Reigate College has been graded ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted since 2005 and is regularly placed in the top ten of UK colleges (using success rates as the criteria).
Reigate College hosted a convention of Ofsted inspectors and College Principals on 11 December 2013, the theme of the event being how to achieve the best results in sixth form education.
The convention was introduced by Alan Hinchliffe HMI who made the following opening remarks: “Welcome everyone. May I introduce you to Steve Oxlade, the Principal of Reigate College and let me say at the outset why we are here today. Reigate Sixth Form College’s results are out of this world………no, let me correct that statement………they are stratospheric!”
Steve then led an hour-long seminar in which the delegates were introduced to the “Reigate Way” and given a glimpse into what makes the College so successful. Steve commented on the event:
“Ofsted’s focus at the convention was on “value added” – which measures the level of AS, A level and BTEC qualifications achieved compared to the GCSE results of students when they join their sixth form.
Reigate’s “value added” has long been admired but this the first time Ofsted has actually approached us to try and find the secret! It’s not surprising really……..we have three times as many students achieving high grades (As and Bs) as were predicted to achieve these grades, based on their GCSE results, so I guess it’s going to spark the interest of those on high. How do we do it? Well, you’ll need to come along to one of our Open Evenings next October and find out!”
Ofsted inspected Reigate College in October 2008 and concluded once again that the College is an ‘outstanding provider of education for 16-19 year olds’. With achievements at their highest level ever Reigate College has become one of the most successful colleges in the UK. The Ofsted inspection team were glowing in their praise, using the terms “outstanding” and “exemplary” on sixteen occasions in their summary alone!
What makes Reigate College so special, according to Ofsted, is that “teaching is of a high standard (and) the support given to students to ensure they reach their potential is exemplary, as is the personal care and guidance they receive”.
Not surprisingly, the Ofsted report focuses on the exceptional achievements by the students, describing them as “significantly above the high sixth form college national average” noting that “all groups of students achieve well, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, learning needs or prior attainment”.
In July 2008 the College was awarded Beacon Status by the government – an accolade that recognises “excellence and innovation” in teaching and learning.
The standard of the College campus, accommodation and the quality of resources available to students was another highlight of the inspection with students benefiting from “excellent access to computing and other resources”.
Principal Dr Paul Rispoli who was Principal at the time the report was published, commented ‘Students know that when they come to Reigate College they have a choice of subjects and courses that they can’t get at school. We have high expectations of our students and they don’t let us down. Our secret? The right courses, great teaching and a genuine belief amongst all our staff that every student matters’.
Read the full Ofsted 2008 report.
Read the Ofsted 2005 report.
For more information about Ofsted see the Ofsted website.