Midhurst Rother College makes ‘satisfactory progress’

Ofsted inspectors have judged Midhurst Rother College ‘satisfactory’ and report the new college is on the right path towards further improvement.

It is the first full inspection it has undergone since it opened in 2009 and following their two-day visit, inspectors said the proportion of ‘good or better’ teaching had increased since their monitoring inspection last year.

“Carefully and intelligently the college’s leaders are laying the foundations of a well-integrated and ambitious community.”

“At present it offers a satisfactory quality of education but there is evidence its capacity for further improvement is good.”

The inspectors set out a four-point plan to further improve teaching, accelerate academic progress and extend the breadth and variety of the sixth form curriculum.

Although the sixth form curriculum met the needs of current students, inspectors said it was not broad and varied enough to support college plans for expansion.

They reported there had been an ‘upward trend in attainment’ over the two years since the new college opened, with results in GCSE modules and analysis of students’ work showing attainment was now broadly in line with national averages.

“This represents satisfactory progress. The college has rightly identified as a priority the strengthening of literacy and numeracy skills across the curriculum.”

The Oftsed report, said principal Dr Joe Vitagliano and senior leaders’ assessment of the college’s strengths and areas for improvement was soundly based and their development plan was both ‘ambitious and practical’.

“The curriculum is steadily developing with the addition of more vocational options, but as college leaders acknowledge it does not yet meet all needs fully.”

Inspectors said despite initial anxieties among the local community recognition of the college’s strengths was growing.

Students felt safe and were justifiably confident difficulties would be promptly and effectively resolved.

“Pastoral care is well managed and effective. Although occasionally unnerved by boisterous older students, younger ones do not feel at risk of being bullied, their confidence is under-pinned by the college’s outstanding safeguarding provision.”

Principal Dr Vitagliano said: “This is a strong Ofsted report which recognises progress is well under way. The inspectors saw clear evidence of our capacity to improve and we expect this summer’s GCSE and A-level results to demonstrate this.

“We are clearly on the right path and with the construction of our new building now taking place the college has a lot to look forward to.”