South Tyneside College’s curriculum has been praised by education watchdogs for the “key role” it is playing in meeting the skills needs of employers.
In its latest report, Ofsted highlighted the college’s strong links to business, councils and local enterprise partnerships as being “effective” and based on clear strategy.
Maintaining its rating of “good”, inspectors found effective management in all areas of teaching and learning had developed learners’ employability skills.
They also acclaimed Career College North East, the college’s pioneering initiative to teach engineering, advanced manufacturing and computer science to 14 to 19-year-olds.
Launched last year by former Conservative education secretary Lord Kenneth Baker, they said it provided an important ‘new route’ to learning.
College chief executive, Dr Lindsey Whiterod OBE, said it was “hugely satisfying” that Ofsted has recognised the strengths of the high quality curriculum.
She added: “This highly positive report recognises that we are at the forefront of empowering young people with the skills they and employers need to boost the economic prosperity of this region.
“The report identified widespread good and progressive practice, from management to teaching and that this is impacting positively on our students.
“We will continue to strive to improve our provision still further to meet the needs of learners and the wider community in the years ahead.”
Ofsted found the senior management team and governors were clear about the college’s strengths and had in place clear plans to support further improvement.
Weaknesses identified during their last inspection three years ago had been tackled, with evidence of improvements and better outcomes for students, it said
Staff were asked to improve success rates in a small minority of classroom-based courses which were below average, and systems and processes for setting individual targets and monitoring learners’ progress could be more consistent.