Students and staff at Warrington & Vale Royal College are celebrating after being rated 'good' by Ofsted inspectors.

The assessment has been hailed as a huge achievement following the merger of Warrington Collegiate and Mid Cheshire College in Winsford and Northwich in 2017.

It marks a turnaround after Ofsted inspectors slammed the quality of teaching, learning and assessment at Mid Cheshire College in 2017 rating it 'inadequate' and criticised the effectiveness of leadership and management.

Last month, after scrutinising students' work, talking to staff and learners and carrying out a rigorous inspection, the new college has been commended for creating 'a very caring and highly inclusive learning environment'.

In a report, Ofsted inspectors said: "The senior leadership of the college is highly effective. Senior leaders have developed and implemented a clear strategy that has resulted in sustained improvement across the merged institution.

"Staff morale is high and most teachers feel valued.

"Most learners and apprentices quickly develop new knowledge, skills and behaviours. This prepares them well for further study, employment or promotion at work."

Relationships between learners and their teachers and assessors were described as 'excellent'.

College principal and chief executive Nichola Newton said: “I am very proud to be principal of this wonderful college and I am so pleased that Ofsted have recognised just how well we are serving the communities with whom we work.

"This is a huge achievement for our staff and students who have worked together at pace and with great focus and energy to succeed since the merger of Warrington Collegiate and Mid Cheshire College in Northwich and Winsford in 2017.

"To have achieved this excellent result and be described as ‘highly inclusive’ re-affirms my belief that we have become a college that the people of Warrington and Vale Royal can trust and justifiably be proud of. Quite simply, we believe in our students and we do the very best for them, inspiring them to achieve and this report is testimony to that.”

Areas of the inspection rated ‘good' include leadership and management, quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development, adult learning programmes and provision for learners with high needs.

The college’s industry-standard equipment was praised for enabling students to develop practical skills which are valued by employers.

Up-to-date methods of cookery, such as sous vide, have been introduced which go beyond the requirements of qualifications.

This commitment to excellence was also demonstrated through the college’s personal development programme, with inspectors applauding the wide range of activities, work experience and internships which complements student programmes of study and develops students as individuals.

Governors were commended for their effectiveness to 'hold the senior leadership team to account'.

However, inspectors criticised apprenticeships saying they 'require improvement' and some tuition needs rectifying.

Inspectors said: "In a few occupational areas such as plumbing and joinery apprenticeships and in GCSE English and maths, the implementation of an ambitious curriculum is weak.

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"Teachers in these subjects do not identify well enough the gaps in student's knowledge and deliver the curriculum to build on what learners already know.Consequently not all apprentices and learners improve their understanding to a high enough level.

"Teachers do not ensure that learners who have high needs on foundation courses have access to an ambitious curriculum."

Inspectors said attendance was high in most classes and said learners' conduct was 'excellent' and students show respect for each other.

To find out more about Warrington & Vale Royal College and the wide range of courses on offer, visit the college’s website or attend an open evening on Wednesday, November 13.