Sussex Downs College is delivering good quality teaching to students in a ‘vibrant and inclusive environment promoting respect for all’ – claims the new Ofsted report which sees the college’s overall grade rise from a 3 (requires improvement) to a 2 (good).
The college, which has campuses in Eastbourne, Lewes and Newhaven, was inspected back in April, finding that teaching, learning and assessment are good and teachers and support staff have a strong determination to help learners to succeed. Ofsted praised the verbal and written feedback students received from tutors, along with the variety of learning methods and activities adopted to motivate them.
Inspectors said, “Learners enjoy their courses and have positive attitudes to their studies. Attendance rates are high and learners are motivated to succeed.”
Notable improvements included the quality of teaching, learning and assessment, and the learner experience. The college’s work with industry was praised, as it links students’ studies to future career paths.
Ofsted identified that ‘learners develop good levels of independent learning and those on vocational courses have good practical skills’. When it comes to the college environment, Ofsted reported, “The college provides an inclusive, vibrant environment and staff successfully promote respect for all learners whatever their background and lifestyle.”
However, inspectors said the proportion of ‘outstanding’ lessons is too low, too few learners on level 3 courses, and studying English and maths, achieve high grade passes and advice and guidance provided about higher level study and employment is insufficiently detailed, while progression rates are low on several courses including history, philosophy, geography, sociology and psychology.
Stephen Lloyd MP said, “I am delighted at this Ofsted result for SDC. The hard work all the staff have put in over the last couple of years has really paid dividends. I congratulate their principal Melanie Hunt and her team. Well done.”