Former pariah is top of the league
A college which once enjoyed the dubious status of being one of the worst in the country was this week basking in the glory of one of the best Ofsted results.
Stockport College has come a long way since an inspection in 2001 found its leadership and management to be "unsatisfactory", and the quality of its courses "inadequate". Under the guidance of Peter Roberts, who has been principal since 2003, the college has been turned around. This week's Ofsted report rated it "outstanding" in nine areas, including leadership and management, quality of provision, and equality of opportunity.
Mr Roberts said: "Although we are now outstanding, this is only the beginning. We've just embarked on a significant campus redevelopment project of pound;100 million. The college has a great future, and is one Stockport should be very proud of."
The college caters for more than 11,500 students and has 1,000 staff, and offers courses from GCSE to degree level. It is going through a four-year rebuilding programme, to be completed in 2011 at a cost of pound;98 million.
In its report, Ofsted said: "The principal and senior managers have led the college very successfully through a period of substantial change. Leaders have demonstrated an impressive ability to ensure the college provides a high quality of service to students and employers.
"Relentless focus on learner experience has led to major improvements in learners' achievement."
Richard Evans resigned as principal in the wake of the 2001 inspection, the year before he was due to retire, to allow governors to appoint an interim principal to begin the recovery.