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We set the bar very high at Andover and work on balancing all of the elements that lead to good teaching and learning.


Andover College was given a huge endorsement by Ofsted in 2014, commending its high standards and overall effectiveness as ‘good’ with all areas inspected given a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ rating and governance being acknowledged as ‘Outstanding’.

The inspection report, which was published following a no notice inspection of the college in February, saw a team of nine inspectors scrutinising the College’s performance in a real life assessment process.

The rigorous inspection focused on three curriculum areas and found the College has very high standards in all aspects of its operations and in particular provides “Outstanding” teaching and learning in Creative and Performing Arts covering all courses in the following areas – art, design, performing arts, music and music technology. The inspectors noted how students “benefit from the wide ranging sector experience of teachers” commenting on how staff “use their professional contacts well to set live project briefs in music and drama” The report also identified that students were performing at an advanced level using “industry-specific, technical language in their work.”

The other two areas in scope were Health and Social Care (including Childcare and Development) and Foundation English which were also awarded ‘Good’. Inspectors commended the quality of teaching and the role of preparing students to reach the highest professional standards through their own professional practice and links with industry.

Inspectors also commented on how the College supports students and provides a focus on their general happiness and well-being saying: “Students enjoy their time in college and standards of behaviour are very high.”

College Principal Tim Jackson felt the report was a resounding endorsement of the College’s commitment to excellence and said: “Inspectors saw the College operating in a normal way and it validates our everyday commitment to exceptionally high standards and support for students. I am so pleased the skills, knowledge and expertise of our teachers was so clearly acknowledged in the report.”

Tim went on to highlight the College’s important links with business, industry and universities and said: “We provide multiple pathways for our students so they are completely prepared for the next step in life, whether that is university, which is the preferred route of the majority of our level 3 students, or employment through our strong links with employers.”

Vice Principal Martin Simmons, who worked directly with inspectors during the inspection, said: “I am proud that the very high standards we strive to achieve were recognised in this report, particularly in the creative and performing arts, but also the strong result achieved by all of our colleagues who were in scope of the inspection. We set the bar very high at Andover and work on balancing all of the elements that lead to good teaching and learning. Support for students, individualised learning plans, talented teachers who are creative and resourceful, and industry relevant practice all lead to students who are ready for university or roles in industry.”

Martin reflected on the areas for development also included in the report and said: “We’re clearly close to the point of being acknowledged as an ’Outstanding’ college and our focus as always needs to remain on sharing the best practice evidenced in the majority of our curriculum areas across the board so the high standards we expect are embedded across all areas and at all levels.”

The report also rated the governance of the college as ’Outstanding’ with governors providing appropriate support and challenge to the college’s Senior Leadership Team in order to facilitate meeting its “ambitious and challenging three-year strategic and operational plan”.

The full report can be downloaded HERE.