Ofsted rates Rochdale Sixth Form College ‘outstanding’ again

Date published: 06 December 2022

Staff and students are celebrating again at Rochdale Sixth Form College as Ofsted awards the college an Outstanding grade for the second time in a row.

The college, which was awarded Sixth Form College of the Year by the TES in 2021, has been one of the top-performing in the country since it opened in 2010.

Principal, Richard Ronksley said: “I am immeasurably proud of the college, the students, and the staff. Rochdale Sixth Form College is an incredible place to come to work and study, but it is only what the young people of the borough deserve.

“What is particularly pleasing is that not only do Ofsted praise the college for the high standard of education, they also report that students talk about the college with pride, describing it as ‘heart-warming’, ‘enjoyable’, ‘rewarding’, ‘motivational’ and ‘safe’. Ofsted also say that there is a ‘highly purposeful and productive learning environment exists that enables students to flourish academically and personally’.”

The college achieved outstanding in all criteria inspected, including: quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management, and provision for learners with high needs.

Inspectors stated that ‘leaders and managers offer a highly responsive and ambitious curriculum tailored to meet the needs and interests of all students.’ And that ‘staff support unequivocally all students’ aspirations for higher education and other positive destinations’.

At the time of the inspection, there were 1,878 students attending the college, all of whom were enrolled on level 3 qualifications.

The high calibre of teaching was highlighted in the report ‘teachers demonstrate how they use their expert subject knowledge to develop students’ transferable skills, higher-order thinking skills and critical analysis. They explain new topics skilfully and effectively.’

Provision for students with additional needs was judged to be exemplary. The college prides itself on the support it offers for all students, and this is evidenced in the report where it states ‘managers and teachers weave high-needs students’ education, health and care plan targets fully and seamlessly into their individual learning programmes. All staff are fully aware of what students need to achieve above and beyond their academic or vocational goals.’

The inspectors were really impressed by students at the college and stated that ‘Students’ behaviour and attendance are exemplary, they arrive to lessons on time; keen and enthusiastic to learn. They fully embrace their peers’ opinions and different viewpoints.

The report also highlighted the vital role of the college governors. ‘Governance is highly effective. Governors promote extremely high standards across all aspects of the college. They understand their roles fully and ensure that the college meets statutory responsibilities. Governors hold leaders firmly to account to ensure that students achieve the high-quality education they deserve.’

The safety of students is paramount at the college and leaders were praised for prioritising safeguarding to ensure that students are safe and protected.

Rochdale Sixth Form College is the founding institution of the Altus Education Partnership.

For more on this story and to access a copy of the Ofsted report, please click here: 

Rochdale Sixth Form College is the founding institution of the Altus Education Partnership.

For further press information about Rochdale Sixth Form College, please contact Zeta MacNally on z.macnally@altusep.com or 01706 769 805.

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