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Listening to students helps Birmingham College excel at inspection

South Birmingham College has been invited to share best practice by Ofsted after inspectors praised the way staff listen to learners.

The college gained ‘Outstanding’ scores across Leadership and Management, Safeguarding and Equality and Diversity, which are all traditionally hard to excel in.

Ofsted’s report states: “Students have a powerful voice in the college and their feedback drives many improvements. The promotion of equality and diversity, including the celebration of cultural differences, is exemplary.

“Students feel very safe in the college environment. The good development of students’ vocational, personal and social skills is strong and helps support their future economic well-being.

“The vast majority of students thoroughly enjoy their educational experience and demonstrate very good attitudes to learning.

“Leadership and management are outstanding. Students attest that the college really does put learners at the heart of everything it does. Students, staff and governors display an exceptional degree of loyalty to and pride in the college.

“The college has a transformational impact on the lives of many students and success rates are high.”

Principal Mike Hopkins believes Ofsted’s glowing report reflects the hard work the college has put in to welcoming a rich mix of backgrounds.

“We are one of the first colleges to be inspected under the new assessment framework and we are proud of these exceptional results,” said Mr Hopkins.

“The college has a very diverse student population and we deliberately attract students from all walks of life.

“The inspection show how successful we have been in helping these students achieve very high levels, while at the same time having a rich college life.

“We could not have achieved all of this without the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of our staff, students and other stakeholders and we look forward to improving even further in the coming years.”

South Birmingham College’s full Ofsted report summary is as follows:

  • Overall effectiveness of provision: Good
  • Capacity to improve: Good
  • Outcomes for learners: Good
  • Quality of provision: Good
  • Leadership and management: Outstanding
  • Safeguarding: Outstanding
  • Equality and diversity: Outstanding

Subject areas:

  • Health and social care: Outstanding
  • Engineering: Good
  • Construction: Good
  • Visual, performing arts and media: Good
  • English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): Good

Susannah Fairbairn

(Pictured: Mike Hopkins, principal of South Birmingham College)

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