• 0114 260 2600
The Sheffield College

New Ofsted Report For The Sheffield College

Updated: 24/02/2016

A new Ofsted report published today, February 24th, has judged that The Sheffield College requires improvement.

New Ofsted Report For The Sheffield College

Pictured: Paul Corcoran, Chief Executive, The Sheffield College

A new Ofsted report published today, February 24th, has judged that The Sheffield College requires improvement. 

The report highlights a number of strengths at the College in meeting student and employers’ needs, as well as areas for improvement.

The vast majority of Sheffield College students successfully progress on to further study, higher education or employment. Provision for apprenticeships and high needs students, and careers advice and guidance, employer engagement and student behaviour are good.

However, the quality of teaching, learning and assessment has been judged as not yet consistently good. There are inconsistencies, particularly in English and mathematics as a result of significant demand resulting from national government changes. Any 16 to 18-year-old student who has enrolled on a study programme at the College without GCSE grades A to C in English and mathematics must now take qualifications in those subjects. That has led to a three-fold increase in demand.

Paul Corcoran, Chief Executive, The Sheffield College, said: “The inspectors have recognised the many strengths of the College, not least our new vision and strategy which focuses entirely on Sheffield City Region’s needs. We are especially pleased with the assessment of apprenticeships and provision for learners with high needs, which are both rated as good. Also, we take great pride in the fact that the majority of our students successfully progress on to further study, higher education or employment.”

He added: “At the same time, we recognise improvements need to be made. Our teaching, learning and assessment are not yet consistently good across the College and we need to address that inconsistency by building upon the good practice that already exists within the College. This is especially true in the areas of English and mathematics, and success rates need to improve from last year. English and mathematics provision and success rates are an education sector-wide challenge, but we recognise that we can be and must be part of the solution for our local community. Improvement initiatives are already underway.”

Ofsted has praised the College for providing a curriculum that matches the skills needs of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership priorities. The education watchdog also says that the ambition of senior leaders and governors is helping to drive forward the improvements needed.

Richard Wright, Chair of The Sheffield College Governing Body, and Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:  “The College is committed to being inclusive. The College is recognised as being financially stable and that has required massive changes to the facilities and staff. I am really proud of what has been achieved despite the challenges.”

He added: “What comes through strongly in the report is that we are making real progress in the areas that matter to employers and students. We’ve got real praise for standards in areas such as health and dentistry, creative arts, digital and engineering apprenticeships, which we know are important to the regional strategic plan. Our fantastic partnerships with many employers reflect that. We will never turn away any student whom we can help because we would be a worse city if we did. English and mathematics are a challenge. The recent requirement reflects the call by employers for new employees to have better numeracy and literacy, which we understand.

Inspectors have commended the quality of apprenticeships, and provision for students with high needs as being “highly effective” resulting in good progress.  

Students, inspectors have noted, benefit from good information and guidance, and improve in self confidence. As a result, a high proportion of students progress successfully to further study, higher education or employment. And the majority are matched well to good quality work placements.

Inspectors also found that the majority of teachers and trainers are well qualified and use their extensive industrial and technical skills to develop the skills of students and apprentices. Staff provide extensive support for students who fall behind or have additional learning needs, particularly for the most vulnerable students.

Key facts

  • The Sheffield College has been judged as requiring improvement in a new Ofsted report published today, February 24th. To read the report, please click here.
  • Under Ofsted’s new common inspection framework the four areas examined: effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; and outcomes for students, have all been judged to require improvement.
  • Four different types of provision have also been assessed. Apprenticeships and programmes for students with high needs are both judged as good. Adult learning programmes and courses for 16 to 19-year-olds require improvement.  
  • Inspectors say the College needs to consistently set more students challenging targets, monitor their progress more closely to raise achievement, and improve attendance and punctuality. This is particularly the case for maths and English classes. Those subjects are now compulsory for all 16 to 18-year-old students who have not achieved a GCSE grade C previously, once they join the College.
  • The Sheffield College has a £321 million economic impact on the city annually, and provides academic, vocational and professional courses up to degree level to approximately 18,000 young people and adults a year.
  • Qualifications include apprenticeships, vocational diplomas, A Levels, access courses and foundation degrees. The College has four main campuses: City, Hillsborough, Peaks and Olive Grove.