Solihull 6th Form College praised by Ofsted for significant improvements

Solihull Sixth Form College has been praised by Ofsted for significant improvements and declared to be a good college following a recent inspection.

The four-day inspection involved a team of six inspectors, who visited the College to observe practice across all areas and interview a range of staff and students. The views of parents were also sought. Inspectors concluded that standards are strong in all areas at the Widney Manor Road campus.

In particular, Ofsted said that “students enjoy their learning” and that they “rightly feel valued and well supported by teachers in class”. Furthermore, they observed that students have “positive attitudes towards their learning”, “behave very well” and are “very respectful to their teachers and peers”. Inspectors declared that students are “very supportive of each other” and “feel safe” in College.

Teachers were praised by inspectors and described as “experienced and dedicated staff who know their students well”, have “expert subject knowledge” and are “ambitious for students”. Leaders were also praised for working closely with a range of stakeholders, including universities, to “provide students with opportunities to follow careers that are in demand”. Because of this, Ofsted said that “students are well prepared for their next steps”.

College Principal Dr Martin Sullivan commented, “I’ve always been proud to be Principal of this College, but never more so than now thanks to the tremendous commitment and hard work of both our staff and our students. We know we have made great strides in the last two years, with our achievement rates last summer clearly demonstrating that, and I am delighted that Ofsted have recognised that. We are pleased with Ofsted’s findings, but we are still looking ahead at how we can improve even further in the future.”

Summit Learning Trust Chief Executive Catherine Anwar added, “I’m delighted by the well-deserved outcome of this inspection. Leaders and staff have worked tirelessly to raise standards and transform the college, and this has been recognised in this great report. Students are now really well-served by strong provision, and a safe and supportive environment. Inspectors also recognised the support given to the college by the Summit Learning Trust, and we will continue to work with the college as they raise standards still higher.”

The College’s achievement levels last summer included 568 A* grades at A level/CACHE and distinction* grades at BTEC, as well as 663 students achieving all A*-C grades at A level/CACHE or Merit and above at BTEC. The number of students getting A*-B grades was up 143 on the previous year, with 70% of A level grades at A*-C, 89% high grades in BTEC (DDM+) and 100% in CACHE.