Hugh Baird College has been rated amongst the best in the North West after receiving an overall ‘Good’ Ofsted grading following its latest inspection from the government’s education watchdog.
The Bootle based college, which offers vocational learning for students from aged 14 upwards, university level courses including full honours degrees and, since merging with South Sefton College in December of last year, A-level courses, scored ‘Good’ gradings in all but one of the nine areas the Ofsted inspection covered.
Ofsted judges reported that many College students ‘gain jobs with companies locally, nationally and internationally’ while learner behaviour and acceptance of others and those from different backgrounds and cultures was also commended in the report.
A major achievement for Hugh Baird College was the uplift of its A-level provision from a ‘Requiring Improvement’ rating given to South Sefton College when they were inspected in 2016 to a ‘Good’ grading, meaning that the College now offers some of the best A-level teaching in the Liverpool City Region at its South Sefton Campus.
Another area of the College that received a ‘Good’ grading was the Hugh Baird 14-16 College. This area of the College offers students the opportunity to leave school aged 14 and study career launching courses on a full time basis. Inspectors commented that ‘learner behaviour was good’ and that ‘learners gain good practical skills in their vocational lessons, preparing them well for further studies and employment.’
The report concluded that governors and senior leaders ‘promote a highly inclusive ethos and are committed to an ambitious vision to provide a high standard of education and training’.
Hugh Baird College Principal and Chief Executive Yana Williams said:
"We are pleased with result of our latest Government inspection which demonstrates a significant team effort from all involved at Hugh Baird College, from students, parents, teachers, governors and managers.”
“The findings demonstrate the passion and commitment within our College to drive educational standards and opportunities for learners across the Liverpool City Region. We believe it also provides a strong indication of our College ethos, which is based on an inclusive and respectful culture.”
“The key findings show positive performances across the board, but importantly communicate the high-quality learning environment we create at Hugh Baird College. Officials have recognised the dedication and commitment of our tutors, and the strong track-record we have delivering positive outcomes for our learners.”
According to the Ofsted report, ‘learners produce work of a good standard. They are proud of the progress that they have made since they started their course.’ Further key findings show ‘learners gain extra qualifications and certificates. These enhance their opportunities for employment, promotion and further study.’
Officials also noted that learners enjoy an extensive range of enrichment activities and meaningful work experience and concluded that this further increases the skills they develop on their programmes.
In addition, the report identifies that ‘lecturers plan and execute learning well to motivate and challenge learners to reach their potential’. The report further complimented staff by highlighting that ‘lecturers develop high-quality learning materials that help learners to grasp key concepts in lessons.’
“While the report highlights much of the positive work being achieved we fully accept we have areas to improve,” said Ms Williams.
“We are working hard with local authorities and business partners to further align our courses with future skills needs within the Liverpool City Region. It is fundamental to our outlook to provide our learners with skills and experience that will lead to careers and life-long employment. We are listening to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and are responding to its key growth priorities in the area and nationally.”
“We are keen to communicate the diverse opportunity we provide here at Hugh Baird College with more than 300 courses, from bricklaying to business studies, including full-time, part-time study, apprenticeships, diplomas or Full Honours Degrees. We are extremely keen to hear from anyone interested in further education as we believe our advice and tutorship combined with student support is amongst the best in the region.”
Hugh Baird College Chair of Governors David Crosby said:
“The last three years have seen significant change and growth at Hugh Baird College. Greater focus by staff and managers on ensuring we deliver for our learners, employers and community while dealing with significant cuts in funding, demonstrates the high levels of achievement and improvement we have made.”
“I am delighted that the Ofsted report acknowledges our improvements, and on behalf of the Board of Governors, I would like to congratulate the hard-working staff and management team at the College. However, we can improve and we are already acting on points raised in the report. I can categorically state that we will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do and deliver first class education, skills and training to all our stakeholders.”
Hugh Baird College delivers further education largely for learners aged 16 to 18 at levels, 1, 2 and 3. Adult learners study on levels 1, 2 and 3 full-time and part-time courses. It also has an increasing number of apprentices, the majority of which are intermediate level. In addition, it has a number of learners aged 14 to 16 studying on full-time courses.
A full copy of the report can be downloaded at www.hughbaird.ac.uk/ofsted