Lowestoft Sixth Form College delighted with ‘good’ Ofsted

Lowestoft Sixth Form College principal Yolanda Botham

Lowestoft Sixth Form College principal Yolanda Botham - Credit: Archant

A sixth form college has been given a higher grade by inspectors after they said leaders 'have taken highly effective action to improve provision'.

Lowestoft Sixth Form College had previously been graded as 'requires improvement' by Ofsted.

But following an inspection which took place between April 28 and May 1, the regulator has now raised the college's rating to 'good' – the second overall highest grade.

Principal Yolanda Botham said she was 'really excited' and 'delighted' by the report, which said: 'Teaching, learning and assessment have improved much since the previous inspection.

'Leaders and managers have strongly developed the curriculum to meet the very specific needs of learners, employers and the wider community.'

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Among the reasons for the college's improvement, she said, was its 'very effective tracking and support processes, that help students improve their work and achieve much better grades'.

Lowestoft Sixth Form has worked with other colleges in London to develop a 'very sophisticated' software system which allows parents and tutors to see things like students' grades and their attendance, as well as their rate of improvement.

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Students are then set what Mrs Botham described as 'aspirational' targets to stretch them whatever their current achievement levels, with staff doing a 'forensic' analysis of their results.

The Ofsted report said: 'Students make good progress across a significant majority of courses due to very effective tracking and support processes that help them improve their work and achieve better grades.'

However the report also praised a 'strong self-assessment culture' amongst staff, with Mrs Botham saying: 'As a team, we're always looking for how we can improve.'

Ofsted also said: 'Teachers promote high aspirations and ambition well among students,' with Mrs Botham saying employers and people from outside the college are often brought in to speak to students and show them what is possible.

Lowestoft Sixth Form College's ultimate goal now is to receive Ofsted's top grading of 'outstanding' in the future.

But Mrs Botham said it was important the college consolidates the improvements highlighted in the report and has a 'focus on sustainable, long-term improvement'.

She added: 'It is not about a flash in the pan. It's about making sure everything we do is good.

'It's going to take a little bit of time to embed to 'good' and then fly.'

What do you think Lowestoft Sixth Form College's priorities should be for the future? Write, giving your full contact details, to: Journal Postbox, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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