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Gloucestershire College celebrates fourth 'Good’ rating

Staff, students and apprentices at Gloucestershire College are celebrating after receiving a fourth consecutive 'Good' report from Ofsted.

Inspectors, who visited the college's Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean campuses during November, looked at eight key areas, including the quality of education, apprenticeships, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and adult learning programmes, under a new enhanced inspection framework that launched in September.

Inspectors praised GC students and said they: "Have a positive attitude towards their learning" and "behave well, provide helpful support to each other in lessons and respond well to the direction given by tutors".

The report concludes that GC lecturers have: "Strong subject-specialist knowledge and extensive experience of working in industry" which they use "not only to create a relevant and valuable curriculum but to bring their lessons and resources to life with contemporary examples and projects that reflect the work learners aspire to do".

Support featured strongly throughout the report, with inspectors commenting: "Learners and apprentices value the high levels of support they receive from their tutors and student mentors. As a result, learners learn the knowledge, skills and behaviours that prepare them well for further education, training, and employment".

A new skills contribution measure - which judges how well a provider links with community, industry and education partners to meet a region's skills needs - is a key focus under the new enhanced inspection, with the report noting that: "Senior leaders work effectively at a strategic level with a range of external stakeholders," to enable them to "respond well to the local skills needs in cyber, construction and engineering".

The report concluded that: "Most learners study a curriculum that has a well-informed content that helps to meet the local skills needs".

The Ofsted report highlights a number of the college's strengths, including:

* "Learners and apprentices enjoy well-planned interactions with employers, such as guest speakers who support them to deepen their knowledge about work and their career choices."

* "Leaders are highly committed to the community that they serve and provide educational and training opportunities that otherwise would not exist."

* "Adults who are unemployed or in low-wage jobs progress into employment or better jobs as a result of short, well-targeted courses."

* "Learners and apprentices feel safe at the college."

* "A feature of many curriculums is the effective emphasis on developing learners' confidence through curriculum content that develops the skills that local industries need."

* "Learners and apprentices enjoy studying at the college. Leaders have created a strong culture of mutual respect and high expectations."

Matthew Burgess, principal and CEO, said: "I am incredibly proud that we have maintained our 'Good' Ofsted rating, taking into consideration the rigorous new enhanced inspection framework.

"The report recognises the high expectations and support we have for our learners, the strategic partnerships we have with local employers and stakeholders to meet skills needs, the expertise and life our lecturers bring to the subjects they teach, and the emphasis we place on our learners' futures.

"It also highlights the respectful and supportive culture we are so very proud of at Gloucestershire College and, for that, I can't thank our academic, support and professional services teams enough."

Will Abbott, chair of the board of governors, said: "On behalf of the board of governors, I would like to thank the dedicated staff for their commitment to making Gloucestershire College a successful, welcoming and positive environment for learners, apprentices and employers.

"Following a challenging few years, the entire team has played a part in achieving this outcome and they should be very proud of themselves. It cements the fact that Gloucestershire College provides a great foundation for learners of all ages to thrive and progress, whilst meeting the needs of employers."

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