Community leaders across Telford have praised the ‘remarkable transformation’ at Telford College after it received a history-making ‘Good’ rating from education regulator Ofsted.
It is the first time a merger of previously under-performing further education and sixth form colleges has received one of the regulator’s top two grades after its first official inspection.
Telford MP Lucy Allan said: “This is a tremendous achievement for all at Telford College and I am pleased that Ofsted has recognised the progress made by the students and staff to improve its rating to ‘good’. I have written to the college to congratulate them on this important achievement.
“Telford College is a vital centre of learning in our community, providing the skills training that fills roles in our local economy including the health and social care workforce.
“Skills developed at Telford College are crucial for Telford’s future as a centre for skilled jobs, growth and business enterprise.
“I look forward to seeing the new Maths and Digital Skills Hub in the station quarter take shape as a result of the Government’s Towns Fund initiative and the support of local partners and stakeholders.
“Telford College is a key partner in Telford’s Town Fund plans and its contribution is crucial to the development at the heart of the town.”
Telford & Wrekin Council added: “Congratulations to everyone at Telford College on the Ofsted ‘Good’ inspection rating, which shows a remarkable transformation.”
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “Telford College is one of the leading learning providers in the borough and plays a key role in making Telford an inspirational hub for learning, opportunity and achievement.
“We are really pleased that the college has achieved a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating which is an excellent achievement and the culmination of a fantastic five years of improvement.
“We would like to congratulate everyone at the college who has contributed to this remarkable transformation.”
Praise for the college’s role in the community has been echoed by a number of other major Telford businesses.
Maxine Burgess, HR director at Aga Rayburn which is involved with the college’s new apprenticeship hub, said: “As an employer we probably have the best relationship with the college now that we have ever had.
“The team engage with us regularly and work with us to understand our needs and provide solutions for us.
“And on a personal note, as a parent of a year 11 student, I was very impressed with the open evening that we attended, along with the interview process and taster session.
“My daughter found the health and social care team really engaging and felt that the college would be a good fit for her.”
The Ofsted ‘Good’ rating came just weeks after Telford College’s financial health was officially upgraded to ‘Outstanding’, and completes an incredible five years of improvement, innovation and expansion.
In its inspection report, Ofsted praised the college for adapting the curriculum to meet changing skills needs, and for helping students to boost confidence and self-belief in a safe and stimulating learning environment.
Principal and chief executive Graham Guest described the news as ‘a magnificent achievement’.
“It is the latest milestone on what has been an incredible journey for the college over the past five years, and is richly-deserved reward for all the hard work of staff, and students,” he said.
“It’s good news for the staff, it’s good news for the students, and it’s good news for the people of Telford.”
Telford College was formed in 2017 from the merger of New College Telford, and Telford College of Arts and Technology – both deemed by Ofsted as either ‘inadequate’ or ‘requiring improvement’.
An 11-strong team of Ofsted inspectors spent a week at the campus in February to assess the current quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, leadership and management.