Cardinal Newman College


Name Cardinal Newman College
Website http://www.cardinalnewman.ac.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 19 May 2009
Address LARK HILL ROAD, AVENHAM, PRESTON, LANCASHIRE, PR1 4HD
Phone Number 01772460181
Type Sixth Form College
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Roman Catholic
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Lancashire
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Description of the provider

1. Cardinal Newman College is a popular Catholic sixth form college in Preston. It has grown in size significantly over recent years and currently has on roll 2,209 learners, most of whom are aged 16 to 18 on full-time advanced level courses. An extensive range of General Certificate of Education (GCE) AS and A-level courses and Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) qualifications are delivered at level 3. A broad range of vocational level 2 courses, along with resit GCSEs in English, mathematics and science, are available for students who wish to attend the college and do not have the entry requirements to study a higher level course. There are 35 young people with specific learning needs studying an essential skills course. All full-time students follow a religious education programme. The college’s adult provision has been rationalised to English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) courses for around 100 part-time learners. 2. Around half of students are from one of the college’s 10 partner Catholic high schools with the remainder from other high schools in and around Preston and South Ribble. The college has a broad social, cultural and spiritual diversity that reflects the local community. The proportion of full-time students aged 16 to 18 from minority ethnic groups is similar to that in Preston and all adult students are from minority ethnic groups as the provision has been established to meet the local need. 3. Preston has a population of around 132,000; unemployment is slightly higher than the national average and there are significant areas of deprivation that affect 37% of the population. The Avenham ward in Preston where the college is located is one of the most economically deprived in the North West. The number of school leavers in Preston achieving five A* to C grades at GCSE is in line with the national average. 4. The mission statement of the college is: ‘As a Catholic Sixth Form College we strive to be a centre of educational excellence for the Community built on faith, respect and trust. We celebrate diversity amongst all our students and staff, and seek to nurture the gifts of each individual through high quality teaching and learning and dedicated pastoral care’.

Main findings

Achievement and standards Outstanding: Grade 1 13. The inspection confirmed that achievement and standards are outstanding. Success rates are well above the national average and continue to improve. The college’s results in 2008 place it at the very top of the performance tables of all colleges. The exceptionally high standard and presentation of students’ work along with college data indicate further improvements this year. Students make excellent progress and achieve far better than that predicted by their attainment at enrolment. The proportion of students achieving grades A or B on GCE AS and A-level courses are very high and well above the national average. Pass rates on AS and A-level general studies, undertaken by all advanced level students, are very good. Achievement and the proportion of students achieving high grades on vocational courses are exceptional. Almost all vocational students achieve at least one higher grade and almost two thirds achieve a full set of distinction grades. Many students successfully achieve well in both GCE and vocational courses. In-year retention and attendance rates are exceptionally high. Pass rates at grades A* to C on GCSE courses are high. Students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities on the essential skills course develop in confidence and make excellent progress; all have progressed to relevant employment or a further education (FE) course. Success on key skills courses is high. All full-time students successfully complete a level 3 COPE. Success rates of part-time adult students on ESOL courses are well above the national average. 14. The college’s holistic approach to students’ academic and personal development is excellent. Students’ achievement and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development are nurtured and celebrated in a variety of innovative ways. Students enjoy their time at college and develop a greater understanding of diversity and tolerance of different faiths and cultures in an atmosphere of trust, harmony and mutual respect. They participate fully in the wide and varied opportunities available and make significant contributions to the college and its wider community. Students develop into confident and articulate young people with very good skills for their future lives including university and employment. Progression to higher education (HE) is very high. Quality of provision Outstanding: Grade 1 15. Inspectors confirm that the quality of provision is outstanding. The college has improved significantly since the last inspection and is focused on delivering the highest quality of education within a welcoming, happy, caring and safe community. Significant resources have been invested in achieving outstanding provision. 16. The quality of teaching and learning is outstanding which reflects the college’s self-assessment grade. Challenging and innovative teaching is central to the college’s commitment to very high standards and students’ enjoyment. An effective virtual learning environment (VLE) is routinely well used by staff and