From education to employment

Ofsted report results announced for City of Liverpool College

students sat on individual tables with a piece of paper each

A recent Ofsted report has highlighted The City of Liverpool College’s(@COLCollege) ‘Outstanding’ performance in areas such as personal development and adult learning opportunities, with inspectors singling out the student experience as “transformative and life-enhancing”.

The College received a ‘Good’ overall grade, with ‘Outstanding’ awards given to its personal development and adult learning opportunities. In 2022-23, only 10% of colleges inspected by Ofsted received an ‘Outstanding’ accolade in adult learning, highlighting the College’s extraordinary success in this area.

In addition, the report also commended the College’s “strong” contribution to meeting the skills needs of the economy (the highest possible grading), applauding its “exceptional network of stakeholders across civic, community, education, and employer communities”, and the impact of these relationships as “highly recognised locally, regionally, nationally and, in a few instances, internationally” – marking The City of Liverpool College as one of further education’s success stories.

The team at the College were particularly praised for “weaving work-related opportunities seamlessly into their curriculums”. Its apprenticeships were also commended for helping students develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that employers need.

An example of this includes that of student Aidan Whetham, who recently won the prestigious Apprentice of the Year award during his Level 3 Building Services Engineering course. 

Aidan highlighted the impact of his college education on his career development.

“Studying at The City of Liverpool College provided me with the academic foundation and practical experience I needed to excel in my apprenticeship,” said Aidan. “The balance of classroom learning and practical experience was instrumental in preparing me for the challenges of the workplace and in helping me develop my skills.”

One of the key findings of the report is the

“highly effective” personal development programme offered at the College, with students and apprentices cited as having “a very positive attitude to the college and their learning”, with learners recognising “the haven the college provides and…its positive community.” Teachers were commended as being quick to identify and address any barriers to learning that students may face, ensuring that individuals receive the support needed to succeed in their studies.

Teachers were praised for creating diverse opportunities for students to explore disciplines “beyond the curriculum”, exposing them to a wide range of experiences and helping them to develop relevant skills for the workforce as part of the College’s “careers, not courses” approach. Leaders were cited as being “ambitious for what students and apprentices can achieve, regardless of their personal or educational starting points or the challenges they face”.

The report, which closely follows the launch of the College’s Supported Internships programme in partnership with HMRC, also highlighted that students with high needs receive strong support at the College. They are provided with tailored support to meet their individual needs, creating a positive and inclusive environment for all students.

Elaine Bowker, Principal & CEO at The City of Liverpool College, said:

“We are thrilled by the incredibly positive comments made by Ofsted inspectors, particularly around our outstanding personal development and adult learning opportunities. Our partners in industry and across the City Region have been integral in supporting us to get to this point, recognised in the references in the report to the ‘exceptional’ contribution we make to meeting the skills needs of the economy.”

“To be one of just a few colleges receiving such excellent marks is a testament to the hard work and resilience of our teachers and students, plus the support of the wider community, who have worked so closely with us. We’re delighted to see the impact we have on students, employers and our communities recognised publicly in this report.”

“This report reaffirms our commitment to providing the best possible learning experience for our students and ensuring that they are fully prepared for the next steps in their academic and professional lives.”

Students at the College benefit from engaging with wider community projects, such as Eurovision and collaborations with local schools, which provide them with highly relevant experience and enhance their personal development. Leaders are ambitious about what students and apprentices can achieve, regardless of the starting points or challenges they may face and are dedicated to turning disadvantages into advantages through education, training, and support.

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