Awards and Ofsted

Derby College Group Retains Good Ofsted Grade

DCG was one of the first further education colleges in the East Midlands to be inspected under Ofsted’s new framework. The team of five inspectors visited all of the group’s colleges: the Roundhouse, Joseph Wright Centre, Broomfield Hall and Ilkeston College with ‘deep dive’ focuses on Sport, Animal Care, adult Retail and Wholesale programmes and Construction apprenticeships.

Furthermore, adult learners benefit from inclusive and highly personalised programmes with ‘life-changing and open opportunities for them to return to employment’. The quality of teaching, training and assessment was commended supported by high quality continuing professional development – enabling students and apprentices to develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours that prepare them for further study and employment.

Inspectors also praised ‘the excellent links that staff have with local employers and higher education providers which mean that students gain good exposure to the workplace’ supported by careers guidance that is tailored to individual needs.

Leadership, management and governance were all praised.

DCG Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “The two-day short inspection has been introduced under Ofsted’s new framework for colleges which have previously been graded as ‘Good’ and we are delighted to have maintained this position.

“I am particularly pleased that the quality of teaching and the recognition that a high number of our students and apprentices who positively progress to further study or employment.

“There are of course some areas for improvement. Robust measures to meet these were already underway and we value the inspectors’ recommendations under Ofsted’s focus is to be a force for improvement.

“Our aim continues to be to strive for excellence in all aspects of our work to create world class, accessible education opportunities that enrich lives and to make bright futures a reality for all.”

Download Ofsted Inspection Report »

Ofsted Inspectors Praise Derby College For ‘Outstanding’ Residential Provision

Derby College’s residential accommodation for students who live at the Broomfield Hall campus has again been praised by Ofsted inspectors and graded ‘outstanding’.

Ofsted Inspectors scrutinised the overall experiences and progress of young people, how well they are helped and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

All areas were given the top rating – echoing the ‘Outstanding’ grades that the College’s residential accommodation received at the previous inspection in October 2014.

The report highlights:

  • A highly effective leadership team which provides clear direction and continually strives to develop the service
  • Feedback from young people that they enjoyed the residential provision and benefited greatly from being part of a small residential community with access to the ‘excellent resources that a large college offers’
  • Students also said it was a friendly college that they would recommend to their friends and that they appreciated the residential team
  • Inspectors said that staff were well supported with high standards of training and saw themselves in the role of a good parent
  • Raising mental health awareness has been a focus with the emotional wellbeing of young people seen as a high priority
  • There was also a strong health and safety system with excellent safeguarding practice
Download Full Report »

Derby College Nursery Celebrates Ofsted Praise

Derby College’s pre-school nursery based at the Broomfield Hall campus in Morley has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors in all areas of its work.

The inspection looked at four key areas – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for children – all of which were judged as ‘Outstanding’.

Strengths include inspirational and visionary leadership and a vibrant learning environment both indoors and outdoors with utmost priority given to the children’s safety.

Inspectors praised the exemplary behaviour amongst the children who settle well, have excellent communication and language skills and are extremely well prepared for the next stage of their learning and school.

The report is particularly complimentary about the quality of teaching, learning and assessment – especially in maths - through ‘stimulating activities’.

Little Explorers Manager Kate Cox, who was singled out for praise in the report, said: “Having gained a ‘Good’ grading three years ago, we are thrilled to have gained top grades across the board for this inspection.

“It shows the high standards that we set ourselves in motivating the children’s curiosity and interest in their surroundings so that they are not only happy and healthy but are well prepared for starting school.”

Download Full Report »

Matrix Standard

The Group was awarded the Matrix standard accreditation for the delivery of information, advice and guidance initially in March 2014 and successfully achieved the IAG Matric revalidation in March 2017. It was commended in the Matrix Report on providing students with “a wide range of different options and opportunities to engage meaningfully with the world of work and contribute to the overarching employability aim of the Group.” Revalidation found pastoral and support services to be impressive, as was the work undertaken with a network of partners to offer IAG services.

Derby College Nursery Celebrates Ofsted Praise November 2016

Derby College’s pre-school nursery based at the Broomfield Hall campus in Morley has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors in all areas of its work.

The inspection, which took place in November, looked at four key areas – effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for children – all of which were judged as ‘Outstanding’.

The inspection team’s report, which has now been published, highlights key strengths at the Little Explorers Nursery which was the county’s first Forest School when it opened in 2011 with much of the activities based outdoors in the grounds of Broomfield Hall. Strengths include inspirational and visionary leadership and a vibrant learning environment both indoors and outdoors with utmost priority given to the children’s safety. Inspectors praised the exemplary behaviour amongst the children who settle well, have excellent communication and language skills and are extremely well prepared for the next stage of their learning and school.

The report is particularly complimentary about the quality of teaching, learning and assessment – especially in maths - through ‘stimulating activities’.

The Ofsted report follows Derby College’s overall Ofsted inspection earlier this year which rated the academic and vocational provision as ‘Good’ with its work with employers and for students with higher needs as ‘Outstanding’.

Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “We are obviously delighted with the findings of the Ofsted inspection and I congratulate all the staff involved with Little Explorers on this justified praise.

“Little Explorers reflects the ethos of the whole College – providing a high quality education and environment which prepares the children here and the students elsewhere in the College for the next stage in their lives.”

Little Explorers Manager Kate Cox, who was singled out for praise in the report, said: “Having gained a ‘Good’ grading three years ago, we are thrilled to have gained top grades across the board for this inspection.

“It shows the high standards that we set ourselves in motivating the children’s curiosity and interest in their surroundings so that they are not only happy and healthy but are well prepared for starting school.”

Download Full Report »

Teacher Training Programme Wins Ofsted Praise December 2015

Derby College’s involvement in the University of Derby Initial Teacher Education programmes has been awarded the highest accolade from Ofsted. Ofsted ranked the FE and skills provision as ‘outstanding’ following an inspection in September. The inspection has also ranked the overall effectiveness of the ITE partnership is good in Early Years; outstanding in Primary and good in Secondary.

Derby College is a key main partner in the University of Derby-led programme in the city and has the highest number of in-service trainees.
The key findings of the report published recently highlight:

  • The professional conduct of trainees in all four partnerships as strong, resilient and independent teachers who are exemplary role models for their peers and colleagues.
  • The attainment of trainees is high and continues to improve.
  • Strong employment rates amongst trainees with employers valuing their skills highly
  • High satisfaction rates and the partnership has a good reputation amongst trainees, teachers, employers and partner organisations

The Ofsted inspectors said: “The University of Derby provides excellent training for teachers and trainers in the further education and skills sector.

“Teaching and learning are lively and though provoking; challenging students to rise to the high expectations set by trainees and NQTs in their lessons.

“Partner colleges are very closely involved in the leadership and management of the partnership, and are highly influential in shaping the provision so that trainee teachers fulfil the recruitment needs of the sector.

“Partner colleges, along with current and former trainees, play an integral role in rigorous recruitment and selection processes so that trainees have high levels of subject knowledge and the capacity to become excellent teachers.”

Derby College Assistant Head, Higher Education Robin Webber Jones said: “As a key part of the ITE Partnership, we are obviously delighted with this recognition of the hard work, commitment and the high quality of education that we provide.”

Career Mark Quality Award November 2015

Derby College achieved the Career Mark quality award which holds the DFE Quality in Careers kite mark in November 2015. This cross college quality award recognises good practice in the management and delivery of careers guidance services.

In December 2015 Derby College was presented with the prestigious Career Mark Gold plaque which is for organisations that are successfully assessed on 3 consecutive occasions in recognition of their outstanding and continued commitment to careers education and guidance.

Revalidation of The Buttle UK Quality Mark July 2015

Derby College achieved revalidation of The Buttle UK Quality Mark Award which evidences good practice in supporting learners in care and care leavers

Derby College Higher Education Review (QAA) May 2015

Derby College’s work to improve the employability of local people through its extensive range of Higher Education programmes has been praised by inspectors from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).

Inspectors visited the College in May to look at various aspects of its work and the report particularly commended the quality and enhancement of student learning opportunities and said that academic standards and information about learning opportunities met UK expectations.

QAA chose a particular theme for each inspection and focused on the College’s work around student employability and commended the expansion of the work with businesses and its partnership working with degree awarding bodies including the University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University.

Inspectors also highlighted several areas of good practice including the governance, support for and investment in professional development of teaching staff; the extensive links with employers, involvement of students in the College and the proactive approach to creating a higher education community within the organisation.

The report says: ‘The College states its main reason for the delivery of higher education is to offer vocationally relevant courses which allow students to become more employable. The College strategy is focused on improving the life chances of people and businesses in the community it serves.

“Employers and students are involved in the development and reviews of programmes are well-informed and enthusiastic about benefits of the College’s provision.’ All the programmes were commended for the quality of teaching, small class sizes, excellent facilities and positive relationships between lecturers and students.

The full report can be found at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews-and-reports/provider?UKPRN=10001919

Supporting learners in Care - Achievement of Buttle Kite Mark Award in July 2014

The College achieved the Buttle Kite Mark Award in July 2014 for the work it does to support learners in care and care leavers.


Career Mark Quality Award November 2013

Derby College achieved the Career Mark quality award which holds the DFE Quality In Careers kite mark in November 2013. This cross college quality award recognises good practice in the management and delivery of careers guidance services.

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