Glowing Ofsted report for Milton Keynes College

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Staff at Milton Keynes College are celebrating after being rated once again as Good by the government inspectors, Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills), with some areas graded as Outstanding. The college's work with adult learners and those with High Needs were particular highlights, according to the report.

The report, published today, makes special mention of the College’s expertise in meeting the skills gap faced by industry and business, saying it makes “a strong contribution” in that area. It says, “Senior leaders work very effectively in partnership with numerous stakeholders to identify, understand and contribute to meeting skills needs in the city, region and nationally.”

The teaching and learning comes in for high praise, with inspectors making a point of recognising the positive and supportive atmosphere at the College, saying, “Staff create a calm and respectful environment where students, apprentices, adult learners and students with high needs enjoy their studies and make progress with both their vocational learning and skills for work or independence.”

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College CEO and Group Principal, Sally Alexander, says, “We hope potential parents, learners and employers will take a look at the report on our website to see what Ofsted found when they visited recently. It’s so reassuring and encouraging for us that they see us doing exactly what we promise, providing Fairer Futures for everyone who comes here, regardless of their previous experience of education and the level of their needs.”

MK College staff celebrate Ofsted successMK College staff celebrate Ofsted success
MK College staff celebrate Ofsted success

Outstanding performance

The inspectors gave special praise for the College’s work with Adult Learners and also those with High Needs, rating these as Outstanding. Of adult education and training at the College, the report says, “The behaviour and conduct of adult learners are exemplary. They are keen and enthusiastic to learn and they do so with respect and consideration for their peers and teachers…They value highly the way teachers and managers have organised the timetable so that courses take place in the evenings.” Students with High Needs “enjoy being at College. They feel supported and valued by their teachers and by each other. They form sound friendships and know to whom they should speak if they have any worries or concerns.”

College good for business

The report goes on to praise the level and standard of the College’s links to business, using the example of the partnership with the Silverstone racing circuit which it says is “rightly proud of the work it has done with the College in lifting aspirations for the city and demonstrating to young people what they can hope to achieve locally. Silverstone staff teach lessons to hospitality and motor vehicle students at College before students then work at the Silverstone circuit supporting the commercial events and activities that take place there, including the British Formula 1 Grand Prix.”

One of the most followed pathways for business is apprenticeships, and the inspectors highlighted the way in which apprentices “benefit from high-quality practical and technical resources that at least match the standard they use in their jobs.”

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Colleges aren’t just about the education and training they provide, but also the care and support for learners to help the transition into the world of work. Referring to careers’ guidance and support, the report reads, “most students, adult learners and apprentices understand what their next steps in education and training are because of the careers guidance and support they get.”

Sally Alexander says, “I want to thank every student and staff member with whom the inspectors came into contact. Our report makes clear that we’re providing a place where people can be the best version of themselves and perform to the highest level. That kind of atmosphere is vital for everyone to teach and learn, and to have it clearly recognised by impartial, expert assessors is a really wonderful feeling. There are always things we can do better, and we’ll always work hard to improve, but everyone at the College should feel proud that they are contributing to what is a very special place.”

The full report can be viewed here:

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