Northampton College regains its 'good' rating after making 'enormous strides'

Northampton College has been rated as 'good' with outstanding features by Ofsted.
Northampton College has been rated as 'good' with outstanding features by Ofsted.

'Enormous strides' in teaching standards at Northampton College has seen its staff rewarded with a Good Ofsted rating.

Last year the Booth Lane based educational facility was downgraded to 'requires improvement' by the schools watchdog.

But with just 18 months having passed, the latest inspection found students were reaping the rewards of improved lessons, practical training and more rigorous monitoring of progress and wellbeing.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “We are thrilled that the Ofsted inspection has recognised the enormous strides we have continued to take and has given us a rating of good with outstanding features. Staff have worked incredibly hard to teach great lessons and provide effective support, ensuring our students make exceptional progress.

The principal added that the rating established the college as the leading facility in the region.

The report reserved special praise for its high needs provision, which was rated ‘outstanding’ – the highest possible grade.

It stated that high needs students make exceptional progress with their independent living skills and with their achievement of qualifications.

Inspectors also praised the college's links with employers and the local community.

Earlier this year, data released as part of the 2016/17 National Achievement Rates Tables (NART) ranked Northampton College 28th out of 266 colleges for 16 to 18-year-old education and training.

The college has also seen a major improvement in GCSE maths and English resit pass rates for 16 to 18-year-old students, now ranked 15th nationally for maths and 18th for English.

The data also revealed that 95 per cent of Northampton College students pass their course.

Mrs Brennan-Barrett added: “We thank Ofsted for their constructive feedback which is already helping us to improve the college even further.

"Inspectors recognised that our apprenticeships are improving and enable our apprentices to gain the skills they need to thrive at work.

"However, we know we have more work to do in this area and continue to work to strengthen this provision to ensure all our apprentices reach their potential.”

A full copy of the Ofsted report is available online here.