Halesowen College

Name Halesowen College
Website https://www.halesowen.ac.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 18 September 2017
Address Whittingham Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B63 3NA
Phone Number 01216027777
Type General Further Education and Tertiary
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Dudley
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

Halesowen College is a medium-sized general further education college operating from three sites close to the centre of Halesowen. The college provides education to over 4,500 learners. It primarily serves towns in the boroughs of Dudley and Sandwell but also, more widely, west Birmingham. The college offers over 130 vocational courses in 13 sector subject areas, from entry level to higher education. Over 80% of learners at the college study on full-time courses with the vast majority aged between 16 and 18. Approximately 800 learners follow A-level programmes. Adult learners attending the college study full-time courses such as those in accountancy and access to higher education. Some 30 learners who qualify for high-needs funding take part in study programmes alongside their peers who do not require this funding. Halesowen is in the bottom 20% for socio-economic deprivation nationally. The proportion of local residents with qualifications at level 2, or above, is below the regional and national averages. Unemployment rates are above the regional and national averages.

Summary of key findings

This is a good provider Learners make good progress in improving their English and mathematical skills, and the proportion who successfully gain GCSE qualifications grade A to C/9 to 4 in English and mathematics has increased. Learners demonstrate a desire to succeed in their chosen course, through hard work, good behaviour and high attendance. Governors and leaders have managed the college’s resources very effectively. As a result, learners benefit from industry-standard resources that enhance the skills they develop. Leaders and governors have established strong effective links with a range of partners to ensure that the curriculum offered by the college meets local and regional priorities. The college is a welcoming, friendly and inclusive environment where staff and learners work together well. A small minority of learners do not benefit fully from their work experience because it does not relate sufficiently to their career aspirations. Teachers do not make consistently good use of assessment information to plan effectively to challenge the most-able learners. Learners benefit from comprehensive advice that ensures career expectations are realistic and achievable. Learners benefit from an effective range of support that meets their individual needs and enables them to make good progress. Teachers have good subject knowledge and high expectations that motivate and sustain learners’ interest in learning. Teachers’ reviews of learners’ progress are often informal. It is not consistently clear enough what actions they have agreed with learners as a result, and what progress learners are making towards achieving them. Support for vulnerable learners including those children looked after ensures that they develop the skills and attitudes to support progression onto their intended destination. Leaders and managers make good use of the quality improvement plan to bring about rapid improvements in underperforming areas of the college. In a small minority of cases, observers of lessons do not focus sufficiently on the progress and learning that are the result of teaching activities, leading to an evaluation that is not sufficiently helpful in enabling the improvement of teachers’ practice.