7th Jul, 2022

Hereward college awarded 'good' Ofsted rating, a year on from 'inadequate' rating

A COVENTRY college for young people with disabilities has been awarded a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.

Hereward College was given the lowest Ofsted rating of ‘inadequate’ in October 2016 and concerns have included ineffective safeguarding arrangements.

Last month, the Observer reported a 23-year-old from Nuneaton was found guilty of four charges of rape of a fellow student within the school’s grounds, and faces prison.

But lead inspector William Baidoe-Ansah said in his new report that governors and senior leaders have a ‘strong and clear vision for the future of the college’ after a team of seven inspectors spent four days at the college in late November.

Ofsted’s report states leaders and managers at Herewood have ‘ensured all staff give safeguarding the highest priority’.

It adds managers have fenced off certain areas and removed hedges and shrubbery to increase security and visibility on the site.

“Small but significant” changes have also been made to reduce the likelihood of unwelcome people entering the college campus.

In addition, all staff are now required to undertake online training on safeguarding and the ‘prevent’ duty before starting at the college.

A college-wide system has been implemented to report safeguarding concerns while partnerships with the NSPCC, police, Coventry rape and sexual abuse centre, and the child exploitation and online protection centre are strong.

The report added: “Learners feel safe and protected, and standards of behaviour continue to improve across the college because of the strong and relentless focus on improving safeguarding arrangements.”

‘Good’ ratings have been achieved across Ofsted’s other categories too.

This includes effectiveness of leadership, quality of teaching, personal development, behaviour and welfare, outcomes for learners, and provision for learners with high needs.

The report continued: “Leaders and managers have worked tirelessly to improve the skills of teachers to identify, plan for and assess the progress and achievement of learners.”

Ofsted did make two recommendations for further improvement.

These include ensuring teachers give attention to the most able learners to ensure they meet their potential and to develop the knowledge and skills of teachers and support staff so they could support learners’ progress and achievement.

The report concluded that the likelihood of a safeguarding incident taking place has significantly reduced.

Principal and chief executive Paul Cook, who joined Hereward College in August from another specialist college, paid tribute to colleagues for the highly positive report.

He said: “The Ofsted inspection team clearly recognised the huge efforts being made by staff to improve both the experience of learners studying here and their future prospects after leaving the college.

“We will continue to focus on preparing our learners for the next stage of their lives and provide them with outstanding employability skills and greater control over their own future.

“We are proud to be able to offer all our learners unique and valuable work experience in readiness for the world of work and life after college.”

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