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Best Ever Ofsted Inspection for South Thames Colleges Group with two Outstanding grades achieved for students’ Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes

Best Ever Ofsted Inspection for South Thames Colleges Group with two Outstanding grades achieved for students’ Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes

South Thames Colleges Group (@STCG_College) is delighted to announce that it has been rated Good with Outstanding features following an Ofsted inspection in May 2024. The four-day inspection by fifteen Ofsted inspectors at six sites resulted in the Group’s best ever Ofsted outcome, with Outstanding awarded for Behaviours and Attitudes and the Personal Development of its students.The group is proud of its students and staff for this exceptionally good result.

The inspectors were impressed with the quality of education overall stating:

“Staff at all levels care very much about their learners and apprentices and provide them with excellent support, including counselling and exceptional support for mental health” and noted that they “thrive in an inclusive, caring and welcoming environment.” Governors, leaders and staff “create an environment in which all learners feel they have the opportunity to succeed, and in which diversity is acknowledged and celebrated.” Learners and apprentices also “feel safe and know who to turn to if they have a concern” and “feel valued by staff and take pride in being part of the College.”

The inspectors awarded two Outstanding features highlighting that the group offers outstanding personal development for its students and that their attitudes to learning and behaviour is outstanding:

“Learners and apprentices demonstrate exceptional behaviour in lessons and around the campuses. They develop excellent social and communication skills through work experience and volunteering. Learners participate in a wide range of interesting activities through which they make a positive contribution to their communities.”

It further praised the College Group on how well it prepares its students for progression to their next step stating that “staff provide exceptional support to learners with UCAS applications and the university interview process” and that “leaders and managers effectively design their curriculums to enable learners to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to go on to higher level courses, university or employment.”

The report highlighted the positive working relationships with employers and a curriculum offer aligned to the needs of employers and local industries stating that young learners “have access to meaningful work placements. Consequently, learners deepen their understanding of their subjects and gain valuable industry experience.”

Group Principal and CEO, Peter Mayhew-Smith said:

“We are delighted with our best-ever inspection result, published today. It’s a glowing tribute to the remarkable work done by all of our wonderful staff, students and Governors, making our Colleges safe, friendly and ambitious places to work and study. Our progress in developing our students is recognised as ‘Outstanding’ and we will build on all this fantastic feedback to develop the Colleges even further for the future.”

Kingston College Principal, John O’Shea, commented:

“We are delighted to share the outcomes of our recent Ofsted Inspection. STCG is Outstanding in ‘Behaviour and Attitudes’ and Outstanding in the ‘Personal Development’ of our students. We achieved a very strong ‘Good’ overall and I am incredibly proud of comments in the report. This is a huge achievement for STCG and coupled with our incredibly strong Achievement Rates places us at the fore of FE providers in London.”

Rob Foulston, Chair of Governors, commented:

“We are thrilled with our recent Ofsted inspection report, particularly the two “Outstanding” grades achieved for Behaviour and Attitudes and Personal Development. These grades are a huge testament to our students in particular and validate the exceptionally hard work and commitment of all our staff and the leadership team. His Majesty’s Inspectors spoke to us with real warmth about the “joy” they encountered across all campuses throughout the inspection, and everyone should be rightly proud of this culture and our exceptional learning environments. Also, the improvement in our High Needs provision to “Good” is a wonderful achievement and worthy of congratulations to all of those involved. On behalf of all the Governors, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to everyone, including in particular to our students, and would like to take the opportunity to send everyone my very best wishes on our journey towards being an Outstanding College Group in the near future.”

Read the full Ofsted report.

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