Wakefield College - Heart of Yorkshire Education Group receives Ofsted ‘Good’ grade and ‘Strong’ skills rating
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Heart of Yorkshire Education Group receives Ofsted ‘Good’ grade and ‘Strong’ skills rating

Monday, 13 November, 2023

Ofsted Corporate

Principal and Chief Executive Sam Wright and Chair of Governors Andrew McConnell OBE at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group

The Heart of Yorkshire Education Group has been praised by Ofsted for its ‘Strong’ contribution to meeting regional and national skills needs, with the Group receiving a ‘Good’ grade for every aspect and overall.

16 Ofsted inspectors carried out a full inspection of the Group’s three Colleges – Castleford College, Selby College and Wakefield College – in early October, following Ofsted’s latest ‘enhanced inspection framework’, which was launched in September 2022. 

This includes the introduction of a new skills rating, with the Group receiving the highest grade of ‘Strong’ for its efforts in developing a responsive curriculum which addresses skills gaps in the local, regional and national economy.

Following consultation with local employers and civic and education partners of the Group, Ofsted praised the Group for the highly effective relationships it has built with a variety of stakeholders - enabling it to have an excellent understanding of skills needs across a wide range of industries.

The Group was rated ‘Good’ across all four provision types and all four key judgements, including quality of education, behaviour and attitudes of students, effectiveness of leadership and management and personal development. 

Teachers across the Group were acknowledged for how they used their expertise to plan learning which enables learners and apprentices to continuously build on their knowledge and skills.

The report also concluded that:

  • Teachers use a range of effective assessment strategies in lessons to check learners’ and apprentices’ understanding and to identify gaps in their knowledge.
  • Learners benefit from teachers who are well qualified and have expertise in the subjects that they teach, with many teachers continuing to practise in their specialist fields.
  • The Group delivers effective specialist provision and vocational courses for learners with high needs, providing these learners with helpful opportunities to become more independent, develop work-related skills and follow routes into employment.
  • Effective processes are in place at the Group to ensure that learners with high needs receive the right level of personal and medical care as outlined in their education, health and care plans.
  • Learners feel safe at all three colleges and comfortable in voicing concerns to tutors as part of the safeguarding process.
  • Leaders and managers are proactive participants in developing the skills strategy for the region and play an active role in collaborative research into innovative responses to skills needs.
  • The Group supports staff well to ensure that their occupational and teaching skills are current, providing staff with a wide range of relevant training to develop their teaching expertise and industry knowledge. 
  • The Group promotes a culture that is supportive and inclusive and encourages collaborative working across the Group and the pooling of resources.
  • There is a carefully structured and effective governance model, with Governors providing strong oversight, challenge and support to ensure that leaders make good progress.

Andrew McConnell OBE, Chair of Governors at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said:“Our Board of Governors, Executive Team and colleagues across the Group are delighted with the result and are incredibly proud of our staff, students and the quality of provision delivered here at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group. To receive a ‘Strong’ skills rating is a testament to the collaborative relationships our staff have built with a range of stakeholders, and how we embed this into everything that we do. The report confirms the vital role the Group plays in developing the skills strategy for the region and beyond, which is preparing our learners with the knowledge and behaviours to successfully progress into prosperous careers.”

Sam Wright, Principal and Chief Executive at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, said: “After merging and aligning our colleges over the past two years, alongside dealing with the disruption of a global pandemic and the economic downturn, this is a fantastic result and is thanks to the hard work and resilience of our staff and students. Creating an ambitious, skills-led curriculum is high on our agenda at the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, so I’m thrilled that our intent and commitment to address regional and national skills gaps has been acknowledged.

“It is also clear from the report that our students feel safe, supported and motivated as they carry out their learning journey with us, one which encourages them to continuously expand their knowledge, skillset and their horizons. I am truly grateful to all colleagues across the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group for their dedication and drive in making a difference to people’s lives across the communities we serve,” added Sam.

The full report can be read, here: Heart of Yorkshire Education Group - Open - Find an Inspection Report - Ofsted

Find out more about the Heart of Yorkshire Education Group, at: www.heartofyorkshire.ac.uk


CONTACT: For more information email info@wakefield.ac.uk, or telephone 01924 789789.
DATE: 13 November, 2023

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