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Mean on Sunday: Ofsted report is so well deserved

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By Ian Mean, Business West Gloucestershire director

Our young people are our future is an often quoted message but it is so true if they receive the right encouragement and training.

South Gloucestershire & Stroud (SGS) College provide that leadership to an increasing number of young people and we should be proud of their team’s efforts.

Those efforts have now been rewarded with what I would say are top marks in their recent Ofsted inspection.

The college received an overall rating of good with outstanding judgements for personal development and adult provision.

A real badge of honour for SGS ,which was formed from the merger of Filton and Stroud Colleges in 2012-it now has six campuses.

I was privileged as the director for Business West in Gloucestershire to have been interviewed by one of the Ofsted team about SGS.

The inspector was impressive and detailed in his questioning—particularly how the college developed their courses to the requirements of companies .

So, when Ofsted published their extensive report, I was pleased to find that SGS had been judged as having “a clear and ambitious vision for providing education and training that contributes strongly to meeting the needs of local and national employers”.

And Ofsted concluded that the college improved “life chances” of their learners and apprentices.

They were particularly praiseworthy of their new Create project based at the Stroud campus.

Create has been designed to provide opportunities for learners aged 14-16 who have special educational needs, disabilities or negative experience at school.

Absolutely spot on.

So many of our young people-for one reason or another-are falling through the cracks of our educational system and are then often ending up with little hope or ambition.

It is this cohort of young people we need to encourage into work with good jobs.

So, the development of Create seems to  me to be a step in the right direction of getting to grips with the challenge of Gloucestershire’s recruitment challenge.

Over the years, I have seen the SGS team work well with employers—particularly on apprenticeships.

This Ofsted report is so well deserved.

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