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​It's very 'Good' news for Hopwood Hall College


Staff and students at Hopwood Hall College have been celebrating after inspectors from education watchdog Ofsted found it to be a ‘Good’ college.

The inspectors assessed the college over a two day period; engaging with the college’s staff and students, observing lessons and examining educational performance data.

Ofsted’s report said of the college,

“You, your leadership team and governors set high expectations for your learners and staff, with clear priorities to improve the quality of provision, develop the skills of teaching staff, improve the college estate and maintain a strong financial position.

“Governors have a good understanding of the college’s key priorities and areas for improvement and provide challenge to you and your leadership team.

“Leaders and managers have implemented robust procedures and training for safeguarding. Staff, governors, employers and learners are confident in dealing with safeguarding matters. The highly trained safeguarding team is meticulous and thorough in recording and monitoring any issues which arise.”

The positive inspection also highlighted that:

  • Staff share an ambitious strategy to provide the highest quality vocational provision which meets the needs and is responsive to national priorities. Staff development is a key priority of the college.
  • Ensuring high-quality teaching and learning is the highest priority and continues to be a strong focus of the college’s work.
  • Study programmes provide learners aged 16-19 with high quality work-related activities and purposeful work experience which link to their longer-term employment aspirations.
  • Teachers have high aspirations for their learners and use a variety of challenging and interesting activities to motivate them.
  • The college works effectively with local businesses and other partners to ensure that the curriculum is current, supports learner’s employability prospects and provides opportunities for learners to progress to higher level technical skill programmes.
  • A wide range of enrichment activities help learners to develop their personal, social and work skills.

The report also complimented the students’ attitudes and efforts, noting that learners behave well and are respectful to each other and teachers. Students also feel safe and understand how to keep themselves safe.

Hopwood Hall’s principal, Derek O’Toole, believed the report to be a clear sign of the college’s efforts to enhance education in Rochdale and the surrounding areas.

“I believe the result of Ofsted’s inspection is demonstrative of the consistency with which the college has progressed in recent years.

“We are incredibly proud of the findings, which is a tribute to the ongoing hard work and dedication of all the staff at the college to provide our learners with the highest quality teaching, learning and assessment.

Principal Derek O’Toole and students

“I’m also pleased the report recognised the positive attitudes and efforts of our learners. That they played a big part in the inspector’s positive impression of this college and is reflective of how they carry themselves on a daily basis.

“We have Open Days throughout the year and I invite people interested in the college to drop in and see the fantastic work our staff and students produce.”