Delight as college is rated 'good'

Plumpton College has been rated 'good' by Ofsted
Plumpton College has been rated 'good' by Ofsted

Two years of hard work have paid off for Plumpton College, which has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

The college, in Ditchling Road, had been rated ‘requires improvement’ following its last inspection in 2016.

But, following a four-day inspection, Ofsted rated Plumpton ‘good’ in seven of the eight key areas, with provision for learners with high needs rated ‘requires improvement’.

Describing the college as “a welcoming, inclusive and respectful community”, lead inspector Helen Flint praised the work carried out by principal Jeremy Kerswell and his team to improve teaching, learning, assessment and outcomes.

She said: “Leaders’ and managers’ well-considered actions have resulted in improvements in teaching, learning and assessment since the previous inspection.

“Most learners and apprentices gain valuable technical and practical skills and are making good progress towards employment or further training in a range of land-based and adventure education areas.”

Mr Kerswell said: “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.”

Ms Flint described learners as “enthusiastic and ready to learn”, saying they were “proud of the high standards of work they produce”.

Most went on to achieve their qualifications.

She recognised that attendance had improved over the past three years and was particularly high among those with high needs.

Stan Stanier, Plumpton’s chairman of governors, said: “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.”

Mr Kerswell added: “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.”

Maria Caulfield, MP for Lewes, said: "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 from strength to strength in the future.”

To read the report, log onto the Ofsted website.