Sir John Deane’s College

Name Sir John Deane’s College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 27 February 2008
Address Monarch Drive, Northwich, CW9 8AF
Phone Number 01606810020
Type Academy
Age Range 16-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Academy Sponsor The Sir John Brunner Foundation
Local Authority Cheshire West and Chester
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Description of the provider

1. Sir John Deane’s College opened in September 1978 as a voluntary controlled sixth form college exclusively for 16-18 year old students. In recent years the popularity of the college has led to considerable growth and the full-time student roll in 2006/07 was 1,268. In September 1998, the college launched its adult education programme and it now has around 3,000 enrolments by part-time students attending evening and weekend classes during the course of the academic year. 2. The college serves the thriving town of Northwich, in the heart of Cheshire, and surrounding rural areas including Weaverham, Middlewich and numerous smaller villages, with five partner 11-16 high schools at Hartford, Leftwich, Middlewich, Rudheath and Weaverham providing about half of the annual intake of full-time students. As the major provider of A level courses in Cheshire, however, Sir John Deane’s draws the remainder of its daytime students from a wide range of secondary schools, within Cheshire and beyond, from both the maintained and independent sectors. The proportion of learners of minority ethnic heritage is slightly above the local average. 3. The college’s mission is to aim for excellence in its educational provision, focusing primarily on academic achievement but also on developing the skills and enthusiasm for successful lifelong learning. This is described within the context of its mission as “believing in the ‘education of the whole person’ and in the fulfilment of individual potential”. The college is about to embark on a two-year £26 million re-building project.

Main findings

Achievement and standards Outstanding: Grade 1 9. Achievement and standards are outstanding. Nearly all students aged 16-18 are enrolled on courses at level 3 where the overall success rate is consistently in the top quartile. Level 3 pass and retention rates are consistently high; 95% for the three years to 2007. The small number of students from minority ethnic groups generally do well. Some students achieve outstanding results, for example, top five position in a subject nationally, achieving sporting excellence, or in overcoming personal disability in order to achieve academic success. Attendance rates are excellent. The standard of written and practical work is excellent. 10. The GCE A level success rate is consistently high, being in the mid-nineties in both 2006 and 2007. Very few subjects had success rates which were not at or above 90%. In 2006/07, 49% A level entries achieved grade A or B, significantly above the national average. Pass and retention rates are both consistently in the high nineties. The progress GCE A level students make compared with their attainment levels at Key Stage 4 is excellent overall. A very high proportion of the students who enrol for GCE AS and A level programmes, nearly 90%, complete their two year programme and around 90% of these progress to higher education. 11. The GCE AS success rate is high. It has been above 87% in each of the four years to 2007 and is consistently well above the sixth form college average. The progress GCE AS level students make compared with their attainment levels at Key Stage 4 is good. Progress is at least satisfactory in all but a few subjects. In applied GCE AS levels progress is outstanding. Especial note should be made of VCE business, and health and social care, in which the progress made, as measured by a commercial value added system, was the best of all providers subscribing to that system. The success rates for the relatively small number of adult students undertaking long courses is consistently high compared with similar colleges. At both levels 1 and 2 success rates are well above the national average. The overall success rate is high on short courses, where there are about 1,400 enrolments. The college’s self-assessment gives an accurate assessment of achievement and standards. Quality of provision Outstanding: Grade 1 12. The quality of provision is outstanding. Challenging and innovative approaches to teaching and learning are central to this college’s exemplary improvement culture. Students’ enthusiasm for and progress in learning is outstanding. Lessons are well paced and with a strong focus on student participation and independent learning. Teachers are good at conveying the excitement, challenge and enjoyment of their subject to students. Students respond to this with enthusiasm, commitment and a sense of enjoyment. A wide variety of teaching strategies are used to challenge students and