West London’s College has earned an Ofsted rating of Good, marking one of the more spectacular turnarounds in the sector, coming less than 18 months after they were put into special monitoring measures.
The outcome is “a wonderful endorsement of the work put in by our staff, and the success of the West London Way project which saw us focus on excellence, ambition, focus, accountability, inclusion and integrity”, say the college.
The report from Ofsted highlighted the high standards maintained by tutors and the hard work being put in by students to match those standards. The result has been a 17.3% increase in English and maths achievement along with a 12% rise in achievement across all subjects.
“Teachers have high expectations of their learners. Learners working towards vocational qualifications know what grades they are expected to achieve, make good progress and are enthusiastic about achieving their qualifications,” says the Ofsted report.
It also praised the strong focus on careers and employment, saying “Teachers encourage learners to choose projects that align closely to their career aspirations and employability skills”, and emphasise the importance of maths and English in vocational lessons.
The report also pointed out that students get more than an academic qualification, with Sports learners completing coaching and refereeing awards, Catering learners completing additional food hygiene qualifications, Computing & ICT learners completing proprietary software qualifications and Building & Construction learners completing their industry health and safety examinations.
“Teachers ensure that learners benefit from purposeful work-related learning, including work experience in a range of relevant employment sectors. Work experience is well planned and organised, especially for learners on study programmes,” said the report.
Ofsted had special praise for CEO Garry Phillips, saying he has been “instrumental in driving the substantial improvements in the quality of provision and in the College’s finances”.
Following the report’s release, Garry 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.”