Ofsted recognises the progress being made despite the challenges of the pandemic

Governors and staff at St Helens College and Knowsley Community College are pleased with the findings of the recent Ofsted monitoring visit, confirming that despite the pandemic, reasonable progress continues to be made in ensuring the College provides a high-quality curriculum and individual support to meet the needs of its students.

The monitoring visit focused on the extent to which leaders and governors are taking effective action to provide education given the challenges of COVID-19, with the report stating that, “teachers have identified areas where students have missed learning during COVID-19 restrictions. They plan the curriculum to fill gaps in students’ knowledge, skills and behaviours. Students now feel more confident in learning at a higher level”.

The report also recognised that positive progress is being made to continue to drive forward quality improvements. For example, “leaders have greater oversight of students’ and apprentices’ progress and target-setting”, allowing early interventions if necessary, to ensure success and “employers speak highly of the support their apprentices receive from the college”.

Simon Pierce, Principal and CEO commented: “Ensuring all our students and apprentices, of all ages, were engaged in learning and had access to wellbeing services and support during this last lockdown period was our priority.

Staff have worked tremendously hard to keep online learning meaningful, consistent, and effective, with some fun elements added in too. We have also personally delivered laptops and data devices to every student and apprentice that needed them, ensuring no student was disadvantaged.”

He added: “We are really pleased Ofsted has recognised that our students enjoyed online learning, and found their lessons stimulating and interesting. This is testament to the dedication and passion our staff demonstrate in ensuring every student reaches their full potential.”