Oaklands receives an excellent inspection report from Ofsted

OAKLANDS College has been given across-the-board praise by Ofsted by achieving “Good” in all areas.

OFSTED Rated Good

The college is judged “Good” for education quality, student behaviour, personal development, leadership and management, 16-18 education, adult education, and support for students with high needs.

Andrew Slade, who has been Principal since September 2021, said: “This report reflects the hard work of staff and students along with the excellent work with key partners, stakeholders and employers, with excellent feedback from learners who felt safe, enjoy studying and have their individual requirements met so they can excel. This is cemented by the College’s strong focus on quality and investment.

“Our mission is to be a positive outward-looking college, always listening to and collaborating with employers to ensure we’re teaching the skills they need, for the benefit of the economy and our students’ future prospects.

“It’s tremendous to see our approach being so clearly acknowledged and supported by Ofsted.”

The Ofsted report said: “Learners enjoy studying at the college. They feel included and value highly the support they receive from their tutors. They enjoy working in calm and productive learning environments and value the positive experiences they have at college.

“Learners feel safe at college. They understand how to stay safe and know how to report any concerns that they might have.”

The college’s adult students include people studying for professional advancement, completing university-level qualifications, preparing for university entry, developing hobbies and interests, and English for speakers of other languages.

Adult courses are also available as progression opportunities for 16-18s who wish to go on to university-level qualifications after completing their vocational or academic full-time studies.

Ofsted commented on the success across all age groups, adding: “Most learners on education programmes for young people and adult learning programmes produce work of a high standard, achieve their qualifications and progress onto positive destinations.”

Special features of the college include an internationally-renowned centre providing academies in a range of sports for 16-18 year-olds to train in alongside their vocational or academic courses, such as business, hospitality and science. It has a centre of excellence in its engineering, construction, creative and SEND areas as well its own zoo, extensive managed ancient woodland and a working farm which prepares its students for a wide range of careers.

The new senior management team has increased involvement in the economic life of the region, working with partners in the home counties and London to ensure that the educational curriculum offer meets the skills needs locally.

Its vocational training is carefully co-designed by employers so that it is relevant to their needs, ensuring the success both of students and business.

Inspectors made special mention of entrepreneurial work by the college in support of the wider economy through close relationships with businesses across a wide range of employment sectors.

They said: “Leaders have a clear understanding of the priorities for Hertfordshire and in nearby localities such as Greater London.

“Leaders have a productive relationship with the local enterprise partnerships and work closely with them on specific projects such as sustainable construction, retrofit technologies and a new facility for the creative sector.”

The college has three thriving campuses at Borehamwood, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City which are distinct and successful in their own right.

The college is spending £62 million on its St Albans campus, including construction facilities, a film, TV and creative training centre and the now-completed residential accommodation for students. It is now working on its estates masterplan which could see £100 million investment in creating leading edge education, training and sporting environments for its students and the local communities they serve.

Visit the link here to access the complete Ofsted report.



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