College celebrates after Ofsted grading

Staff and students at East Kent College are celebrating after receiving five ‘Outstanding’ gradings in their recent inspection by Government standards watchdog Ofsted.

The inspection took place between January 24-27, 2017 and involved 10 Ofsted inspectors investigating areas of the College which included its 16-19 provision, apprenticeships and the Technical School.

This was the first Ofsted inspection since the College amalgamated with the former K College campuses at Dover and Folkestone. They had previously been rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted, making the turnaround even more pronounced. The overall ‘Good’ grade, with five ‘outstanding’ elements, makes East Kent College one of the highest rated further education colleges in the country, and is the best inspection grading for an FE college so far this year.

The inspection highlighted a range of strengths at the College, with Inspectors stating the College boasted exceptional progress of apprentices, outstanding provision for work experience, very good levels of progression and exceptionally effective and productive community engagement and partnership working.

East Kent College’s Principal, Graham Razey, said: “This inspection has highlighted just how far the College has come since 2013. Our Dover and Folkestone campuses had previously been neglected as part of K College, and were considered inadequate. The fact they’re now thought of as ‘outstanding’ for five of the nine areas inspected by Ofsted, and good for the other four, is testament to just how hard all of our staff have worked and I’m really proud of the grading which reflects that.”

Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, congratulated the College on its grading: “It has been fantastic to watch the progress made by East Kent College,” said Mr Collins. “The recognition given by Ofsted to the improvements made by the College is a reflection of the hard work and commitment shown by both managing and teaching staff. Staff and students should be incredibly proud of their five ‘Outstanding’ ratings and their overall ‘Good’ grading,” he added.

The journey for the College has been made easier by the work of many local partners, with Folkestone and Hythe District Council pledging to develop the skills agenda in the district.

Cllr David Monk, Leader of Folkestone and Hythe District Council, said: “A few years ago we helped avert the closure of Folkestone’s further education campus for our local students, so I am obviously delighted that Ofsted recognises the great improvement in standards achieved by East Kent College.

I have great faith in the management of Graham Razey and his staff team whose achievements are recognised by the Ofsted report and The Radnor Park Tea Room stands as  testament to what their students can achieve in partnership with us.”