Reaseheath College has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted for the overall experiences and progress of its students in a report released this week.
The inspection, held in September 2017, found that the leading land-based college, in Cheshire, offers remarkable experiences and opportunities for students and that they make excellent progress.
Reaseheath was awarded ‘outstanding’ for the care of its 16-18 year olds at its previous inspection in 2013 and this re-inspection, through more stringent criteria, confirms that it remains one of the UK’s premier technical and specialist colleges.
The Ofsted report commends the college for providing the very best experiences which significantly improve the potential of its students, and highlights the ‘exceptional relationships and strong family values that help students thrive.’
It also confirms that Reaseheath continues to provide first-rate services which help and protect its students and prepares them for safe and happy futures, pointing out ‘the students’ experience of moving on from college is excellent’.
The Ofsted inspectors found that residential students tend to exceed high performing day students in educational and emotional achievement and that they continue to be successful after they have left college, an indication of high quality emotional, social and academic development.
They noted that high calibre safeguarding practice encouraged students to develop personal strategies for staying safe while offering outstanding support when needed. This was provided by leaders and managers who showed exceptional levels of competency.
Students had told inspectors that living on campus was a central part of their lives and that the support they received helped them to believe they could achieve their goals. They felt that being part of Reaseheath College was, and would continue to be, key to their future success.
Reaseheath has six high quality halls of residence on campus, thanks to its continuing investment programme, and currently has 350 students aged 16 to 18 who live in.
For the vast majority, this is their first experience of living away from home.
Students told inspectors: ‘They (the Safeguarding team) are always there; they provide guidance and support…They make us feel safe and happy.’
The inspectors were also impressed by the way students were involved in college development, contributing meaningfully to important matters such as senior recruitment and student induction programmes.
Four times the required number of returning students had applied to become ‘freshers representatives’, a social support system for new students. This enthusiasm came from the students being proud of the college and wanting to contribute to its ongoing success.
Principal Meredydd David said: “This is an amazing Ofsted report that truly captures the fantastic work of the whole team at Reaseheath. To be rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas and to see such positive and heart-felt comments from our students shows the exceptional standard of our education and also the care and support which Reaseheath provides.
“We pride ourselves in inspiring and developing wonderful, ambitious and successful young people who will succeed in their careers and contribute to society. The report reinforces this ethos, and our success in achieving it.”