Dudley College praised by Ofsted

The outcome of Dudley College's recent Ofsted inspection has put the Black Country college in the top 10% of General Further Education and Tertiary colleges in England, based on the results of Ofsted's new inspection regime which was introduced in September 2012.

The Ofsted inspection report, published on 9th April 2013, finds that all areas of the college are 'Good' or better noting the college's many outstanding features. Inspectors particularly praised the college for its ‘very high' success rates, 'outstanding' accommodation and resources across the new Learning Quarter and the 'inclusive and harmonious environment' in which students study. The college's Visual Arts provision area was awarded the highest grade of 'Outstanding'.

Thirteen Ofsted inspectors spent a week at Dudley College in February 2013 conducting an unannounced inspection. The report's main findings highlight high levels of student success, excellent teaching and support available to students and the positive impact the college's accommodation and resources have on learners. The summary of key findings included the following statements:

  • Standards have improved since the last inspection and are now above average on courses for all learners.
  • Apprentices achieve very high success rates.
  • Learners develop good specialist skills which support their high rates of progression into employment and more advanced studies.
  • The college is an inclusive and harmonious environment and provides outstanding accommodation and resources to support learning.
  • Learners benefit from consistently good teaching, learning and assessment, which combined with excellent guidance and support, enables them to make good progress.
  • The successful development of the Dudley Learning Quarter has improved the quality of provision for learners.
  • Partnership work is outstanding. The college works productively with employers and other education organisations to provide a broad and appropriate curriculum which matches local and regional needs.

Students' attitude to the college, their tutors and each other was also commended. Their 'behaviour is excellent' and they were seen to 'take their studies seriously' and 'enjoy coming to college'.

Lowell Williams, Principal at the college said: "We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of the recent Ofsted inspection. With every area graded 'Good' or better we are now firmly ranked in the top 15% of colleges in England. It's fantastic that the report repeatedly refers to the college as 'outstanding', 'excellent', 'impressive' and 'effective'. These comments are testimony to the exceptional hard work of all of our staff, students and governors."

"This is an excellent result for the college as this new style inspection framework really tests how colleges are performing. The inspectors listen to learners, observe lessons and, quite rightly, interrogate all aspects of a college’s teaching and learning."

"The report shows the consistent high quality of all of our courses. The report also provides an independent validation of the college's overall success and identifies the positive impact we are having on our local community and on employers. We have ambitious plans for Dudley College over the next decade and now have a strong foundation to continue building on."

The new inspection framework focuses on what impact colleges have on learners. Inspectors now look for evidence of how well local and national skills needs are being met, how successful learners are and also takes into account the progression of learners into employment and higher level qualifications.

To read the full Dudley College Ofsted report, click here.