From education to employment

Ofsted Confirms Spectacular Turnaround of West London College

One of the largest further education colleges in England is celebrating what could be the most spectacular turnaround in the sector in recent years.

Today, it was announced that Ealing Hammersmith and West London’s College has been awarded a good rating from Ofsted. This comes less than 18 months after the college was rated as inadequate and put into special monitoring measures by the inspectorate.

The leadership team have reinvigorated the college and since 2014, there has been a 17.3% increase in students’ English and maths achievement and a 12% rise in achievement across all subjects.

Ofsted highlighted the college’s leadership and learning for special mention, stating in the report that leaders and managers had “successfully reversed the decline in standards”, and that the college’s chief executive officer (CEO) had been “instrumental in driving the substantial improvements in the quality of the provision and in the college’s finances,” helping ensure a “secure and sustainable future for the college.”

The report also noted the “extensive investment in improving teachers’ teaching and learning skills” which had “directly led to improved teaching and learning, and better outcomes.” And that the college was now the “strategic partner of choice for significant business and community projects in London.”

Ofsted also highlighted the clear direction at the college stating, “Leaders, managers and governors are highly ambitious for the college” and that they have a “a clear and well-explained vision,” a “consistent expectation of high standards” and a “relentless focus on improvement.”

Garry Phillips, CEO, at Ealing Hammersmith and West London’s College, said: “I am incredibly proud of what the team and the students have achieved.

“We knew that the only way to transform the college quickly would be to have an unwavering focus on improving outcomes for students.  We have, therefore, focused on providing courses which lead directly to employment or progression into further learning.  We also created a strong working culture for staff at the college, training and incentivising staff and providing them with an environment where they can develop engaging learning materials.

“This inspection result is a testament to the staff’s dedication, professionalism, passion and ambition.”


Not only have Ofsted backed the transformation, but the college recently received a financial clean bill of health from the Education and Skills Funding Agency, after saving more than £20 million. This was following an inadequate financial health grade in 2013.

Ealing Hammersmith and West London’s College was also the only London college to win a prestigious TES FE Award in 2017, granted for its innovative work in using technology to improve teaching, learning and assessment.

The college implemented a number of schemes that have helped with its transformation, including:

  • Improving learning by developing a comprehensive staff training programme, in conjunction with the Education Training Foundation.
  • Implementing a cultural change programme for staff called The West London Way, which focuses on developing attributes such as integrity, accountability and respect.
  • Improving rewards and recognition for staff including a 4% pay award, a wellbeing programme and other incentives.
  • A new IT infrastructure to support innovative learning in classrooms and to streamline administration.
  • A partnership approach to working with employers locally to examine exactly what skills they need in the future and develop courses which match these skills. This led to:
    • The development of the West London Employer Infrastructure Group in conjunction with employers like the Berkeley Group, Chelsea Football Club and Heathrow Airport
    • The creation of Southall Manor House training restaurant with Ealing council to meet the need in West London for trained staff in the hospitality industry
    • The development of a pop-up college to teach construction skills with Berkeley Group

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