A lead Ofsted inspector has reported that Uckfield Community Technology College is on the cusp of ‘Outstanding.’
The college had an inspection on July 17-18 this year. But since the last inspection in 2009 the framework for Ofsted inspections has become more challenging and the bar to get a Grade I is set much higher.
Principal Hugh Hennebry said: “We are very pleased that the inspection team found very strong evidence that we had improved since our last inspection; for example at GCSE the percentage of students achieving five or more A*- C including English and maths had risen from 58 per cent to over 70 per cent and the percentage achieving five or more A* - C has risen from 73 per cent to 84 per cent.
“Furthermore, taking the two core subjects, English and maths - English GCSE has risen from 69 per cent A* - C to 77 per cent, maths has risen from 69 per cent to 84 per cent. In our sixth form the progress our students make is significantly above national average.
“The inspection was in the last few days of term in the middle of a heatwave where the temperature recorded in many of our classrooms was 35 degrees Centigrade. Our students and staff responded magnificently to this challenge under difficult conditions. Students behaviour was, in the inspector’s words, ‘exemplary.’
“The inspectors were very impressed and while there were many very complimentary words said, of them all, the one of which I am most proud is that they found ‘Uckfield students are the most moral they have found in many years of doing inspections.’”
What the lead inspector said repeatedly is that ‘UCTC is improving’ and ‘on the cusp of Outstanding.’
Mr Hennebry went on to explain that what he found particularly heartening is that the Ofsted inspection team found very clear evidence that the quality of teaching has improved over time.
The report found ‘There is an increasing proportion of lessons that are Outstanding’ and ‘The college has eradicated inadequate teaching’.
Furthermore, one of the inspectors said: “The innovative way English is taught should be modelled nationally as ‘best practice’.”
Ofsted found that behaviour has improved as evidenced by a significant drop in exclusions in the last year.
More praise for UCTC that the inspection team noted was: “Students commented that teacher/pupil relationships are particularly strong at UCTC.”
Mr Hennebry concluded: “The team of staff and I are looking forward to the challenge of leading UCTC to the next level.”