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Grimsby Institute rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted

The Grimsby Institute has became the only college in Lincolnshire and the Humber to receive an 'outstanding' Ofsted report - a result which has been hailed 'a real source of pride' for the town.

Grimsby Institute rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted

It comes as the Institute's provision for 14 to 16-year-olds, The Academy Grimsby, also received the highest possible rating following an Ofsted inspection - just three years after the pioneering facility opened its doors on Westward Ho.

The results are being hailed by the school and college principals as a huge boost for the town.

Debra Gray, principal of the Grimsby Institute and deputy chief executive of the group, hoped the glowing Ofsted report would give confidence to businesses in the area that the Institute was "here to meet their needs."

“The Grimsby Institute knows its strengths and it knows its learners, as well as the community it serves. We are proud of who we are, where we are and what we do. Our exceptional staff and students work as a professional family to make excellence an everyday occurrence. I am incredibly proud of them," she said.

“It’s been said a college like the Grimsby Institute could not achieve an outstanding grade, there are some who said that since the new inspection framework came in to force that it would be very difficult for any general further education college to receive it - well we’ve proved that it can be done."

During the comprehensive inspection, Ofsted’s inspectors observed outstanding teaching and learning practices and talked to learners, staff, employers and the community about their experiences. The report highlights:

The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is outstanding
A culture of high expectations in both staff and learners have led to significant improvements
The vast majority of learners make excellent progress from their individual starting point
Standards of learners’ work are high. Learners demonstrate a very good awareness of the technical knowledge required for their course

The 'outstanding' rating means the Grimsby Institute is only the second college in this academic year to achieve this grade across all English further education colleges inspected.

The principal added: "I have been principal for the past 18 months and I genuinely believe we are the best college in the country.

"We serve some of the most amazing communities who are full of resilience and full of interesting stories.

"Hopefully (the outstanding rating) will give confidence to businesses in the area that we are here to meet their needs. It should be a real source of pride for the town.

"It's been a long, hard slog over the past three years by every single member of the Grimsby Institute family."

And just across the road at The Academy Grimsby (TAG), principal Paul Thundercliffe was celebrating with teachers and students after they also achieved an 'outstanding' rating.

TAG was established to provide education to students aged between 14 and 16-years-old. Lessons are taught in small class sizes where all core subjects have a maximum of 18 students.

Ofsted inspectors highlighted in their report:

  • A broad and inclusive curriculum
  • Challenging and current lessons
  • Polite and mature students
  • Exceptional spiritual, mortal, social and cultural development
  • Students feel safe and valued
  • Students know they have done well and how to improve

Mr Thundercliffe said: "I am thrilled. We have been open less than three years so to get an outstanding rating is really excellent and I am really pleased for the students and the parents who chose us and decided to put their faith in us, the environment we are trying to create and the ethos we are trying to deliver.

"Everyone was saying I had made a mistake when I came here. We started with just 29 students and now we are fully subscribed. This is vindication for doing what I thought was right."

Academy students William Heselgrove, 15, Millie Walker-Young, 15, and Will Gibbs, 14, were among those celebrating the result.

Millie, who studies performing arts, said: "It's really enjoyable and a completely different atmosphere to where I was before.

"The smaller classes help so much because the teachers are able to get around you more."

Will Gibbs, who also studies performing arts, added: "It's like a fresh start when you come here. The classes are all personalised and if you ever need support after school the teachers are always there for you."

Liam Atkinson, 18, is a Level 3 Hospitality student and a student governor at the Grimsby Institute, assisted during the day when Ofsted inspectors visited the Nuns' Corner site.

"They were really interested in what we wanted to do and what the college were doing to help us get there," he said.

"I've been given a lot of opportunities to better myself. I have become a lot more confident during my time here. Before I was just a little shy boy in the corner but I know a lot of the tutors now have said they can't shut me up at the moment.

"I was really pleased when I find out we were given an outstanding rating. It's for someone else to come in and to see how outstanding we are."

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