Derby College Group retains 'good' Ofsted grade

Published on: Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Derby College Group (DCG) has retained its ‘Good’ grading from Ofsted following a two-day short inspection in December.

DCG was one of the first further education colleges in the East Midlands to be inspected under Ofsted’s new framework.

The team of five inspectors visited all of the group’s colleges: the Roundhouse, Joseph Wright Centre, Broomfield Hall and Ilkeston College with ‘deep dive’ focuses on Sport, Animal Care, adult Retail and Wholesale programmes and Construction apprenticeships.

The Inspection report, published this week, stated that ‘Derby College Group continues to be a good provider’- having scrutinised the quality of education, safeguarding and leadership.

The report continues that students enjoy attending the college, feel safe and welcome and value the good standard of accommodation and resources.

Leaders, managers and governors were praised for embedding a positive culture at the college in which staff, students and apprentices are proud to work and study and safeguarding arrangements were effective.

Furthermore, adult learners benefit from inclusive and highly personalised programmes with ‘life-changing and open opportunities for them to return to employment’.

The quality of teaching, training and assessment was commended supported by high quality continuing professional development – enabling students and apprentices to develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours that prepare them for further study and employment.

Inspectors also praised ‘the excellent links that staff have with local employers and higher education providers which mean that students gain good exposure to the workplace’ supported by careers guidance that is tailored to individual needs.

Leadership, management and governance were all praised.  DCG Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “The two-day short inspection has been introduced under Ofsted’s new framework for colleges which have previously been graded as ‘Good’ and we are delighted to have maintained this position.

“I am particularly pleased that the quality of teaching and the recognition that a high number of our students and apprentices who positively progress to further study or employment.

“There are of course some areas for improvement.  Robust measures to meet these were already underway and we value the inspectors’ recommendations under Ofsted’s focus is to be a force for improvement.

“Our aim continues to be to strive for excellence in all aspects of our work to create world class, accessible education opportunities that enrich lives and to make bright futures a reality for all.”

A copy of the report is available on the Ofsted website.

DCG is a large general further education college.  It has four main sites: The Roundhouse and The Joseph Wright Campus in Derby, Ilkeston Campus in Ilkeston and Broomfield Hall, which lies between the two.  It provides education and training for over 4,500 young people, almost 6,000 adults and around 2,000 apprentices.

Around 300 students have high needs. The college subcontracts a small amount of its training, mostly apprenticeships, to other providers.  The college provides courses and apprenticeships across the whole range of subject areas, from entry level through to higher education.  These programmes include courses in agriculture, horticulture and animal care, and a large national retail programme for adults who wish to return to employment following extended periods out of the workforce.  The college’s previous inspection was in March 2016.

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