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Loughborough College rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Jo Maher, Principal & CEO at Loughborough College

Loughborough College (@Lborocollege) has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by @Ofsted for providing exceptional care, support, leadership and experiences to students, a new report has said.

Inspectors visited the College in November 2021 and said in their report that the College provided “highly effective services” that consistently “exceed” expected standards. They added that the College’s approach “contributes to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for young people”.

They carried out a two-day inspection of The Gables, on Epinal Way, which provides excellent accommodation and outstanding staff who support a range of national and international students. It is the first-time ever that the College’s accommodation has achieved Outstanding.

In their newly released report, Ofsted said the College achieved Outstanding across three key areas: Overall experiences and progress of young people; how well young people are helped and protected, and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

Jo Maher, Principal & CEO of Loughborough College, said:

“To achieve outstanding is an absolute testament to the care and support we provide for our students. I know how hard our staff team work to genuinely put the student experience first and set the highest possible standards.

“This requires persistent effort and focus and, as a values-driven organisation, the report clearly reflects the commitment, dedication and talent of all the staff involved in ensuring our students are well cared for and supported at The Gables.

“The Accommodation Team work so incredibly hard, especially in making students feel welcome, safe, protected and supported at all times. It is a truly exceptional achievement by everyone involved.”

The report said the College provides an outstanding student experience from the moment a learner books to stay at the Gables, thanks to “a dedicated, committed and highly motivated team of accommodation support staff”.

Inspectors said that care and support are tailored to the individual needs of the young people with detailed assessments carried out before students arrive on campus, through to a welcome bag of essentials upon arrival, social events and special attention given to students who are especially anxious.

One parent told inspectors that the induction process is “absolutely brilliant”.

The inspectors praised the College’s approach to Safeguarding, with excellent links to partner agencies which are quickly accessible to students who may need additional help. And they praised the College’s recruitment approach which ensures candidates have a solid understanding of safeguarding before being hired before receiving comprehensive training when in post.

The report added that the academic progress and attendance of young people who stay in residence is outstanding, with accommodation staff often offering help and encouragement to residents to complete the required academic work.

One parent said in the report: “They [the college staff] have harnessed his [the young person’s] abilities and strengths and, for the first time, he feels he’s achieving, which has been great for his self-esteem and confidence.”

Inspectors also said that leaders, managers and staff go above and beyond to care for young people’s emotional and mental health and provide a range or outstanding enrichment opportunities including talks from Olympic gold medallists.

They also highlighted the College’s solid commitment to improving facilities, its approach to inclusion and diversity which underpins the culture, and how bullying and discrimination are not tolerated, creating a safe and inclusive environment for all.

In addition, the College seeks feedback from students and partner agencies and takes action when necessary, the inspector said. One sports partner told him: “The College provides a world-class service.”

The inspectors also highlighted a range of developments the College has introduced to benefit young people including:

  • The introduction of Mylie, the College’s therapy dog, has been of great benefit to young people
  • Free breakfast offers
  • During the COVID-19 lockdowns, young people were provided with free meals, and staff worked hard to support them during this period
  • The college leaders have made sanitary items widely available, and free of cost, for young people, staff and visitors.

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