From education to employment

Excellent Ofsted Inspection for HSDC


Following a full Ofsted inspection carried out in May 2024, HSDC(@@Be_HSDC) is proud to announce that it has retained its overall ‘Good’ grading with outstanding features – including the highest possible rating of ‘Strong’ for its contribution to meeting local, regional and national skills needs plus an ‘Outstanding’ rating for its Adult Learning provision.

The new skills judgement assesses how effectively colleges contribute to meeting the skills needs of employers and the local, regional and national economy through the range of programmes that they teach, the content and planning of that curriculum and their engagement and collaboration with employers and stakeholders. HSDC is currently the only college to obtain the top rating in this new judgement in the Solent area and to be rated ‘Outstanding’ for Adult Learning provision. 

Mike Gaston, Principal and Chief Executive said:

“We are thrilled with this excellent Ofsted report which recognises the hard work and dedication of our staff, students, and entire HSDC community including our valued partners. Our focus remains on ensuring that every young person or adult who studies or trains with us receives an experience which enables them to achieve their dreams.”

Below are some key highlights from the report:


“Learners and Apprentices across curriculum areas and campuses benefit from learning up-to-date knowledge and industry-specific skills. Learners and Apprentices develop the essential knowledge and skills they need to achieve their qualifications well. Learners and Apprentices benefit from feedback to help them improve their work. Consequently, learners and Apprentices are prepared well for when they enter the workplace. Learners and Apprentices grow in confidence and develop resilience very well because of their time at college. Apprentices value the subject expertise of their work-based trainers. They appreciate how trainers contextualise their learning, so they quickly develop new skills that they apply in the workplace. They enjoy their course and feel part of a caring college community. Learners and Apprentices feel safe while at college and in the workplace.”


“Adult learners develop positive attitudes to learning and high standards of professional behaviour. Adult learners are passionate about their learning. They engage well with the interesting and challenging lessons that teachers provide, and which are closely aligned to learners’ needs. This contributes to the adult learners’ rapid progress in the subjects they study, and they achieve exceptionally well.”


“Staff tailor courses carefully and support learners and Apprentices, including those with additional needs, to become more confident, resilient and independent. Staff plan learning logically so that learners and apprentices build knowledge and skills over time securely. Learners and Apprentices benefit from skilled and experienced teachers. Consequently, learners and apprentices are familiar with current industry practices and are well prepared for work. Staff provide learners and Apprentices with opportunities to participate in a wide range of clubs, societies and special interest groups such as the debating society.”


“Leaders have a clear and ambitious vision to raise learners’ and Apprentices’ aspirations and improve their life chances through high-quality education and training. They collaborate closely with stakeholders to design courses that enable learners and apprentices to make good progress in their academic and personal lives. 

The College makes a strong contribution to meeting skills needs. College leaders, governors and staff engage very effectively with a broad range of stakeholders. They are highly aware of and responsive to the needs of their area as articulated in the local skills improvement plan and their external partners. Stakeholders describe college staff as highly trusted partner whose role is one of ‘real substance’.

College staff work collaboratively with local education and training providers to offer the best provision to meet local and regional community needs. Leaders and managers engage proactively with stakeholders to contribute to the skills needs of specialist sectors. Leaders support staff well to complete a wide range of professional development opportunities to further improve their teaching practice and support the learners they work with.”

You can view the full report on the Ofsted website.

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