Esher Sixth Form College


Name Esher Sixth Form College
Website http://www.esher.ac.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 07 May 2008
Address Weston Green Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0JB
Phone Number 02083980291
Type Academy
Age Range 16-19
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Surrey

Description of the provider

1. Esher College is a sixth form college established in 1974 and located in Thames Ditton, Surrey. The college’s mission is to aim ‘to be the specialist provider of non-selective, open-access sixth form college education for South-West London and North Surrey’. The college is located in an area of high prosperity. However, around two thirds of its students come from outside the county, mainly from south London boroughs. The college draws students from over 100 different schools in a wide catchment area. In 2006/07 there were 1,712 students on roll (6,912 enrolments) of whom 1,507 were aged 16-18 and 205 were adults. All students aged 16-18 were on level 3 courses, a small number of whom followed a combination level 2/3 programme. For adults, some 75% of enrolments were at level 1, with most of the remainder at level

Main findings

Achievement and standards Outstanding: Grade 1 6. Achievement and standards are outstanding, although those for the small number of adults are satisfactory. Since the last inspection, the college has maintained high success rates, especially in its main work of GCE A and AS level provision for students aged 16-18. For example, in 2006/07 the success rate for GCE A level courses rose to 97%, which is well above the national average for similar colleges. Most students achieve high grades in their examinations and make very good progress compared with their starting points. Although students perform well in many subjects, in a small minority of subjects such as drama and geology, too few students achieve grades appropriate to their ability. The proportion of students taking qualifications at levels 1 and 2 is small. On level 2 courses, success rates are about average, although students make good progress in GCSE mathematics. For learners on courses at level 1, mainly adults, success rates are below the national average. However, the college has implemented a well-defined strategy to address this and evidence of improvement can already be seen. Although the success rate for the key skill in information and communication technology was very low in 2006/07, the college’s actions to address this demonstrate very good improvement in the present academic year. 7. Students attend well and retention overall has remained consistently above the national average since the last inspection. The standard of their work is of a high quality in most subjects. The proportion of students that progress to higher or further education is high, with most of the remainder moving to employment. Quality of provision Outstanding: Grade 1 8. The quality of provision is outstanding. Teaching and learning are of particular high quality. The lesson observation scheme is thorough and teachers receive detailed constructive feedback. The college judges that 93% of teaching is good or better. However, a small number of observation reports are not sufficiently evaluative to justify the grades awarded to lessons. Lessons are well planned and make good use of a wide range of strategies for learning. Information and learning technologies are readily available and used well in lessons. Teachers pay careful attention to meeting the individual needs of students and effective support is provided where necessary. Teachers are accessible and approachable and respond well to students’ requests. Assessment is thorough. Students’ work is marked carefully and clearly and in the majority of cases helpful information is provided on what students need to do to improve. 9. The curriculum provision meets the needs and interests of students exceptionally well. In addition to its strong focus on examination success and progression, the college pays careful attention to the development of students’ personal and social skills and to preparing them for higher education or