Banbury college provider praised by Ofsted

Banbury and Bicester College. NNL-170613-160538009
Banbury and Bicester College. NNL-170613-160538009

The provider behind Banbury and Bicester College was praised by the education watchdog with bosses paying tribute to the students and staff who contributed.

Activate Learning was rated as ‘good’ overall by Ofsted with provision for learners with high needs considered the best possible rating of ‘outstanding’ but apprenticeships as ‘requires improvement’ in a report published on January 22.

Activate Learning chief executive Sally Dicketts

Activate Learning chief executive Sally Dicketts

The firm which runs colleges in Banbury, Bicester, Oxford and Reading was lauded for its improvements in teaching, learning and assessment that have led to an increased rating for student outcomes and progression.

Chief executive Sally Dicketts said: “It is a great tribute to the hard work of our students and staff that Ofsted has recognised Activate Learning colleges as ‘good’ and improving.

“The grading, along with the very positive comments, is very encouraging feedback on our route to becoming an overall ‘outstanding’ provider.

“The Ofsted inspectors were clearly impressed by our four-year trend of rising results, by the high quality of the teaching on show and the excellent student behaviour they witnessed.

“They recognised the positive impact our work on learners’ attributes and our learning philosophy has on students’ attainment and progression.

“I’m pleased that Ofsted highlighted the strength of our partnerships with employers as these are crucial to preparing our learners for work, developing their skills and helping them progress.

“I am also delighted that our provision for learners with high needs has been recognised as ‘outstanding’.

“This is a great tribute to our staff, our partners in the local community and local councils and to the learners themselves who continue to challenge perceptions with the high quality of their work.”

Following the inspection in December, 2017, the inspection team commended Activate as an ‘effective learning organisation’.

They highlighted ‘employers’ strong involvement’ in developing learning programmes and in preparing learners for work and complimented the way students develop their confidence and their personal, social and employability skills.

Inspectors hailed improvements in the quality of teaching, learning and assessment that have improved results so the ‘large majority of students progress’ to employment or higher study.

Activate Learning was last inspected in 2013 when it was also judged to be ‘good’.

Read the report here.