Ofsted inspectors praise the education group running Peterborough College

The education partnership running Peterborough College has been praised for the high standards reached in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, 26th November 2021, 5:00 am
Rachel Nicholls, deputy chief executive of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Peterborough College. EMN-211120-003701009

The Inspire Education Group, which is responsible for more than 7,000 students and apprentices, has been applauded by Ofsted inspectors for making ‘significant progress’ in all areas of college life.

The Inspire Education Group was set up in August 2020 with a merger of Peterborough Regional College, now named Peterborough College, and New College Stamford, called Stamford College, alongside University Centre Peterborough.

Inspectors were keen to evaluate the progress governors, leaders and staff had made since the merger which took place after the last full inspection of Peterborough Regional College in 2019 found the college to be ‘requiring improvement’.

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Inspectors say the newly formed Inspire Education Group had made ‘significant progress’ in maintaining high quality education and training during the ongoing pandemic, establishing an ambitious curriculum to meet the education and training needs of students, apprentices and college stakeholders, and the ongoing careers advice given to students to make informed decisions about their next steps.

Rachel Nicholls, deputy chief executive of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Peterborough College, in Park Crescent, said: “The report highlights the continued significant improvements that have been made at Peterborough College over the last three years and is a testament to all of the hard work and dedication of staff and students across the group.

“It is an exciting time for the Inspire Education Group as we develop new curriculum across our further and higher education offer.

“We are particularly proud of our new partnership with the Open University who will be validating all programmes at University Centre Peterborough, starting September 2022.”

The Inspire Education Group is responsible for 1,250 staff, 4,600 16-18 Further Education students, 1,000 adults, 800 Higher Education students and 1,100 apprentices.

Among the inspectors’ key findings were:

Leaders and governors ‘worked tirelessly’ to achieve a successful merger during the pandemic, ‘carefully researched, planned and implemented’ their curriculum to meet local and regional skills and training needs and put students and apprentices at the centre of everything that was done.

The inspectors also found that leaders had put in place a ‘highly effective’ virtual learning platform and invested in technology to ensure students and apprentices made good progress with their studies while studying remotely.

Janet Meenaghan, chief executive of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Stamford College said: “Following the challenging times we have all faced, we are very proud to receive these judgements from Ofsted.

“We aim to transform lives through inspirational education and training – and it is pleasing to see our work is having a real impact across Stamford, Peterborough and the wider region.

She added: “Both colleges were already providing excellent opportunities for our students, and continuously improving standards in all areas, and I am delighted that everyone’s hard work and effort during challenging times has been recognised by Ofsted inspectors.”