Large group of staff cheering in the atrium of East Durham College's Peterlee Campus with the wording 'Graded Good by Ofsted 2014'

College Celebrates 'Good' Grading From Ofsted

Thu, 2002-09-19 01:00

East Durham College is proud to announce it has been graded as ‘Good’ by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Students and staff at East Durham College, with campuses in Peterlee and Durham, are celebrating after Ofsted highlighted its provision as ‘Good’, praising many positive aspects of life at the College.

This is the first time the College has been inspected by Ofsted under the new framework, with only two days’ notice. The week-long visit, in the last week of February, saw nine inspectors observe a wide range of activities to assess the quality of teaching, learning and assessment at the College.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Ofsted has recognised our ambitious vision which aims to raise the aspirations of students, our sharp focus on students’ attainment of high grades and that the College supports students’ progression on to further study or employment.

“Ofsted also noted our strong commitment to the local area and local business by acknowledging that we are highly responsive to both community and employer needs and our work with local schools is a key strength.

“This grading and report are testament to the tremendous efforts of the whole team and I would personally like to thank all of our staff and students, along with our governors for their continued support and direction.

“We look forward, with great optimism, to the positive difference we can make to local people and the economy as a key provider of education and skills training in County Durham and the wider region.”

The report highlights a large number of highly positive aspects of the quality of teaching and learning at the College. It states that the percentage of students ‘completing their qualification aims successfully has been consistently above the national average for the last three years’.

The College’s ethos to ensure its students are ambitious and work-ready is underlined by Ofsted’s reference to the College’s sharp focus ‘on raising students’ attainment of higher grades, and on helping them to reach their full potential so that they progress well to further study and/or employment’, going on to say that ‘well-considered plans are in place to raise ambition within the community’.

And the report added students ‘develop their confidence, self-esteem and social skills well. They enjoy their learning experience and develop good employability skills and enhance their future opportunities’.

These comments are supported by the fact that in 2013 83% of students at East Durham College successfully completing full-time courses moved on to employment or further forms of education and training, building upon the positive and life-changing experience of studying at college.

Another highly positive finding included in the report was that ‘students requiring extra help with their studies and those with identified additional learning needs achieve particularly well as a result of good, effective pastoral and academic support’.

The report added that students ‘enjoy attending college, participate enthusiastically during lessons and benefit from the high expectations of the staff’. It also praised staff for ‘challenging students to aspire to and reach their potential’.

The good behaviour of students at the College also came in for praise with the report stating ‘Behaviour in the college is good and managed well; students show a high level of mutual respect.’

The report’s only recommendation on how the College needs to improve further to achieve an outstanding grade is to ‘increase further the proportion of lessons where learning is outstanding through the sharing of good practice and continued professional development’.

David Butler, Chair of Governors at East Durham College, added: “This report sends a positive message to employers, students and parents about the quality of teaching and learning at East Durham College, with a high, and increasing, proportion of students successfully completing their qualifications and going into employment or on to further study.

“Looking to the future, Ofsted's view is that if we can spread the best of our teaching, which is already in place, across the College as a whole, then we should progress from being a good to an outstanding college. Everyone at East Durham College is now working towards that objective.”

Suzanne Duncan with Grahame Morris MP, EasingtonMPs Congratulate East Durham College

Grahame Morris MP, Easington, said: “I am delighted to hear such inspiring news. This comes on the back of a great year for education in East Durham and I wish to praise the hard work of East Durham College staff and students. It is through their commitment and dedication that these results have been achieved; I’m sure the College will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, the City of Durham, said: “I want to congratulate the staff, students and governors of East Durham College following their recent Ofsted inspection. The College is one of the best further education colleges in the country and continues to provide students in Durham with excellent educational opportunities. I am glad that Ofsted has recognised the great work the College does in helping students to reach their full potential.”

To see the full report please visit the Ofsted website: