued by employers from the technical skills in respective professions through to employability skills developed through our education and personal development programmes.”

Mr Robertson concluded: “We have worked hard to create, deliver and promote strong skills and are absolutely delighted this has been reflected in our recent inspection result. Our aim now is to continue to listen to the needs of our employers and stakeholders and to continue to deliver outstanding education and training.”

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