Hinwick Hall College


Name Hinwick Hall College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 27 September 2011
Address Hinwick, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, NN29 7JD
Phone Number 01993312470
Type Independent Specialist College
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Not applicable
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Bedford
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

1. Hinwick Hall College is an independent specialist residential college based in North Bedfordshire, close to the Northamptonshire border. The college is part of Livability, a Christian organisation which provides education and training for learners with a wide range of learning difficulties and/or disabilities including some complex communication, physical and learning difficulties. It provides both residential and non-residential programmes. All of the college’s 39 learners are funded by the Young Persons Learning Agency (YPLA). Of these, 24 are residential. Most learners are aged between 19 and 24. Around two thirds of the student population are male and just over a third of students are of minority ethnic heritage. 2. The college offers a range of activities through three distinct pathways based on the development of life and work skills and includes creative arts, independence skills, literacy, numeracy and information and communication technology. Pathway 3 is predominantly for learners with profound or complex learning difficulties and/or disabilities and is mostly a sensory-based curriculum. The college’s mission is to provide the best possible education and training for young people who have exceptional learning needs brought about by physical, learning, communication and/or sensory disabilities’. Since the last inspection the college has had three principals appointed. In the summer of 2011 a new interim principal was appointed and is currently in post. Type of provision Number of enrolled learners in 2010/11 Provision for young learners: Further education (16 to18) 1 full-time learner Provision for adult learners: Further education (19+) 55 full-time learners Summary report Grades: 1 is outstanding; 2 is good; 3 is satisfactory; 4 is inadequate Overall effectiveness of provision Grade 3 Capacity to improve Grade 3 Grade Outcomes for learners 3 Quality of provision 3 Leadership and management 3 Safeguarding Equality and diversity 3 3 Overall effectiveness 3. Hinwick Hall provides a satisfactory standard of education for its learners. The achievement of qualifications is high and qualifications are relevant to learners’ intended destinations. Learners’ generally succeed well against core targets, although their progress is not always maximised to its full potential because : their individual targets are not always sufficiently precise or meaningful. In addition, while the quality of lessons is gradually improving across the college, inconsistency in the planning of lessons to best develop students’ individualised learning remains. 4. Residential and day learners enjoy their time at Hinwick Hall. Due to a good range and quality of therapeutic support, most learners, particularly those with complex and profound learning difficulties and/or disabilities, make good gains in the development of their communication skills. The college has broadened notably its work-related curriculum which is positively enriching the experiences available for learners to develop their independence skills and prepare them for life after Hinwick Hall. The college is aware these opportunities need extending further and firm plans are in place to extend partnership working in conjunction with this. 5. Since the last inspection, senior and middle managers have steadily strengthened a number of areas of the college’s work despite an extended period of instability at senior leadership level. Significant shortfalls in governance and insufficient quality assurance processes have also been a barrier to the college making more rapid progress. Despite this, college managers have demonstrated the capacity to make steady improvements. In some areas marked improvements have been made, such as in ensuring learners have a voice in the college and are encouraged to express their views frequently. The use of data to monitor performance has also improved notably but this is not yet sophisticated enough in its analysis and evaluation to help determine the full effectiveness of actions to improve. Learners’ safety and well-being continue to have a high priority within the college. Main findings Outcomes for learners are satisfactory. Learners’ achievement of accredited qualifications is high. They enjoy college and produce work to a good standard. Learners make satisfactory progress overall. Learners make good progress in developing their communication skills but the lack of relevant and precise learning targets makes their overall progress less easy to measure. The development of learners’ literacy and numeracy skills is satisfactory. Literacy and numeracy are integrated appropriately into lessons but related learning targets are not always user-friendly or adapted well enough to apply to practical activities. Several learners move into positive destinations on leaving Hinwick, however, the monitoring and evaluation of this in order to demonstrate how well each learner progresses is underdeveloped. Learners develop satisfactory skills for independence. The sharing of learners’ targets between residential and college provision has improved and is beginning to prove beneficial. The range of opportunities available to residential learners to develop their domestic and personal skills is good but these opportunities are more limited for day learners. Teaching and learning are satisfactory. Communication skills are successfully integrated into lessons and staff are skilled at responding to the needs of learners with complex and profound learning difficulties. In too many lessons however, particularly within pathway 1 and 2, learning objectives do not match learners’ individual needs and abilities well enough. As a result, learners’ progress is not always maximised. The use of individual learner targets by which to assess progress is satisfactory. In many cases learners’ progress is carefully monitored and recorded. The use of medium-term targets to gauge learners’ progress towards their long-term destinations is in the early stages of development. In several cases, medium and long-term goals are not always specific enough. The curriculum meets learners’ needs and interests satisfactorily. The curriculum for learners with extensive communication difficulties is good. Work-related learning enriches learners’ experience and engages their interest. The college recognises opportunities for learners to access more substantial work experience placements needs increasing further. Advice, guidance and initial and baseline assessment are strong. Specialist therapeutic and medical support is very good. Specialist therapists contribute substantially to initial assessment and provide useful strategies for teaching staff. Learners receive effective and reliable care in their college-based residential houses and flats. Leadership and management are satisfactory. The turbulence caused by a number of significant changes at leadership level within the college has been detrimental to the rate of improvement since the last inspection. Despite these difficulties, staff morale is positive and accountability at middle management level has increased. Governance is inadequate. The college’s local governing body has been insufficiently rigorous in monitoring its own performance and the performance of the college. The board of trustees for Livability has been slow in identifying these issues. An interim governing body has been very recently formed but it is too soon the judge the full impact of these changes. Arrangements for safeguarding are satisfactory. Learners feel safe within the college’s environment and their views and concerns are listened to and acted upon. Individual learner risk assessments are comprehensive. A wide array of health and safety data is recorded centrally, but it is not always presented in an easy-to-interpret format or evaluated thoroughly to monitor trends over time. The promotion of equality and diversity is satisfactory. The monitoring and management of equality and diversity are now more cohesive across the college. Many learners show a good appreciation and understanding of individual differences and personal identity. Improvement targets within equality plans do not focus enough on the impact of actions taken. The college has been slow in completing and evaluating equality impact assessments. The effectiveness of self-assessment processes, including aspects of quality assurance, to bring about rapid and widespread improvement is inadequate. While a number of key areas of the college’s provision have improved very steadily, the lack of clear, incisive evaluation has slowed down the rate of progress made overall across the college.

Main findings

Outcomes for learners are satisfactory. Learners’ achievement of accredited qualifications is high. They enjoy college and produce work to a good standard. Learners make satisfactory progress overall. Learners make good progress in developing their communication skills but the lack of relevant and precise learning targets makes their overall progress less easy to measure. The development of learners’ literacy and numeracy skills is satisfactory. Literacy and numeracy are integrated appropriately into lessons but related learning targets are not always user-friendly or adapted well enough to apply to practical activities. Several learners move into positive destinations on leaving Hinwick, however, the monitoring and evaluation of this in order to demonstrate how well each learner progresses is underdeveloped. Learners develop satisfactory skills for independence. The sharing of learners’ targets between residential and college provision has improved and is beginning to prove beneficial. The range of opportunities available to residential learners to develop their domestic and personal skills is good but these opportunities are more limited for day learners. Teaching and learning are satisfactory. Communication skills are successfully integrated into lessons and staff are skilled at responding to the needs of learners with complex and profound learning difficulties. In too many lessons however, particularly within pathway 1 and 2, learning objectives do not match learners’ individual needs and abilities well enough. As a result, learners’ progress is not always maximised. The use of individual learner targets by which to assess progress is satisfactory. In many cases learners’ progress is carefully monitored and recorded. The use of medium-term targets to gauge learners’ progress towards their long-term destinations is in the early stages of development. In several cases, medium and long-term goals are not always specific enough. The curriculum meets learners’ needs and interests satisfactorily. The curriculum for learners with extensive communication difficulties is good. Work-related learning enriches learners’ experience and engages their interest. The college recognises opportunities for learners to access more substantial work experience placements needs increasing further. Advice, guidance and initial and baseline assessment are strong. Specialist therapeutic and medical support is very good. Specialist therapists contribute substantially to initial assessment and provide useful strategies for teaching staff. Learners receive effective and reliable care in their college-based residential houses and flats. Leadership and management are satisfactory. The turbulence caused by a number of significant changes at leadership level within the college has been detrimental to the rate of improvement since the last inspection. Despite these difficulties, staff morale is positive and accountability at middle management level has increased. Governance is inadequate. The college’s local governing body has been insufficiently rigorous in monitoring its own performance and the performance of the college. The board of trustees for Livability has been slow in identifying these issues. An interim governing body has been very recently formed but it is too soon the judge the full impact of these changes. Arrangements for safeguarding are satisfactory. Learners feel safe within the college’s environment and their views and concerns are listened to and acted upon. Individual learner risk assessments are comprehensive. A wide array of health and safety data is recorded centrally, but it is not always presented in an easy-to-interpret format or evaluated thoroughly to monitor trends over time. The promotion of equality and diversity is satisfactory. The monitoring and management of equality and diversity are now more cohesive across the college. Many learners show a good appreciation and understanding of individual differences and personal identity. Improvement targets within equality plans do not focus enough on the impact of actions taken. The college has been slow in completing and evaluating equality impact assessments. The effectiveness of self-assessment processes, including aspects of quality assurance, to bring about rapid and widespread improvement is inadequate. While a number of key areas of the college’s provision have improved very steadily, the lack of clear, incisive evaluation has slowed down the rate of progress made overall across the college.