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Ofsted Report


Bolton College has been graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

A team of Ofsted inspectors spent four days at the College in February, and scrutinised all aspects of the college provision. 
In their final report, they judged Bolton College to be Good in:

  • Overall effectiveness
  • Effectiveness of leadership and management
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment 
  • Personal development, behaviour and welfare
  • Outcome for learners
  • 16 to 19 study programmes
  • Apprenticeships
  • Provision for learners with high needs

As well as praising the College’s teaching and learning, Ofsted said that the College ‘have worked hard since the last inspection to improve successfully the outcomes for learners and the quality of provision’.

What Ofsted said…

A summary of Ofsted’s key findings:

The College has ‘a broad and varied curriculum that is very responsive to meeting local priorities and employers’ needs’.

‘The promotion of equality and diversity is exemplary, reflecting an inclusive culture where differences are celebrated’.

‘Teachers engage enthusiastically in the extensive staff development programmes, resulting in improvements to the quality of teaching and learning’. 

‘A high proportion of learners aged 16 to 19 on study programmes now make good progress and achieve their qualification’.

‘Learners develop a good range of vocational and practical skills and a high proportion progress to Apprenticeships, work or higher-level study’.

‘Learners develop good employability and personal skills; standards of behaviour are good and learners demonstrate tolerance and respect towards their teachers and peers’.

‘College staff …ensure that learners who require additional support make good progress. Learners with high needs quickly develop their skills and confidence to become independent’.

‘Well-targeted information, advice and careers guidance meet individual needs and enable learners to make informed choices about the next stages in their learning and career’. 


Quality of teaching, learning and assessment

‘Teaching, learning and assessment are effective in helping learners to achieve and make good progress’.

‘Learners develop very good high-level practical and theoretical skills which employers value. These skills aid learners to secure employment on completion of their qualifications’.

‘Learning support tutors in English and mathematics have good subject knowledge, which is used effectively to link English and mathematics to the subject area’. 



Outcomes for learners

‘Learners attending Bolton College make good progress’.

‘Progression rates of learners into training and employment are high’.

‘Learners with high needs make good progress, produce work of a high standard and achieve well, supported by excellent specialist resources’.



Personal Development, behaviour and welfare

‘Learners’ behaviour in lessons is good. Learners are polite, courteous, and highly respectful of staff and their peers’.

‘Vocational teachers use their links with industry and employers well to ensure learners develop commercially relevant skills to improve their employment opportunities’. 

‘The tutorial programme for full-time learners is effective in promoting employability skills’.



‘Learners at the college feel safe’.

‘Managers ensure that their learners are protected from a range of safeguarding concerns…through effective monitoring and by taking swift action when needed’.

‘Learners show an awareness of how to work safely in workshops and at work’.


16 to 19 study programmes

‘Overall achievement rates…are above those of similar providers’.

‘Teachers plan a range of activities which learners enjoy’.

‘Learners receive effective feedback on their work, which provides clear information on what they need to do to improve or further develop their practical skills’.



‘Achievement rates…are above those of similar providers’.

‘Current apprentices are making good progress’.

‘Teachers and assessors provide good and effective support to apprentices both in college and within the workplace. Apprentices benefit from good on-the-job training’.



The College plans ‘a broad and varied curriculum that is very responsive to meeting local priorities and employers’ needs’. 

‘Learners develop good employability and personal skills’.

‘Senior leaders and managers actively promote high achievement of apprentices. They monitor performance at all levels effectively and develop programmes to meet the needs of the local and regional community’.



Adult learning programmes 

‘Teachers make effective links to employment in lessons and in practical sessions they promote professional and industry standards well’.

‘Learners on access to higher education programmes receive good support in applying to study at university’.

The College works ‘well with the local authority, employers, Jobcentre Plus and community groups to ensure responsive provision that gives adult learners access to programmes with relevant skills to enhance their career opportunities and life skills’. 


Comment from the College Principal, Bill Webster

‘We are delighted with the results from the inspection; the report is reflective of the quality of the provision we provide. Ofsted’s findings are a testament to the commitment displayed by each and every person who works and learns in the College, and myself and my colleagues will continue to work together to ensure that the learner is at the heart of all that we do’.