OFSTED and Inspections
Early in the 2018-19 college year the LDE UTC had its first ever Ofsted Inspection. The report highlights a number of areas where the College is doing well. It says that the College has been successful in creating a popular and inclusive school; that it is welcoming and friendly; and that the learners behave well. As a result, the personal development, behaviour and welfare rating is ‘good’. This is very positive, as it is the culture and behaviour that are the foundation of any good school. The inspectors recognised that outcomes in English, maths, science, construction and the built environment are good, and this was also demonstrated in the College's 2018 exam results. The report also highlights the opportunities from which the College's learners benefit from; including effective careers advice and guidance, and the work with the College's sponsors and local employers.
There were a number of areas however where Ofsted said that the College could be better and where it needed to improve. The overall rating given to the College therefore, is ‘requires improvement.’ Whilst this is disappointing, Ofsted acknowledges that in many of the areas identified for improvement, plans are already in place and the UTC is moving in the right direction. The report also does not take into account the strong provision within the college for apprenticeships, which were not covered by the inspection. The inspection took place very early in the academic year, with 65% of new students and 37% of new staff, and all of the bedding-in associated with that. These issues have been raised with the Ofsted team – it is vital that apprenticeships are covered in the assessment of the College to give a comprehesive assessment and that the timing issues are acknowledged.
The report acknowledges that Leaders have worked effectively to give learners’ opportunities that link with the College's design and engineering specialism, including employer engagement strategies. This was echoed by the views of parents and learners. Last year, every one of the learners who left the UTC in Year 13 are now at university, working in an apprenticeship or in employment with a very large percentage in STEM-related subjects and careers. The GCSE results in 2018 also tell a positive story about the progress learners are making since joining the UTC, which is above the national average. Out of 52 KS4 learners - 22 of the highest grades were achieved, 49 grade A or equivalent and above and 111 grade B or equivalent and above.
All of the positives aside, as a new College it is recognised as the report states that there is ‘room for improvement’ and more to be done to ensure that children are getting the best possible experience from the UTC. This is the College's goal and everyone at the College shares this commitment. Every aspect of the report is being reviewed to make sure the College acts on the recommendations and builds on the good progress that has been made so far.
The copy of of the Ofsetd report can be found below.