Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) has become the first further education provider in England to achieve the top grades in every area of Ofsted’s recently reformed Education Inspection Framework (EIF):

 

Overall effectiveness

Outstanding

The quality of education

Outstanding

Behaviour and attitudes

Outstanding

Personal development

Outstanding

Leadership and management

Outstanding

Education programmes for young people

Outstanding

Adult learning programmes

Outstanding

Apprenticeships

Outstanding

Provision for learners with high needs

Outstanding

 The rigorous week long dual campus inspection, which took place before October half-term, saw a 13-strong inspectorate team immerse themselves in college life, scrutinising many areas of provision and compiling extensive feedback from learners, parents, employer partners and staff.

 The inspection report, published on 14 November 2019, praises all areas of the College’s provision and acknowledges NSCG’s ‘positive, stimulating and safe learning environment’, ‘highly motivated staff’, and ‘learners’ exemplary behaviour and attitudes to learning’.

 It also highlights the way in which NSCG prepares learners for progression, noting that ‘all learners make very good sustained progress from their starting points’ and that ‘learners feel that all staff care about their futures and provide them with the support and motivation to succeed’.

 The report also acknowledges the fantastic partnerships the College has with industry, praising the ‘exceptional links with local employers and regional business groups’ and the ‘high-quality work experience and work related activities that help learners to develop the skills employers value’.  It states that ‘employers value highly the way apprentices’ curriculum helps them develop the exact knowledge, skills and behaviours they need for their future job roles’.

 NSCG has an outstanding reputation for supporting students with complex needs and inspectors found that ‘learners with high needs receive highly effective specialist support, gaining the skills they need to live and work confidently in society and future employment’.

 In the first full Ofsted inspection since NSCG formed in 2016, inspectors also commend the way in which leaders and managers of the former Newcastle-under-Lyme College had very effectively brought about the merger with Stafford College, which had, prior to merger been rated ‘Inadequate’.