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St Mary’s College given a ‘good’ Ofsted rating
SIXTH form centre St Mary’s College has been ordered to improve its management, despite a ‘good’ Ofsted rating.
The Blackburn college was praised for good teaching and the success of its students, however inspectors said college leadership ‘required improvement’.
Ofsted inspector Ruth James said assessment from managers was ‘weak’ and: “Areas for improvement are not always linked sufficiently to specific actions.”
However the college was said to be a good provider with a ‘Catholic ethos and mission very evident in everyday college life’. Inspectors praised the focus on mutual respect, tolerance and inclusion within the diverse college community.
Ofsted also noted that success rates for most courses were high, and many learners achieving higher grades than would be expected from their starting points.
Ms James said: “Much teaching is good and staff practice the demanding college values well through their interaction with learners. “Learners are well prepared for progression to further or higher education or employment.
“Strong pastoral support and safeguarding arrangements ensure that the college is a safe and secure environment.”
Yet the report said the college could not be rated as ‘outstanding’ due to problems with management.
The reports added: “The governing body is not sufficiently well informed to make astute decisions about teaching and learning strategies. Their monitoring lacks rigour and relies too much on their own observation of college activity.”
St Mary’s principal Frank Dixon said the college was delighted with Ofsted’s overall impression.
He said: “It is rewarding that the team of inspectors have recognised all the good practice and hard work by both staff and students at the college.”
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