South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

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Ofsted Outstanding

South Devon College is officially outstanding!

South Devon College celebrated a remarkable transformation after recently enjoying a truly ‘outstanding’ inspection result following a rigorous investigation by Ofsted - the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills.  It was decreed by Ofsted that South Devon College’s quality of provision is ‘Outstanding.’

The Inspectors found that the areas investigated were ‘Outstanding’, including:

  • Effectiveness of provision
  • Capacity to improve
  • Achievement and standards
  • Quality of provision
  • Leadership and management
  • Equality of opportunities
  • Guidance and support

...and a variety of approaches to inclusion so that all at South Devon College can achieve. This is a ringing endorsement of the college mission – ‘Inspiring our community through learning for all.’

It caps a remarkable turnaround for South Devon College. In March 2002 it had an overall unsatisfactory inspection. The new leadership team focused on teaching and learning, supported by staff, governors, employers and the community and this meant that within three years, Ofsted rated the college as ‘Good’. But this was not enough for an ambitious college.  They were aiming for ‘Outstanding’.A new campus was designed to create a dynamic atmosphere where people achieve. Ofsted commented on the ‘university’ style, making it an ideal place for young people and adults to study at a campus that prepares them for university. Ofsted commented that the campus design is ‘imaginative and engenders a sense of pride and promotes a highly purposeful atmosphere. Specialist equipment and resources are of a very high quality’.

As former South Devon College Principal Heather Maxwell OBE said:

 “This is a fantastic result – and a tribute to the efforts of all our staff supported by our governors and the community we serve. Everyone here has worked incredibly hard to achieve such an excellent result and I am delighted that Ofsted has judged our work to be ‘Outstanding.’

At SouthDevonCollege we are ambitious for our learners, our staff and the people of South Devon. We continuously strive for perfection, which for us is achieved through providing inspirational teaching and learning. All students are equally important and we are passionate about their success.

I would like to thank the people of South Devon for their support and encouragement over the past six and a half years. There is now within South Devon an ‘Outstanding’ college where young people can achieve their aspirations and succeed.

I am very proud of our success and proud of everyone who has contributed to it.”

 At the conclusion of the visit, Inspectors for Ofsted outlined South Devon College’s key strengths as follows:

  • High success rates
  • Highly effective use of information learning technology which enhances learning
  • Extensive curriculum range that meets the needs and interests of learners
  • Outstanding educational and social inclusion
  • Outstanding support
  • Outstanding governance, leadership and management
  • Outstanding capacity to improve
  • Outstanding equality of opportunity
  • Excellent accommodation and resources for Learning

Report highlights include:

  • Achievements and standards are outstanding.”
  • The needs and interests of learners are outstandingly met.”
  • “Guidance and support are outstanding”
  • Success rates are high for learners of all ages.
  • The breadth of provision is outstanding.
  • The overall effectiveness of the college is outstanding.
  • “Leadership and management are outstanding.”
  • Teachers plan and manage learning skilfully and effectively. Many lessons include a variety of learning activities and focus well on the learning and attainment of individuals.
  • The college readily embraces collaboration with schools. It provides successful courses for school students aged 14 to 16.
  • Enrichment activities are outstanding and take-up is high. The innovative programme involves many different national and international visits for learners as well as sporting, cultural, and charitable events. Activities are planned carefully to enable learners, including those with disabilities and part-time learners, to participate.
  • The College has a very strong commitment to equality and diversity which is reflected in their outstanding support arrangements.

In conclusion

SouthDevonCollege is an outstanding college!”

Whether an ‘A’ level student, a degree student, an apprentice, a vocational student, a basic skills student or on an Adult & Community Learning student, the report conveys in great detail the way South Devon College ensures that each and every learner exceeds their potential.

This amazing achievement marks an end to a highly successful year for South Devon College, with former Principal Heather Maxwell receiving an OBE in March 2008 and being invited to meet the Prime Minister, a royal visit from HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, a £23million expansion plan announced; a very successful fund raising Sports Dinner at the Grand Hotel with John Motson and Ray Stubbs; the College Football Academy becoming National College Champions and winning yet another prestigious Beacon Award for its work in Health & Social Care.

Vince Flower, the Chair of South Devon College’s Governing Body said:

 ‘This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved with SouthDevonCollege, not least for our students.

 I should like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone involved in this success, not least all our staff and my fellow governors who have worked so hard to achieve this outstanding result.

 I should also like to pay special tribute to Heather Maxwell OBE; Heather is a very special person and an inspirational leader of the college. Heather’s drive and enthusiasm knows no bounds, it is also very infectious!

SouthDevonCollege has assembled a fantastic team of dedicated professionals whose work has been recognised as being outstanding in this latest Ofsted inspection.

SouthDevonCollege also has a vital role to play in the local community, especially at these challenging economic times.

It has been both an honour and privilege to play my small part in the college’s transformation over the past seven years and I am relishing the challenges that the commencement of the second phase of development works at Vantage Point will bring.

The college is not the sort of place that rests on its laurels and you can rest assured that we will all continue to work very hard pushing the boundaries even further in the months and years to come, ensuring that we continue to serve our community, delivering inspirational teaching and learning for all.’

Zoe Waycott, 18, a former Torquay Community College pupil from Paignton, studies A levels at South Devon College and is the college’s former Students' Union President. She says of the news:

I feel really proud and happy for the college, within my role I am trying to make it a better place for the students, and with this outstanding news, it makes my job very easy! There is a real feeling of togetherness in the college as everyone has worked together really hard to achieve this. The facilities, staff, and the abundance of things available to students at the college are definitely outstanding.