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News: Nottingham College achieves an outstanding Ofsted grade for its residential provision

Rated Outstanding by Ofsted for residential apprenticeship provision
Nottingham College has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted for residential apprenticeship provision

The College is delighted to announce it has received its first Outstanding Ofsted grade at its most recent inspection, marking the start of a new chapter for the college as it continues its journey towards becoming an Outstanding college, across all provision, over the next three years.

This most recent inspection looked at the college’s residential provision – this is apprenticeships provision that sees students from across the UK come to the college for their training, with overnight and often weekly stays, in Nottingham.

The inspection graded the overall experiences and progress of young people on our residential programmes, how well they are supported and protected and the effectiveness of leaders and managers. The college received an Outstanding grade in all three key areas.

More than 400 apprentices participate in the college’s residential provision, attending their training at our automotive centre in Ruddington. The apprentices are working in national automotive centres and dealerships for the bulk of their training but attend the Emtec automotive centre at regular and scheduled intervals to complete their classroom and workshop training with our teaching team. Students are here for days or weeks at a time and stay in local hotels and accommodation.

This inspection, that took place in February 2024, not only reviewed the quality of the apprenticeship training received, the facilities and resources used and the standard of teaching, but also reviewed the protections and safeguards we have in place for students staying away from home. They looked specifically at the suitability of their accommodation, the wrap around support they receive and how the efforts of leaders and managers ensure the overall experience of the student for the time they are with us. 

The inspection report made a number of statements as to the quality of the provision:

  • Students receive individualised and tailored programmes that fully consider their needs both academically and more holistically.
  • Student inductions are exceptional.
  • The experience of college life and opportunities presented by the college’s residential provision enhances the life chances of the students.
  • Students have positive relationships with their tutors and well-being coordinators.
  • Throughout the college, students are spoken about with pride. Lecturers are rightly proud of the apprenticeships they offer and the opportunities students are given.
  • Students are supported to develop independence and social skills that benefit their future employability prospects.

It also praised the college’s approach to safeguarding and wellbeing, stating:

  • Student’s emotional health and well-being needs are considered and regularly reviewed and there is support and help available.
  • Young people say they feel safe at the college, and there have been no incidents of bullying, going missing or challenging behaviour.
  • Young people are provided with clear and consistent boundaries and there are high expectations around conduct and behaviour.
  • College staff provide pastoral support, including tutorials and training around societal issues that may impact on students’ health and welfare.

Referencing the work of leaders and managers, the report states:

  • Leadership and management arrangements are strong, and the students are put at the centre of everything. 
  • Leaders and managers are ambitious and inspirational and have high expectations and ambitions for all the apprentices.
  • Leaders and manager work with parents, employers and students in creating a supportive learning environment that extends to developing independence and employability skills, alongside academic studies.

During the inspection the team of inspectors spoke to students, parents and employers and cited one employer comment in their report:

College absolutely meets all our needs and what we want for our students. 

 — An employer working with Nottingham College

Facilities are good, modern and it is well set up and support is brilliant. I couldn’t ask for more. 

 — A parent of an apprentice at Nottingham College

Reading the inspection report, it’s hard to imagine a more glowing reflection of our apprenticeships provision at Emtec. Long hailed as an industry leader in specialist automotive training, our Emtec centre can now proudly boast not only fantastic facilities and outstanding teaching and learning but also an approach to safety, wellbeing and care for our students that really sets us apart from the rest. I’m proud of all the teaching team who deliver the training and all the staff who provide the expert wraparound care that our students receive when away from home. 

Carole Thorogood — Chair of the Nottingham College Board of Governors

This is the second Ofsted inspection the college has received in the last 18 months, with the first one taking place throughout a full week in November 2022, across all provision, and this one taking place over two days in February 2024. Securing a Good grade overall, just over a year ago, set us off on a trajectory towards outstanding and this latest grade is clear evidence that we’re well on our way! Our Emtec automotive provision attracts students from across the UK thanks to its fantastic, well-established reputation. This reputation is built on outstanding teaching and an unrivalled student experience, and this inspection outcome shows that we really are world class when it comes to automotive apprenticeships delivery. 

Janet Smith — CEO and Principal of Nottingham College

Emtec, Nottingham College’s centre for automotive apprenticeships and commercial training is located at our Ruddington campus. It has recently launched a suite of specialist electric and hybrid vehicle training and last year developed its fleet of electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to support the industry wide roll out of these new, highly specialised and in-demand skills.

Published on:
  • 11th March 2024 (12:10 PM)
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