Having previously been graded as ‘Good’ in 2014, Ofsted re-visited Sussex Downs College in November 2015 and re-graded the College to a Grade 3. Newly appointed Principal, Mike Hopkins accepted the report and has already instigated changes to improve the situation in the specifically highlighted areas of the college.
The report also highlighted areas with positive recognition, including apprenticeships, high needs and adult learning.
Inspectors reviewed our students’ achievements in the past year, which include:
- Sussex Downs College was voted the number one FE College in the South for student satisfaction in 2014.
- This year we had an A Level pass rate of 97% with 45 subject areas achieving 100% pass rate
- The College offers more than 400 qualifications
- Sussex Downs is ranked as no 1 for International work * English Language Gazette 2015
- 85% of our Level 3 learners receive a university offer – of which 25% go on to study at one of the prestigious Russell Group Universities.
- The College has links with 700 local and national employers
- Sussex Downs College has 550 apprentices at the College
As with any valuable inspection, areas for improvement have been identified in the report. The areas identified for requiring improvement are:
- Effectiveness of leadership and management
- Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- Outcomes for learners
- 16 to 19 study programmes
The areas highlighted by inspectors mirrored those that we had self-assessed as requiring improvement, and our plans for next year will contain clear steps to make further improvements.
We are delighted to have newly appointed Principal Mike Hopkins on board to bring in the required changes to SDC, with the grade ‘outstanding’ in our vision. The next Ofsted visit is expected in 12 to 24 months’ time, with the College’s immediate line of sight set firmly on the success of students.
We look forward to welcoming students and guardians to Sussex Downs College in the future.
The full Ofsted report can be downloaded from www.ofsted.gov.uk.