Askham Bryan College is graded ‘good’ in new Ofsted report

Askham Bryan College learners benefit from a calm, purposeful and engaging learning environment that reflects many of the industries and professions to which they will progress.

That is one of the key findings in a new inspection report published by the education watchdog Ofsted, which has graded the overall effectiveness of the College as ‘good’.

Ofsted has praised the specialist land-based college for its strong relationships with councils, employers and industry organisations, and its strong contribution to meeting skills needs.

Leaders and managers, the report notes, review the curriculum frequently to keep it in line with industry standards and the needs of students, apprentices and employers.

Teachers are suitably qualified with relevant industry experience. They use their knowledge well to ensure that students and apprentices are taught relevant and up-to-date techniques.

The report highlights the College has significantly invested in digital resources to meet sector needs including a robotic milking machine, drone technology and virtual reality design suites.

Students and apprentices settle well into college life and have considerable opportunities to take part in competitions, social action projects and sporting events. The report notes that the arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Tim Whitaker, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Askham Bryan College, said: “We are proud of our students, apprentices and staff.

“At Askham Bryan College, we aim to provide a high quality and industry relevant technical and professional curriculum that enhances our learners’ skills and career prospects and meets employers’ needs.

“The Ofsted report provides a strong endorsement of that and is testament to our fantastic staff who are committed to ensuring that all of our learners achieve their potential.”

Ofsted’s report covers eight areas, which are all judged as ‘good’:

• Quality of education
• Behaviour and attitudes
• Personal development
• Leadership and management
• Education programmes for young people
• Adult learning programmes
• Apprenticeships
• Provision for learners with high needs

Ofsted has praised college leaders and managers for fully involving relevant stakeholders in the design of all aspects of the curriculum.

Staff at all levels are on the boards of organisations such as BIAZA, Landex and Yorkshire Agricultural Society making valuable contributions to the changing landscape in their sector.

Stakeholders, inspectors found, value the contribution that the College makes to local, regional and national communities.

An effective board of governors, who also bring useful professional and industry experience to the College, is in place.

The College’s main campus is based in extensive grounds in York, North Yorkshire.

Facilities include Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, a farm, equestrian centre, stables, dairy unit, sports centres, engineering workshops and residential accommodation.

The College also has four other sites at Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Saltaire and Wakefield.

Middlesbrough Campus in North Yorkshire specialises in equine, animal management and land and horticulture courses, and is based in Stewart Park which has 140 acres of parkland.

The Gateshead site in Tyne and Wear trains veterinary nursing students. At the Saltaire and Wakefield sites in West Yorkshire, students study animal management.

This year, the college is celebrating its 75th anniversary of providing land-based education and training.

During that time, it has developed a regional and national reputation and grown its student and staff community and course offer.

Its long term vision is to become a leading college nationally for animal science and conservation and sustainable food production.

The Ofsted report also coincides with Colleges Week, a national celebration of the positive impact that colleges have on students, employers, and local communities and economies.

To read the report, published on 17th October 2023, please visit Ofsted’s website.

To find out more about courses and upcoming open events on 18th October, 11th November and 25th November, please visit our homepage.

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