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Exeter College graded ‘outstanding’ in first no-notice Ofsted inspection

Exeter College has been graded as ‘outstanding’ under the first no-notice inspection to be carried out by Ofsted.

The inspection was part of a pilot being conducted by the Government’s inspectorate to give colleges as little notice as possible of incoming inspections, with the aim of better reflecting their teaching and learning practices. Under the pilot, Exeter College received just 45 minutes of warning before the arrival of inspectors, as opposed to the usual three weeks notice. The inspection itself lasted a week.

Despite the lack of warning, the college, which was rated ‘good’ in its last inspection in 2008, achieved an ‘outstanding’ grade.

“This new style of inspection meant a more meaningful test since they truly saw the college during a working week and spoke to many students while they were here, to check out their experiences of the college,” said Exeter College principal Richard Atkins.

“Particularly important to us is that students not only achieve but feel supported as they prepare for the world of work or further studies. We were keen to show the inspectors that we focus our tutorial and pastoral work on issues that are important to the students with for example financial awareness this week but it’s also about ensuring students are happy and making friends.”

Natalie Thornhill

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