College back on right track, say inspectors

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INSPECTORS have found Sheffield College is on the right track in the latest follow-up check designed to make sure its problem areas are being tackled.

At a full inspection over two years ago the college’s performance was rated as only ‘satisfactory’ overall.

Now a new review has found it is making reasonable progress, with action taken to improve the worst performing courses. An effective start was made during 2010-11, with the remaining underperforming courses targeted for improvement during the current academic year.

Students were now being asked for feedback as one way of improving lessons and lectures, using surveys and consultations.

Improvements found included a new study area, more consultations with employers and a shuttle bus to move students between the Norton and Peaks sites.

The previous inspection found that success rates for adult learners had been in the bottom 25 per cent of comparable colleges for the last three years.

Now a major restructuring of staffing had been implemented with some courses no longer running and others being significantly changed.

As a result more learners had sat and passed their exams this year, while success rates for 16 to 18-year-olds were improving.

There was also now a clear focus on supporting vulnerable students and results from teenagers with learning difficulties or disabilities had risen by ten per cent.

College chief executive Heather MacDonald said: “I am delighted with the recognition from Ofsted of the progress we are making and our achievements since the last full inspection.

“We are committed to building on that success.”

You can read the full report on the college at www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/130531.