Birkenhead Sixth Form College

Name Birkenhead Sixth Form College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
This inspection rating relates to a predecessor school. When a school, converts to an academy, is taken over or closes and reopens as a new school a formal link is created between the new school and the old school, by the Department for Education. Where the new school has not yet been inspected, we show the inspection history of the predecessor school, as we believe it still has significance.
Inspection Date 07 December 2016
Address Park Road West, Claughton, Wirral, Merseyside, CH43 8SQ
Phone Number 01516525575
Type Academy
Age Range 16-19
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Academy Sponsor Bepart Educational Trust
Local Authority Wirral
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

Birkenhead Sixth Form College is on a single site located just outside the main town centre of Birkenhead. In the Wirral area, school leavers’ achievement of five GCSE qualifications including English and mathematics at grades A* to C is above the national average. Wirral has a mixture of high-performing and underperforming schools. There are wide differences in deprivation in the borough, with affluent areas to the west and high levels of deprivation in the east. The vast majority of students who enrol at the college are aged 16 to 18 and taking A-level courses. The college offers a wide range of AS-level, A-level and vocational courses with a small number of level 2 courses and GCSE English and mathematics. The college has a very small adult learning provision to meet an identified gap in the local area; the majority of these students are referred by Jobcentre Plus. The college has approximately 1,400 students and provides courses which include health and social care, science, mathematics, sport, psychology, media, English, performing arts, information and communication technology, business, languages and humanities.

Summary of key findings

This is an outstanding provider Governors provide very effective support and challenge to senior leaders. Leaders, managers and governors are relentless in seeking ways to improve and ensure a high-quality learning experience for all students. Leaders and managers have very high expectations and have created a culture where staff strive for excellence. Staff are ambitious for their students and this results in students making excellent progress from their starting points. Senior managers place a strong focus on continually improving the quality of teaching and learning; they provide teachers with very effective professional development and support. Performance management is very effective; in the few cases where staff have under-performed, managers have swiftly put in place support and interventions. Teachers and support staff work tirelessly to ensure that students make rapid and sustained progress. The college provides an inclusive ethos where differences are celebrated; it uses a range of very effective and innovative ways to support students who have a wide range of diverse needs and barriers to learning. Students’ achievements are excellent; there have been improvements year-on-year since the last inspection. The vast majority of students on both academic and vocational courses make very good progress, with a high proportion achieving high grades. The development of students’ English and mathematics skills is exceptionally strong. The proportions of students improving their GCSE grades and achieving grade C are very high. Teachers deliver high-quality, purposeful lessons and provide comprehensive feedback that enables students to know exactly what they need to do to achieve their potential and develop the skills they need to thrive in higher education and employment. Students’ progress, attitudes to learning and broader personal development are all monitored very closely by teachers; students who start to fall behind are identified quickly and supported very well to get back on track. Students are clear about their course targets and staff’s expectations; the college’s core values are consistently reinforced, as exemplified in the excellent standards of behaviour and respect for all members of the college and visitors.