Richard Huish College in Taunton is celebrating following a recent Ofsted inspection which has once again rated it with the highest possible inspection grade – ‘Outstanding’. It achieved this in all of the four key judgements, recognising a consistently high quality of education and personal development. This third successive top grade places Huish with only a handful of institutions nationally to have been an ‘outstanding’ provider of education for more than twenty years.
Throughout this period Huish has frequently been praised by inspectors for its commitment to continuous improvement, striving to enhance and maintain excellence as standard and delivering an exceptional experience to all students. This most recent report noted that the college has a vision to provide high quality education for all members of the community, based on a broad and holistic educational offer to its students.
The report commented that: “Teachers set high academic standards. In turn, learners set high standards for themselves. They meet these by studying hard and making the most of the excellent opportunities the college offers… The strong local reputation of this college is justified. Leaders and staff establish and promote a culture of respect and high aspirations.”
Ofsted added that the college: “Provides education, encouragement and a wide range of excellent additional activities to develop learners’ knowledge, character, articulacy and ambition. As a result, learners develop their subject knowledge, a clearer understanding of their place in the local community and wider world, and pursue their interests and hobbies with enthusiasm.”
It also noted that students benefit from a comprehensive pastoral curriculum on a weekly basis, important human values are well developed and an inclusive and supportive culture is celebrated, with the LGBTQ+ group receiving a particular mention.
“Learners enjoy their time at college and feel safe as a result of the respectful relationships that exist between members of the college community”.
The new Ofsted framework focuses on the full student experience, rather than just student outcomes and performance data. Huish was graded outstanding across all of the four key inspection areas including quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.
Congratulated for an ambitious curriculum, Ofsted recognises that course units are selected carefully and thoughtfully to meet student interests, staff passions and links to employment opportunities. Inspectors connected this to Huish placing students at the heart of its planning and noted that students are incredibly proud of their academic achievement and grow their self-esteem whilst at the college.
Principal Emma Fielding said: “The college is delighted to receive recognition within the report, which acknowledges a well established culture that is passionately committed to individual success, developing independent learners and which results in tremendous pride among the educational community.
“I could not be prouder of our staff and students at Huish, this is an incredible achievement and testament to their talent, hard work and dedication. I am pleased that the inspection team noted the high quality of teaching, learning, personal development and support at Huish and how far above and beyond staff go to provide an exceptional educational experience.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to all our staff and students for making Huish such a phenomenal place to study. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of such an amazing educational community and to be, once again, acknowledged as one of the best post sixteen providers in the UK.”
A look at the key areas judged by Ofsted:
- Quality of education – Outstanding
- Behaviour and attitudes – Outstanding
- Personal development – Outstanding
- Leadership and management – Outstanding
- Education programmes for young people – Outstanding
- Provision for learners with high needs – Outstanding
- Adult learning programmes – Good
- Apprenticeships – Good
Inspection dates: 26th to 29th April 2022.