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PRC recognised by Ofsted for ‘significant progress’ made under acting principal

A monitoring visit report from Ofsted (published 19 February 2020) has recognised the rapid progress made at Peterborough Regional College under the leadership of Acting Principal Rachel Nicholls who has been in post since December 2018. The report focuses on four key areas: curriculum, the quality of teaching and learning, skills development and provision for high needs learners.

Peterborough Regional College was last inspected by Ofsted in May 2019, when at the time, inspectors judged the overall effectiveness of the provision as ‘Requires Improvement’. The monitoring visit took place between 4-5 February 2020 to evaluate the progress leaders have made in addressing the areas for improvement.

Inspectors praised governors and leaders for taking swift action to improve the curriculum and adapting it to better meet the changing needs of employers. Improvements in the quality of teaching were also recognised alongside a more positive learning culture for staff at the college, particularly in terms of professional development.

The College has also made significant progress over the last nine months in ensuring students and apprentices build on their existing skills and knowledge. Those with high needs have seen considerable changes to this specialist provision, leading to growth in independence amongst this group of students.

Ian Jackson, Chair of Corporation at Peterborough Regional College said: “We are pleased that Ofsted has recognised the significant progress we have made since our inspection in May 2019, and that we continue to improve. Rachel Nicholls joining us from New College Stamford in an acting role has had a huge impact on the culture here at Peterborough Regional College and it is testament to her and all the staff that we have seen such improvement in such a short space of time.”

Rachel Nicholls, Acting Principal, added: “I’m immensely proud of the rapid improvements we have made over the last 12 months. We have accelerated change significantly to ensure impact for both our staff and students, and we’re delighted that this progress has been officially recognised by Ofsted.

“Looking at all monitoring reports for FE colleges across England this academic year, the fact that we are making significant progress in two of the four key areas that Ofsted judged is a huge achievement and puts us in a great position to build on moving forward.

“A sincere thank you goes to every single member of staff for their hard work. We know we still have work to do, but we have clear strategies in place to continue our journey of improvement. We are ambitious about the future and will be relentless in our pursuit of excellence, high standards and expectations for our students and the communities we serve. I’m delighted that this report recognises our achievements to date.”

Read the full Ofsted Report here

Published February 2020