From education to employment

Activate Learning praised by Ofsted as good and improving outcomes and progression

Activate Learning has been praised as “a good provider” of further education and skills by Ofsted in its latest report. Ofsted ranked the colleges in Oxford, Banbury, Bicester and Reading as Good (Grade Two) and especially lauded their improvements in teaching, learning and assessment that have led to them winning an increased rating for student outcomes and progression.

Following the inspection in December 2017, Ofsted awarded the Activate Learning colleges -Reading College, City of Oxford College and Banbury and Bicester College – an overall rating of Good with its provision for learners with high needs rated Outstanding (the highest possible grade).

The inspection team commended Activate Learning as an “effective learning organisation”. They highlighted “employers’ strong involvement” in developing learning programmes and in preparing learners for work and complimented the way learners develop their confidence and their personal, social and employability skills.

Inspectors hailed improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment that have improved results so that the “large majority of students progress” to employment or higher study.

The report said:

  • “The large majority of learners achieve their qualifications and progress to further education, training or employment because of good support and preparation for their next steps”.
  • “Learners develop particularly good personal, social and employability skills”
  • “The majority of learners benefit from good teaching, learning and assessment. Teachers help learners to develop their confidence and make good progress”
  • Leaders “provide clear strategic direction, vision and mission”
  • “Employers’ strong involvement with learning programmes helps prepare learners well for work”
  • “Since the previous inspection, governors and senior leaders have been successful in improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.”
  • “The college is an effective learning organisation”.

 Relating to high needs

  • Provision for learners with high needs is Outstanding, with “highly effective personalised programmes”.
  • “Outstanding work experience opportunities for learners with high needs”
  • “Excellent partnership  working with local community and the local council influence change and promotes a positive image of what learners with high needs can do”

Sally Dicketts, chief executive of Activate Learning, said:

“It is a great tribute to the hard work of our students and staff that Ofsted has recognised Activate Learning colleges as Good and improving. The grading, along with the very positive comments, is very encouraging feedback on our route to becoming an overall Outstanding provider.

“The Ofsted inspectors were clearly impressed by our four-year trend of rising results, by the high quality of the teaching on show and the excellent student behaviour they witnessed. They recognised the positive impact our work on learners’ attributes and our Learning Philosophy has on students’ attainment and progression.

“I’m pleased that Ofsted highlighted the strength of our partnerships with employers as these are crucial to preparing our learners for work, developing their skills and helping them progress.

“I am also delighted that our provision for learners with high needs has been recognised as Outstanding. This is a great tribute to our staff, our partners in the local community and local councils and to the learners themselves who continue to challenge perceptions with the high quality of their work.”

Activate Learning was last inspected in 2013 when it was also judged to be Good with Outstanding areas.

A full copy of the inspection report can be found on the Ofsted website 

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