An exceptional achievement

The cartoon published in last week’s paper relating to Warwickshire College Group’s recent Ofsted inspection undermines the hard work and dedication of not only the college staff, but more importantly, our students.

If I can I wish to clarify a number of facts that were not covered in your recent article, or by this cartoon. Warwickshire College was last inspected in 2008 under a very different Ofsted framework. Our most recent report demonstrates that we are a ‘Good’ college and we are proud of this. This report recognises that “apprenticeship provision and achievements at level 3 have been consistently high over the last few years” and that “…the majority of learners make good progress in lessons, achieve their vocational and academic qualifications and make good progress into work, or further learning or training”.

Many colleges that were previously graded as Outstanding have more recently been graded as Good under the new Ofsted framework. In recent data released by Ofsted of the 23 general further education and tertiary colleges inspected between September 2014 and February 2015 only one was rated as Outstanding. A further six were rated as Good with 16 requiring improvement or being graded as inadequate.

Achieving Good in an Ofsted inspection under this new framework is an exceptional achievement and recognises the hard work put in by staff and students over recent years - this is particularly of note when you consider the ongoing savage cuts to funding that continue to hit the further education sector.

Your cartoon also undermines our extremely dedicated students. Our success rates put us in the top 25 per cent of all general further education colleges in the country and our students go on to either study at some of the most prestigious higher education establishments, into local employment with some of the region’s biggest employers or even to start their own business. We are very proud of them and their achievements.

I trust that you will publish this letter to demonstrate to your readers that Warwickshire College Group is still an exceptionally good institution and recognised by Ofsted as such.

Angela Joyce, Group Principal and CEO, Warwickshire College Group