Staff learners within the Nelson and Colne College Group are celebrating after receiving ‘outstanding’ ratings across all three colleges in a new Ofsted inspection.

The group is the first in Lancashire to receive the highest possible Ofsted accolades under the new inspection framework.

The inspection, which took place in March 2022, saw the inspection team visit all campuses, talk to staff, students, apprentices, employers and governors.

They identified that ‘learners and apprentices love being learners at the college. They are passionate and highly motivated about their education and futures’ and leaders and management across the group ‘provide a high-quality education through which learners and most apprentices achieve their full potential’.

Nelson and Colne College Group is now the only college in Lancashire to be graded as ‘Outstanding’.

Inspectors identified that ‘Leaders have excellent links with local employers, universities, and regional business groups including the local enterprise partnership. They collaborate with them to create a challenging curriculum designed to help learners and apprentices achieve ambitious career goals’.

They also noted that ‘Leadership and management are outstanding. Leaders and governors are very ambitious for their learners and apprentices. They set high expectations for all staff and learners to achieve. Learners rapidly build their confidence and produce work of a very high standard. Apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills and behaviours’.

Speaking of her pride in the report, Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said:

“I am beyond proud to be a part of this extraordinary college group. The work the teachers, trainers and support teams do on a daily basis is all focussed on our learners and their successes and I am just delighted that Ofsted recognised that in their recent visit.

“Our focus has always been to provide the very best education and training to learners and apprentices across Lancashire to ensure they are best prepared to meet the needs of industry and secure high-quality careers where they can really make an impact.

“Now, after two mergers and a pandemic, Ofsted has recognised us as an ‘Outstanding’ group of colleges.

“This is a phenomenal achievement for Nelson and Colne College Group, given the commitment we have shown to supporting both Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College following the mergers, alongside our continued commitment to securing the development of skills across the whole of Lancashire.

“All of the colleges within Nelson and Colne College Group are now outstanding and this is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of all of our staff and students, alongside our close collaboration with our employer partners.

“We hope everyone connected with Nelson and Colne College Group will join us in celebrating this success. The college group has an exciting future ahead and we remain committed to this level of excellence for all our current and future learners, across all of our colleges.”

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