Southport College. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Southport College and KGV College in Southport are celebrating after being rated Good by Ofsted.

The colleges merged in January 2018 and operate from two sites, on Mornington Road and Scarisbrick New Road.

Ofsted rated the colleges Good across a range of measures, including: Quality of education; Behaviour and attitudes; Personal development; Leadership and management; and Education programmes for young people.

New principal Michelle Brabner said: “I am thrilled to be working with such exceptional staff and we are looking forward to welcoming our new students in the Autumn.

“This report shows that they can be very confident that they will have a fantastic experience of learning and support at Southport College and KGV. This outcome is a testament to the hard work of students, apprentices and staff.

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“We are fully committed to providing excellence in educational standards, coupled with fantastic student support and industry standard facilities for all our students and apprentices, and the report clearly demonstrates how effectively we are realising those commitments for our community.”

The report follows a visit from Ofsted inspectors into college from February 11-14.

The final report judged their overall effectiveness to be good.

In her report, Ofsted lead inspector Andrea Machell said: “The senior leadership of the college is very effective.

“Senior leaders have developed and implemented a clear strategy that has resulted in a sustained quality of education across the merged institution.”

There was praise for governors too: “Governors make a valuable contribution to the oversight and the effectiveness of the college. They bring relevant and specific skills which assist the senior leadership team to bring about changes to the curriculum and make the improvements needed.”

Both colleges had already been graded ‘Good’ previously and now the latest and third visit confirms the merged college is also ‘Good’.

The inspectors conducted a full inspection of both sites to assess the standards of teaching and learning, facilities and student support, as well as scrutinising results, policies and procedures. The inspection involved interviewing students and staff, holding in-depth discussions with the College Management team and observing classroom and workshop lessons, over the course of four intense days.

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Ronnie Fell, Chair of the Governing Body said: “The Governors and I are delighted with this report from Ofsted. It is an affirmation of the ‘merger’ and a testimony to the strong leadership, high quality of teaching and commitment shown by our students to their

Studies.

“It is wonderful to now have our new Principal Michelle Brabner on board, as we

move forward to be an outstanding college where students achieve their dreams and

ambitions.”

The inspection found that learners and apprentices benefit from a very caring and highly inclusive learning environment, and that ‘relationships between learners and apprentices and their teachers and assessors are excellent’.

It has been recognised that ‘learners participate in a range of activities linked to

ambitious career goals’ with teachers and trainers ‘effectively supporting learners to

progress to further study or employment’.

Inspectors also identified that ‘A-level learners develop the independent thinking and problem-solving skills they will need in higher education’, while teachers ‘encourage learners to develop their understanding through skilful questioning and by checking understanding of key concepts’.

Learners with high needs and / or additional needs and / or disabilities ‘receive early help and individual support’ which ‘helps them to develop their confidence and self-esteem’.

The report states that ‘The senior leadership of the college is very effective’ and with a focus

on staff wellbeing, the inspectors found that ‘staff morale is high’.

A college spokesman said: “Southport College and KGV are committed to playing our part in ‘getting Britain back working’ as we come out of the period of social distancing and the Covid-19 response.”

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