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York College

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York College has been recognised as one of the leading Colleges in the country after it was judged ‘Outstanding’ by national inspection body Ofsted during an inspection which took place between 9th to 13th December 2013.


At the time of the inspection York College became just the fourth General Further Education College in the UK to be awarded Outstanding across each of the main areas since a notoriously tough new inspection framework was put into place in September 2012. In addition to overall effectiveness, York College was graded Outstanding across the board for all of the key inspection criteria including Outcomes for Learners, the Quality of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and the Effectiveness of Leadership and Management.

Inspectors commented on the outstanding success rates for students studying at all levels, which have been consistently above national averages for five years, as well as the outstanding student progression into higher-level study and employment. The College’s exceptionally positive and productive partnership work with local schools, employers and other organisations across the region also received a special mention, as did the contribution made by students to the local community. The outstanding care and support provided to students in order to help them reach their full potential was praised during the inspection, and the areas of Maths, Engineering, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Teaching and Lecturing were also all judged to be ‘Outstanding’.

Alison Birkinshaw, Principal and Chief Executive of York College, said: “This was a short notice inspection, and the team of 11 inspectors were extremely thorough. They observed a significant number of lessons, spoke to students and staff, looked closely at marked work, and checked that students were achieving well and then moving on to higher levels of study and employment. They particularly looked at how we focused on improving teaching and learning, and inspected the level of support we give students to ensure that they achieve. We know that everyone at York College works extremely hard to make sure our students progress as well as they can, but in light of the Ofsted judgement I must particularly pay tribute to the achievements of students at York College, the tremendous work of all staff, and the support we have received from parents, our local community, partners and employers.”

Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Young People, City of York Council, said: “York College plays a pivotal role in providing local people of all ages with access to a diverse range of high quality education and training opportunities, supporting them as they pursue their aspirations and ensuring the city has a well qualified workforce. As York’s largest provider of education and training for 16-19 year olds the city is proud of the College’s success rates, not just in traditional academic and vocational courses but across the increasingly wide range of innovative provision it has developed to support young people who were previously not in education, employment or training (NEET). I’m delighted that its excellent work has been recognised.”

The full report can be accessed here.

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