An independent specialist college has been rated "outstanding" in all areas by Ofsted, with inspectors saying that “all learners achieve outstanding results”.
Foxes Academy, in Minehead, Somerset, is an independent residential specialist college which also runs a training hotel for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
This marks a successful year for the provider, which was named overall provider of the year at the Tes Fe Awards 2018. The news comes one day before the deadline for entering the 2019 Tes FE Awards.
Foxes Academy helps dozens of young adults to start careers in the hospitality and catering trade every year and complete a City & Guilds level 1 NVQ certificate. Learners come from all across the country to live away from home in supported accommodation in the town to help them prepare for independent living when they leave Foxes.
Leaders 'raise learners’ aspirations'
In a glowing report, Ofsted inspectors praised the college for its teaching, the outcomes for learners and the role of the leadership team.
The report states: “Leadership and management are outstanding because leaders and managers ensure that learners continue to achieve outstanding results and gain nationally recognised qualifications. They raise learners’ aspirations by providing a highly engaging curriculum that combines learning about work and learning through work.
“Leaders and managers carefully and regularly scrutinise how learners perform in their programmes to identify any differences that require remedial action. They take action promptly where learners fall behind. Currently, there are no gaps in the performance of different groups of learners.
'A testament to our purpose'
The report continued: “The college’s record in preparing learners to move into employment or more independent living environments is highly valued and effective. The majority of learners who left in 2016-17 gained employment, and nearly all of the remainder went on to live independently or in supported living arrangements.”
Tracey Clare-Gray, principal at Foxes Academy, said: "This has been an exciting year for Foxes Academy following our being awarded Tes Specialist Provider and the Overall FE Provider for 2018. We are very proud to have now achieved outstanding status following our recent Ofsted inspection.
"This is our third consecutive outstanding result, with the highest rating being given in all areas. Our learners are at the centre of everything we do and the report is a testament to our purpose to inspire young people with learning disabilities to go into the world with skills, confidence and a passion to succeed."
'The biggest night of the year in FE'
Foxes Academy was named overall provider of the year, beating tough competition from across the sector at the Tes FE Awards 2018. Sponsored by the Education and Training Foundation, it is the biggest night of the year in FE and shines a light on the best the sector has to offer.
After the original deadline was extended owing to exceptional demand, FE providers now have until midnight on Friday 20 July to apply.
For the first time, the Tes FE Awards ceremony will include the presentation of the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Beacon Awards, in a celebration of outstanding achievements across further education.
While the Tes FE Awards will focus on celebrating the success of FE providers and the individuals behind their achievements, the Beacon Awards will acknowledge best practice in college teaching, management and governance. Founded in 1994, the Beacon Awards showcase the most innovative colleges across the UK. The two sets of awards will maintain separate entry and judging processes.
How to enter
The AoC Beacon Awards will be open to all colleges across the UK, while the Tes FE Awards will continue to be open to all types of FE provider. The deadline for entering the Tes FE Awards is Friday 20 July, while the deadline for entering the AoC Beacon Awards is the same day. Please note that the two sets of awards have separate application and assessment processes. The Beacon Awards' judging process also includes a visit by assessors to colleges included on the shortlist.
Shortlists for the two sets of awards will be revealed at the AoC Annual Conference on 20 November. The winners will then be announced at a glittering awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House hotel in London’s Park Lane on 22 February 2019.