We are delighted to announce that the South Thames Colleges Group has been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted inspectors at a recent inspection in February 2020. This follows a previous Grade 2 awarded in 2016.
The four-day inspection by thirteen Ofsted inspectors was carried out under the new Ofsted inspection framework, which puts a greater focus on students’ personal development and behaviour.
The inspectors were impressed with the quality of education stating: “For most students, studying at the college is hard and rewarding work. Students thrive on the expectations that staff have of them” and “students at all campuses are taught by teachers who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable and who teach interesting lessons. As a result, students are captivated by what they learn and motivated to do their best.”
Their report highlighted the positive working relationships with employers and a curriculum offer aligned to the needs of employers and local industries: “Leaders are highly effective in engaging employers in curriculum development. They work closely with local authorities and local businesses to plan for future skills needs.” It further praised the College Group on how well it prepares its students for progression to their next step stating that “students and apprentices have considerable exposure to employers in their chosen subjects, such as national construction companies, hotel groups and prestigious media companies” and that “students and apprentices are well prepared for future employment.”
The inspectors commended the College Group on behaviour and attitudes saying: “Leaders have successfully created an inclusive college where students and staff feel valued and welcome” and that “students, apprentices and staff treat each other with respect at college and in the workplace.”
Group Principal and CEO, Peter Mayhew-Smith said: “We are very pleased to see our recent inspection report published. It accurately celebrates the wonderful work done by our staff to make sure students thrive in our Group. The time since our merger has been really well used, raising standards and strengthening our common culture. We are very proud of the progress we have made and can face the future with great confidence.”
Rob Foulston, Chair of Governors, commented: “We are delighted with the recent inspection report, which validates all the hard work and commitment of our staff and the decision making and leadership of the senior team. On behalf of all the Governors, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone involved, including our students of course, who I understand were a real credit to the College Group throughout the inspection.”
Read the full Ofsted report here