Staff and learners at Accrington and Rossendale College are celebrating after receiving an ‘outstanding’ rating in a new Ofsted inspection. 

The college is part of the Nelson and Colne College Group, which is the first in Lancashire to receive the highest possible Ofsted accolades under the new inspection framework. 

The college was inspected in March 2022 and saw the inspection team visit the campus, talk to staff, students, apprentices, governors and employers.  

The team of 10 inspectors confirmed that ‘learners and apprentices love being learners at the college’ and leaders and management across the group ‘provide a high-quality education through which learners and most apprentices achieve their full potential’. 

Inspectors identified that ‘learners and apprentices embody the outstanding culture of high standards across all of the college sites. They are passionate and highly motivated about their education and futures. They describe their teachers and trainers as inspirational and knowledgeable. Staff are immensely proud to work at the college. Learners and apprentices are equally proud to study at the college. Their behaviour is exemplary’. 

They also noted that ‘teachers and trainers create highly supportive, calm learning environments in which learners and most apprentices thrive. Learners rapidly build their confidence and produce work of a very high standard. Apprentices develop substantial new knowledge, skills, and behaviours’. 

Speaking following the publication of the report, Accrington and Rossendale College Centre Principal Morag Davis said: 

 “I am beyond proud to be a part of this extraordinary college. The work the teachers, trainers and support teams do on a daily basis is all focussed on our learners and their successes and I am just delighted that Ofsted recognised that in their recent visit.” 

Commenting on her pride in the report, Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said:  

 “Our focus has always been to provide the very best education and training to learners and apprentices across Lancashire and now, after two mergers and a pandemic, Ofsted has recognised us as an ‘Outstanding’ group of colleges.  

“This is a phenomenal achievement for Accrington and Rossendale College, given the commitment we have shown to supporting the College since the merger. All of the colleges within Nelson and Colne College Group are now outstanding and this is a true testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of all of our staff and students.”

“We hope everyone connected with Accrington and Rossendale College, and the Nelson and Colne College Group will join us in celebrating this success. The college has an exciting future ahead and we remain committed to this level of excellence for all our current and future learners, across all of our colleges.” 

Overall effectiveness: Outstanding

The quality of education – Outstanding

Behaviour and attitudes – Outstanding

Personal development – Outstanding

Leadership and management – Outstanding

Education programmes for young people – Outstanding

Adult learning programmes – Outstanding

Apprenticeships – Good

Provision for learners with high needs – Outstanding

The full Ofsted report can be found by clicking here.