Hadlow College

Name Hadlow College
Website http://www.hadlow.ac.uk
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 07 June 2010
Address Tonbridge Road, Hadlow, Tonbridge, Kent, TN11 0AL
Phone Number 01732850551
Type General Further Education and Tertiary
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Kent
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

1. Hadlow College is the only specialist land-based college in Kent and Medway. Its main campus is some four miles from Tonbridge, in West Kent. Four smaller centres are in other parts of Kent and South London. The college’s estate has grown significantly since the previous inspection. The main campus is on a 1,000-acre estate. The recent purchase of a nearby farm added 60 acres and more residential accommodation. Princess Christian Farm, a centre for adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, was acquired through a partnership with Kent County Council. The college has residential accommodation for 230 learners. Its mission is ‘to be an outstanding land-based college’. 2. The college attracts learners from a wide geographical area, including Kent, Medway, outer London and further afield. Forty-five per cent of its income is generated by further education provision, funded by the successor bodies to the Learning and Skills Council. Higher education, with 626 learners, and commercial operations generate 24% and 31% of income respectively. A wide range of vocational further education courses are offered, mostly learner responsive, focusing on land-based and related sectors. Currently there are 915 full-time and 687 part-time further education learners, 67 apprentices and 129 Train to Gain learners. Attending college-based link courses are 200 school pupils, aged from 14 to 16. The proportions of learners aged from 16 to 18 and 19 and over are roughly equal. Around 60% of learners are female and 93% are of White British heritage. 3. Kent and Medway include some relatively affluent communities, including West Kent, but there are areas of deprivation. The college also recruits from South East London boroughs with some of the highest indices of deprivation in the United Kingdom. The number of young people not in employment, education or training is consistently lower in Kent and Medway than in the United Kingdom as a whole.

Main findings

• Outcomes for learners are outstanding. Learners’ attainment of learner-responsive qualifications is high. The college’s overall success rate has improved significantly since the previous inspection, when outcomes for learners were judged to be good. Success rates are particularly high for learners aged from 16 to 18 on long courses. Short course success rates are very high. • Employer-responsive, Train to Gain and apprenticeship outcomes are good overall and improved on earlier years. They are better for Train to Gain than for apprenticeships, where they are still below national averages. Completion within expected timescales is satisfactory for Train to Gain, but still low for too many apprenticeship programmes. • Learners’ standards of work, and the skills learners develop, are good and often outstanding, especially in practical tasks. They make good progress and attain their learning goals. Progression to further studies is good. Learners enjoy their work and are proud of their achievements. They are strongly motivated by their studies and develop the confidence and enthusiasm to engage in further learning. • Arrangements for safeguarding learners are outstanding. Learners feel very safe in the college and demonstrate very safe working practices. • Teaching and learning are good. Teachers and technical instructors use the currency of their excellent vocational knowledge and expertise very well to motivate and inspire learners to achieve. Well-planned teaching uses the extensive and excellent resources very well, although a small number of