16 April 2018
Students and staff at Plumpton College are celebrating after an inspection by education watchdog Ofsted rated the college as grade 2 - overall GOOD.
As well as being rated as ‘good’ overall, the college, which was inspected in February was also rated ‘good’ for each of the four categories graded through the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework – effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, leaning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and outcomes for learners.
It’s been quite a journey recently for the land based College situated just outside Brighton. The college was previously rated as requires improvement in May 2016 and has been on a rigorous plan of improvement over the last two years.
Principal Jeremy Kerswell, who celebrated his two year anniversary at Plumpton in October 2017, knew from the get go what was needed to achieve the grade, and didn’t hesitate with instigating change.
“It’s been a busy two years. Every aspect of college life has been reviewed, from a new management structure to setting high expectations and standards of staff and students and introducing a new vision, mission and values.
The report and comments from Ofsted only reflect the hard work of our students and staff to continually improve the quality of teaching and learning at Plumpton. We have developed a culture of ambition and I know this is only a step on the road to Outstanding. We will be using the learning from the report to inform our actions and planning for the next stage in our development.
I would like to thank all the pupils, parents, staff and governors as well as employers and the local community for their continued support and dedication to Plumpton. I am delighted the report reflects the excellent relationships we have with businesses and the local community, who continually support the college to ensure we provide courses that reflect the needs for the industries we serve.
We have a saying in our college community – for everyone to ‘be the best they can be’. I am thrilled with the result, it is what the college deserves.”
Principal, Jeremy Kerswell, Plumpton College
Her Majesty’s Inspector Helen Flint highlighted the excellent relationships Plumpton and its students have with the local community and employers, which contributes to over 90% of students going straight into employment upon leaving college:
“Leaders, managers and governors at Plumpton College have worked energetically to improve teaching, learning and assessment, and outcomes to learners successfully. Senior leaders have exceptional partnerships with local and regional employers, schools and community leaders and large numbers of learns gain work related to their course studies and many with their work experience employer.”
The report details that:
“Learners are enthusiastic and ready to learn. They are proud of the high standards of work they produce and feel safe, happy and respected and show high levels of respect to others.
Learners develop very good practical and vocational skills and produce work of a high standard…the proportion of learners who achieve their qualifications has increased over the past three years…and the proportion of learners who achieve A* - C grades in GCSE English and mathematics in 2016/17 improved considerably and was higher than recent national rates.”
Maria Caulfield, Local MP for Lewes, also commented on the Ofsted report saying:
“Plumpton College is a fantastic asset for the area. Strong leadership and committed teaching are truly the secret to success and this provides the necessary foundation for good personal attainment among students. I am delighted with this result, and I am sure that Plumpton will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.”
Plumpton College’s Chair of Governors, Stan Stanier shared his thoughts on the outcome highlighting the great change that the college has gone through to reach the ‘Good’ rating:
“This outcome is testament to the hard work and dedication of all college staff who have worked through a period of significant change for the college to deliver clear and sustainable improvements across all college activities. Governors are delighted with Ofsted’s assessment and view the report as a basis for future developments and improvement.”
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.