Following a full inspection by Ofsted in March, HSDC has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in its Adult Learning Programmes and ‘Good’ in all other categories. This is the first time that Ofsted has inspected the three campuses as one college.
In the report inspectors, who spent time observing provision and collecting the views of students, staff and parents, were consistently impressed that:
“Students and apprentices enjoy their learning at college and this shows in their positive approach to their studies. They take ownership of their learning, work hard and improve their confidence. Students and apprentices benefit from teachers who plan learning well which enables them to quickly develop new knowledge and skills.
“Leaders and managers have a clear rationale for the courses they offer. They have developed strong links with the local community that help them to understand local priorities. This has enabled leaders to introduce new courses such as digital journalism and specialist construction. As a result, courses meet local job-market needs and increase employment opportunities for students.
“Leaders and managers have designed a wide range of valuable opportunities to help students and apprentices to develop skills that complement their studies. Students who want to proceed to higher education benefit from visits to universities, external speakers, tutorial support groups and information evenings. These activities help most students secure places at the universities of their choice. Students and apprentices improve their confidence by participating in local and national competitions. Catering and sports students excel in prestigious national skills competitions. Students learn about topics such as healthy eating and mental wellbeing through a well-structured tutorial programme.”
Mike Gaston, Principal and CEO of HSDC, is thrilled with the outcome: “Governors and I are delighted that the exceptional work carried out by our dedicated staff at all three campuses is reflected in this inspection report. We are particularly pleased to see that Ofsted highlighted the fact that we were offering a carefully considered curriculum to meet the priorities and ambitions of our local communities. As a strong Tertiary college, our mission is very much to transform lives, raise aspirations and enable achievement. This report is testament to realising that ambition.”