Nelson and Colne College Group rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted

Staff and learners within the Nelson and Colne College Group are celebrating after receiving ‘outstanding' ratings across all three colleges in a new Ofsted inspection.

The group, which comprises Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning, is the first in Lancashire to receive the highest possible Ofsted accolades under the new inspection framework.

The inspection, which took place in March 2022, saw a 10-strong team visit all campuses, talk to staff, students, apprentices, governors and employers.

They identified 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’.

Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group, Amanda Melton CBE (front left) and Centre Principal of Nelson and Colne College, Fionnuala Swann (front right) celebrate with staff and students

Nelson and Colne College Group is now the only college in Lancashire to be graded as ‘Outstanding’.

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’.

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’.

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Speaking of her pride in the report, Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group Amanda Melton CBE said: “I am beyond proud to be a part of this extraordinary college group. 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.”

“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 Nelson and Colne College Group, given the commitment we have shown to supporting both Lancashire Adult Learning and Accrington and Rossendale College following the mergers.

“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.”