Blackburn College has been awarded “Good” across the board by Ofsted, since being judged as “Requires Improvement”.
Inspectors visited the College in January 2022 and praised the Principal, senior leaders and governors for successfully transforming the culture of the College by developing an ethos of high expectations leading to excellent student outcomes.
Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the report details how students and apprentices find the College an enjoyable and welcoming place to learn and how as a result, students and apprentices display positive attitudes to their learning, settle into College life quickly and are highly motivated to achieve.
Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad said: “To be rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in every area is a great testimony of our hard-working staff and students.
“We are absolutely thrilled that this glowing report recognises the tremendous efforts of our dedicated teaching and support staff who over a number of years have worked incredibly hard to consistently deliver high quality education and training to improve the opportunities for young people, adults and Apprentices both in Blackburn and across Lancashire.
“I am delighted that the inspectors acknowledged the motivation and exemplary behaviour of our students.
“We continue to invest our attention into ensuring our students receive the very best education that we can deliver.
“Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and a difficult period for all colleges and education providers, we are immensely proud of the progress our students are making on their programmes and the support our staff have shown for their students and each other.
Blackburn College results are currently outstanding. In September 2021, the College celebrated a 100% A-Level Pass Rate in popular A-Level subjects including: Law, Accounting and Psychology and Science subjects including Maths, Biology and Physics.
Similarly, vocational learners enjoyed a 99.7% overall BTEC pass rate which places Blackburn College firmly alongside some of the top performing colleges in the country.
This year’s cohort of students are set to progress to some of the UK’s top universities including the University of Oxford, Lancaster University, University of Leeds and many more.
Blackburn College was visited by a team of 8 inspectors between 10-13 January 2022.Inspectors took account of Blackburn College’s most recent Self-Assessment Report and development plans, and the previous inspection report.
The inspection was carried out under the Education inspection framework (EIF) using the further education and skills inspection handbook and took into account all relevant provision at Blackburn College.
Inspectors collected a wide range of evidence to inform judgements, including visiting learning sessions, scrutinising students’ work, seeking the views of students, staff and other stakeholders, and examining Blackburn College’s documentation and records.
Extracts from Blackburn College’s Ofsted Report, January 2022
“Students and apprentices find the College an enjoyable and welcoming place to learn. Classrooms and workshops are calm and inviting. As a result, students and apprentices display positive attitudes to their learning. They settle into College life quickly and are highly motivated to achieve.”
“Leaders and managers ensure that the curriculum prepares students and apprentices successfully for their next steps into further learning and employment and to be active citizens in their local communities.”
“Approximately a fifth of students on education programmes for young people are successful at gaining a place at prestigious universities including Oxford and Cambridge.”
“Approximately half of the A-Level tutors are external examiners. They use this knowledge and experience to prepare students for their examinations and to help them achieve higher grades.”
“Staff have high expectations of students’ and apprentices’ behaviour. They monitor behaviour rigorously and do not tolerate any bullying or harassment.”
“Students and apprentices receive additional, individual support from academic skills coaches to help them to structure assignments correctly and to obtain help with revision and examination techniques.”
“Tutors develop students’ and apprentices’ English and mathematical skills effectively.”
“Students and apprentices benefit from a range of professional student support services such as qualified careers, finance and work placement advisors and pastoral support officers.”
“Leaders ensure that staff are well qualified and, where appropriate, have relevant industry knowledge. Substantial numbers of vocational staff are industry practitioners, for example in construction, hairdressing and nursing.”
“Leaders and managers design a curriculum that effectively reflects local, regional and national skills needs. They consult with employers frequently to ensure that the curriculum content meets the most up-to-date industry practices and standards.”
“Since the previous inspection, the Principal, senior leaders and governors have successfully changed the culture of the College. They have developed an ethos of high expectations, tolerance and respect.”
“Leaders and managers ensure that the safeguarding and wellbeing of students and apprentices are a high priority.”