The partnership formed between Peterborough College and Stamford College has been praised by Ofsted inspectors for driving ‘significant progress’ after a monitoring visit in September 2021.
The Inspire Education Group, which was formed last year and comprises Peterborough College, Stamford College and University Centre Peterborough, is responsible for 1,250 staff, 4,600 16-18 Further Education students, 1,000 adults, 800 Higher Education students and 1,100 apprentices.
The report praises the efforts of college leaders, highlighting ‘significant progress’ in all areas, including maintaining high quality education and training during the ongoing pandemic, establishing an ambitious curriculum to meet the education and training needs of students, apprentices and college stakeholders, and the ongoing careers advice given to students to make informed decisions about their next steps.
The Ofsted monitoring inspection found that:
- Leaders and governors have worked tirelessly to achieve a successful merger during the pandemic ensuring that existing best practice is shared and implemented across both sites
- Leaders and managers carefully research, plan and implement their curriculum to meet the local and regional skills and training needs
- Staff across the college group understand and implement the college values of putting students and apprentices at the centre of everything they do
- Support for students and apprentices to help them to catch up on lost learning is highly effective
- Leaders have put in place a highly effective virtual learning platform. They have invested in technology that enables students and apprentices to continue to make good progress with their studies while studying remotely
- Teachers ensure that students and apprentices have extensive opportunities to make good use of the relevant information provided to inform their future careers
- Apprentices are clear about their career aspirations and know how to make these aspirations a reality
- Governors have an excellent awareness of the skills needs of the local communities in Peterborough, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire
The report builds on the high standards and improvements being made by leaders at both colleges prior to the colleges merging to form the Inspire Education Group.
Janet Meenaghan, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Stamford College, said: “Following the challenging times we have all faced, we are very proud to receive these judgements from Ofsted. We aim to transform lives through inspirational education and training – and it is pleasing to see our work is having a real impact across Stamford, Peterborough and the wider region.
“Both colleges were already providing excellent opportunities for our students, and continuously improving standards in all areas, and I am delighted that everyone’s hard work and effort during challenging times has been recognised by Ofsted inspectors.”
Rachel Nicholls, Deputy CEO of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Peterborough College, added: “The report highlights the continued significant improvements that have been made at Peterborough College over the last three years and is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication of staff and students across the group.
“It is an exciting time for the Inspire Education Group as we develop new curriculum across our further and higher education offer. We are particularly proud of our new partnership with the Open University who will be validating all programmes at University Centre Peterborough, starting September 2022.”
The Ofsted monitoring visit took place to review and evaluate the progress governors, leaders and staff have made to establish a shared strategic direction since the merger took place and the improvements made in the quality of provision since the last full inspection of Peterborough Regional College in 2019.
The Inspire Education Group was formed on 1st August 2020, through the merger of Peterborough Regional College and New College Stamford, alongside University Centre Peterborough. The formation of the group formalised the partnership between the two colleges to create a combined further education and higher education group that will serve Peterborough, Stamford and the surrounding areas. It is a result of a positive and deliberate strategy to deliver a strengthened offer to the local communities, students and employers.
For more information about the Inspire Education Group, please visit: www.ieg.ac.uk
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