The Cornwall College Group receives glowing interim Ofsted report
Published: 17th December 2020
The year has ended on a high for The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) following a positive interim Ofsted report.
The report focussed on the Group’s response to COVID-19 and highlighted the leadership’s decisive action in ensuring its 13,000 learners were supported through a difficult year.
Principal and CE of TCCG, John Evans, said he was delighted the phenomenal amount of hard work, passion and dedication by staff had been picked up by Her Majesty’s Inspectors, who undertook the interim visit on 24 to 25 November.
John added he was pleased that the report highlighted the important role effective communication had played at the Group, alongside implementing a substantial quality improvement programme.
“Leaders, managers and staff are proud of the way they have continued to focus on improving the quality of their learners’ experience, whilst dealing with the significant issues posed by COVID-19,” Ofsted said.
“At the start of the pandemic, leaders developed a new communication strategy to ensure that they shared information effectively with their stakeholders. Leaders met early every weekday to review changes in government advice and restrictions, and make such decisions as necessary. Information from these meetings was then cascaded through to college teams.”
John said that these regular updates “increased staff confidence and provided them with clear instruction and direction”.
He added that relationships and communication with employers and other stakeholders has also been key during the year.
“Employers we spoke to during the visit reported that communication was a consistent and positive feature of the organisation throughout the pandemic,” Ofsted reported.
The interim report has been particularly rewarding for all staff at TCCG, according to John.
“We are delighted that Ofsted has clearly noted how we managed to continue to educate our learners, get them their qualifications and go the extra mile to get them career ready, despite the most challenging of years,” he continued.
“I’m most proud of the fact we have done this while transforming the Group, which is fantastic news for our learners, our partners and the communities we serve.
TCCG continues to invest heavily in its campuses, student experiences and staff training.
“We are ensuring every tutor has a high-spec laptop and the technological equipment they need to deliver modern and interactive lessons and training that everyone will benefit from, whether that’s school leavers, apprentices or degree level students,” John continued.
“Our new and highly experienced leadership team has worked tirelessly with staff over the last year to transform the Group and we have repurposed campuses to deliver modern, forward-thinking courses that will lead to rewarding careers.
“What makes this turnaround even more impressive is we have made significant changes while improving our outcomes for learners. I knew we would transform this Group when I arrived last year, but I am so proud of how quickly our staff have achieved this, through dedication, hard work and a passion for giving learners a quality experience.”
The launch of Future Farm at Duchy College Stoke Climsland and new social spaces for learners have been at the heart of recent investment.
Next on the list is a planned new college in St Austell that John believes will have a significant impact.
“Without doubt a modern, vibrant new build in St Austell will be transformative for the people of St Austell and its surrounding area for generations to come,” he said.
John added that the final pleasing element of the report was Ofsted reporting that leaders directed staff to revise their approach to teaching to ensure that learners had early access to essential practical activities and specialist resources.
“In some instances, learners needed additional training to ensure that they had the skills to secure employment,” the report continued.
“As a result, once qualifications were completed, teachers continued to work with small groups of learners on developing skills, which supported their career aims.”
TCCG consists of Cornwall College campuses, Duchy College campuses, Falmouth Marine School and Eden Project learning in Cornwall and Bicton College in Devon.
Specialist provision also takes place at dBs Music Bristol and Plymouth, Tournament Golf at St Mellion and Lindfield, Sussex, and at the Sisna Park Engineering Centre in Plymouth.