Bexhill College


Name Bexhill College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 02 November 2010
Address Penland Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN40 2JG
Phone Number 01424214545
Type Sixth Form College
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority East Sussex
Percentage English is Not First Language %
Persisitent Absence %
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

Information about the provider

1. Bexhill College is a large sixth form college in East Sussex. The college draws its students from a wide rural area around the coastal town of Bexhill. It has four partner schools. A further education college is located nearby, in Hastings, and some local secondary schools have sixth forms. The college is co-located with the sixth form provision of a special school, Glyne Gap. 2. Students join the college with a broad range of prior attainment at GCSE. A relatively high proportion has low prior attainment, whilst a relatively low proportion has high prior attainment at GCSE. The south coast is characterised by areas of affluence and pockets of significant deprivation and the college’s student population reflects this socio-economic diversity. Just over half receive education maintenance allowance. 3. Approximately 90% of the college’s provision is at advanced level, leading to GCE AS and A-level awards in 44 subjects, for international baccalaureate, or to vocational awards in one of 13 subjects. At intermediate level, the college offers vocational awards in 11 subjects and GCSE in 8 subjects including English and mathematics. It offers three foundation level courses including functional skills in English and mathematics. Provision for 14- to 16-year-old students leads to awards and qualifications in a range of vocational areas. 4. This inspection took into account all the provision offered by the college. Provision in health and social care, science and mathematics, visual arts and media and social sciences was inspected in depth and graded. Type of provision Number of enrolled learners in 2008/09 Provision for young learners: 14 to16 Further education (16 to18) 100 part-time learners 1,458 full-time learners Provision for adult learners: Further education (19+) 16 full-time learners 383 part-time learners Summary report Grades: 1 is outstanding; 2 is good; 3 is satisfactory; 4 is inadequate Overall effectiveness of provision Grade 2 Capacity to improve Grade 2 Grade Outcomes for learners 2 Quality of provision 2 Leadership and management 2 Safeguarding Equality and diversity 2 2 Subject Areas Grade Health and social care, and early years 1 Science and mathematics 3 Crafts, creative arts and design, and media and communication 1 Social sciences 3 Overall effectiveness 5. Bexhill College is a good college. Its leadership and management are good and have been successful in improving provision for students. Overall success rates improved significantly in 2007/08 and have remained at the high, and slowly rising, national rates for sixth form colleges since then. Students make good progress and many of those on vocational courses make excellent progress. They enjoy their time at the college and benefit from additional activities that prepare them well for life beyond their studies there. 6. Leaders and managers place a high priority on safeguarding students, and in promoting equality and diversity, and the college does these well. It has effective systems for evaluating and improving the quality of its provision and its capacity to make and sustain further improvement is good. Its teaching and learning are good; as are the curriculum and support it offers students. The college is ambitious for its students and has identified correctly where further work is needed to ensure that all subjects offer students the education and outcomes provided by the best performing areas in the college. Main findings Outcomes for students are good. Most students are successful on their courses and gain their intended qualifications. Overall success rates have been sustained at high national success rates for the past three years. On most vocational courses, success rates are particularly high and well above national rates. Success rates for adults have improved to match those of 16- to 18-year-old students. Students make good progress during their time at college and at advanced level, many gain higher grades that those predicted by their GCSE results. Most students on vocational courses make excellent progress. However, in a minority of AS and A-level subjects, improvements in success rates and progress are not sustained from year to year. Students enjoy their studies and gain a wide range of additional skills and behaviours to prepare them for life beyond the college. The college promotes safe and healthy lifestyles successfully and supports students well in a range of community-based activities. Teaching and learning are good. Teachers plan and execute lessons well to provide a good variety of appropriately balanced activities to maintain students’ interest and to stimulate learning. In poorer lessons, however, teachers do not make sufficient use of a range of activities and resources to meet the differing needs of students or fully exploit questioning to extend learning. Teachers and students have good access to high-quality resources. The provision of interactive learning technology, and its use by teachers, has improved considerably since the previous inspection. However, not all teaching rooms are fully equipped yet and teachers are not all accomplished in its effective use in teaching and learning. The assessment of students’ work is generally good. Assignments and homework are set regularly and teachers often provide helpful feedback so that students can improve their learning. Teachers review students’ progress satisfactorily, but do not make sufficiently effective use of their individual learning plans. The college offers a good range of provision and is responsive to the needs and interests of students and employers. It plans provision well to provide coherent routes for students to progress to higher levels of study or employment. Students develop new interests and skills in a broad range of enrichment activities. They make pupils from the co-located special school very welcome at their enrichment activities. The college’s partnerships are very good and used well to improve teaching and learning and the quality of advice and guidance, and to share good practice. College staff play key roles in the Bexhill schools consortium and the Rother and Hastings 14 to 18 partnership. Care, guidance and support are good. Staff provide good, timely support for those students who need it. Additional support is very effective in helping students remain on programme, and improve their grades. Systems for identifying and supporting vulnerable students are good. However, tutors do not link some tutorial activities to students’ academic programmes and these activities do not always seem relevant to them. Leadership and management are good. Senior managers have taken well-considered actions to improve provision and they support curriculum managers well. They have raised staff and student aspirations and successfully placed students’ experience and outcomes at the heart of the college’s work. Staff are well motivated to achieve the college’s vision, ‘outstanding college, outstanding opportunities’. The college sets a high priority on the safety and well-being of students and handles incidents swiftly and thoroughly. It promotes equality and diversity well and has successfully closed gaps between the achievements of different groups of students. Staff are encouraged to promote equality and diversity in their lessons. However, practice varies across the curriculum. Self-assessment is self-critical and thorough in most areas of the college. It makes good use of data and curriculum reviews to underpin judgements. Lesson observations and well-targeted staff development have improved the quality of teaching and learning. However, in a minority of subjects, managers are not sufficiently evaluative and do not set sufficiently specific targets to secure improvements.

Main findings

Outcomes for students are good. Most students are successful on their courses and gain their intended qualifications. Overall success rates have been sustained at high national success rates for the past three years. On most vocational courses, success rates are particularly high and well above national rates. Success rates for adults have improved to match those of 16- to 18-year-old students. Students make good progress during their time at college and at advanced level, many gain higher grades that those predicted by their GCSE results. Most students on vocational courses make excellent progress. However, in a minority of AS and A-level subjects, improvements in success rates and progress are not sustained from year to year. Students enjoy their studies and gain a wide range of additional skills and behaviours to prepare them for life beyond the college. The college promotes safe and healthy lifestyles successfully and supports students well in a range of community-based activities. Teaching and learning are good. Teachers plan and execute lessons well to provide a good variety of appropriately balanced activities to maintain students’ interest and to stimulate learning. In poorer lessons, however, teachers do not make sufficient use of a range of activities and resources to meet the differing needs of students or fully exploit questioning to extend learning. Teachers and students have good access to high-quality resources. The provision of interactive learning technology, and its use by teachers, has improved considerably since the previous inspection. However, not all teaching rooms are fully equipped yet and teachers are not all accomplished in its effective use in teaching and learning. The assessment of students’ work is generally good. Assignments and homework are set regularly and teachers often provide helpful feedback so that students can improve their learning. Teachers review students’ progress satisfactorily, but do not make sufficiently effective use of their individual learning plans. The college offers a good range of provision and is responsive to the needs and interests of students and employers. It plans provision well to provide coherent routes for students to progress to higher levels of study or employment. Students develop new interests and skills in a broad range of enrichment activities. They make pupils from the co-located special school very welcome at their enrichment activities. The college’s partnerships are very good and used well to improve teaching and learning and the quality of advice and guidance, and to share good practice. College staff play key roles in the Bexhill schools consortium and the Rother and Hastings 14 to 18 partnership. Care, guidance and support are good. Staff provide good, timely support for those students who need it. Additional support is very effective in helping students remain on programme, and improve their grades. Systems for identifying and supporting vulnerable students are good. However, tutors do not link some tutorial activities to students’ academic programmes and these activities do not always seem relevant to them. Leadership and management are good. Senior managers have taken well-considered actions to improve provision and they support curriculum managers well. They have raised staff and student aspirations and successfully placed students’ experience and outcomes at the heart of the college’s work. Staff are well motivated to achieve the college’s vision, ‘outstanding college, outstanding opportunities’. The college sets a high priority on the safety and well-being of students and handles incidents swiftly and thoroughly. It promotes equality and diversity well and has successfully closed gaps between the achievements of different groups of students. Staff are encouraged to promote equality and diversity in their lessons. However, practice varies across the curriculum. Self-assessment is self-critical and thorough in most areas of the college. It makes good use of data and curriculum reviews to underpin judgements. Lesson observations and well-targeted staff development have improved the quality of teaching and learning. However, in a minority of subjects, managers are not sufficiently evaluative and do not set sufficiently specific targets to secure improvements.