The College was judged to be good by Ofsted in 2013, so this
latest review by the government's Office for Standards in Education
was a short inspection.
Ofsted's inspection feedback states:
Leaders and governors have a clear vision, underpinned by
clearly defined strategies for Northumberland Collee to deliver
high-quality learning programmes that meet the diverse needs of
Northumberland's communities and employers.
Leaders and staff at Northumberland College reinforce
effectively the importance to learners of developing good
work-related skills and attitudes. As well as carrying out work
experience placements, learners on 16 to 19 study programmes
benefit from many good realistic working environments at the
Leaders and governors are ambitious for Northumberland College
to provide high-quality education and training that enables
learners, to achieve and progress to further learning or
Governors, the principal and other leaders have successfully
established a culture of high expectations for staff and for what
learners can achieve.
The quality of provision and outcomes for learners on
programmes in arts, media and publishing are outstanding
Art - A very high proportion of learners join higher education
courses, many at prestigious universities.
Learners receive good advice about the learning and course
options available to them based on their planned next steps in
learning and their career ambition.
The feedback also praises progress at the College to support
those 16 to 19 year-olds who have not already achieved GCSEs at
grades A* to C in English and/or maths to improve their grades in
Northumberland College has two main campus sites; Ashington
provides a wide range of vocational courses from construction and
engineering to arts, the creative industries and hair and beauty,
while Kirkley Hall is the college's land-based campus where
students have access to two commercially run farms, an equine
centre and zoological gardens with over 200 species. The College
also has centres at Berwick and Hexham.
Jacqui Henderson, Chair of Governors, said: "Northumberland
College has much to be proud of and this result is testament to
staff commitment and the hard work of our students.
"We have established many partnerships with leading employers
so that we continue to ensure training is wholly relevant
Marcus Clinton, Principal and Chief Executive, said: "Colleges
need to be responsive to remain current. With increased expectation
from all of our stakeholders, we continue to develop methods that
ensure our quality training courses are relevant to the needs of
today. This positive Ofsted result recognises the work of all our
teams and our student successes.
Marcus continues: "In recognising student's employability and
ambitions, we have developed the Passport to Employment scheme.
This aims to support student's to develop skills that help them to
be work-ready. We continue to invest in industry standard training
environments and support students with communication, teamwork and
other work related skills. We also align our provision with local
Northumberland College has undergone investment of over
£10million since 2013 to provide modern and realistic training
environments within hair and beauty, hospitality, construction,
engineering, renewables and technology.
In addition a £2.5m state-of-the-art centre for science,
engineering and digital creative industries will open this
September. This aims to address the government's STEM agenda and
support the North East Local Enterprise Partnership's (LEP)
Strategic Economic Plan that aims to deliver over one million jobs
by 2024, with STEM qualification take-up amongst young people being
a key priority. The North East has growth opportunities and
research assets within life science, combined with opportunities
within data, software and cyber security, plus engineering and
Further improvement plans at the College include an all new
£1.2m equestrian centre at Kirkley Hall that will modernise the
existing and popular facility.
The College now offers over 30 higher education qualifications
ranging from HNC to Degree level, working in partnership with
The College secured a £4.9m ESF contract to help North East
businesses identify future skills needs and address current skills
gaps within SME organisations earlier in the year.
The College offers a broad range of provision including FE
full-time courses for 16 to 18s, Apprenticeships, Northumberland
Career College for 14 to 19s, full and part-time courses for 19+
students, five day supported provision for those with additional
learning needs through its Foundation Academy, a range of HE
courses and bespoke training for employers.