Lakes College - West Cumbria

Name Lakes College - West Cumbria
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 05 December 2017
Address Hallwood Road, Lillyhall Business Park, Lillyhall, Workington, Cumbria, CA14 4JN
Phone Number 01946839300
Type General Further Education and Tertiary
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Cumbria
Catchment Area Information Available No
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about the provider

Lakes College in West Cumbria is a medium-sized general further education college with one main campus. At the time of the inspection, it provides education and training for approximately 2,117 learners. Two fifths of learners are aged 16 to 18 and two fifths are apprentices. The remaining learners are on adult programmes, most of which are studying part time. The college provides courses in a range of subject areas. The largest subject areas are in health and social care, building and construction, engineering and manufacturing technologies, and business administration. The college works with one subcontractor, mainly with apprentices. Approximately 166,300 people live in the local districts of Allerdale and Copeland. In the local authority of Cumbria, just under a third of the working-age population have qualifications at level 4 or above. This is lower than the regional and national averages. The proportion of learners in Cumbria who achieve five or more GCSEs grades A* to C or grades 9 to 4, including English and mathematics, is higher than the national average. Levels of unemployment in Allerdale and Copeland are lower than the regional average.

Summary of key findings

This is a good provider Governors and senior leaders promote a culture of high expectations. They have rectified the vast majority of weaknesses identified at the previous inspection. Leaders’ and managers’ strategy to improve teaching, learning and assessment has been successful. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is now good. Governance is highly effective. Governors challenge senior leaders and managers effectively. They successfully hold them to account for improving the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. The principal, senior leaders and college staff develop highly effective partnerships with local and regional stakeholders. As a result, courses meet local, regional and national skills priorities very well. Learners and apprentices develop successfully the practical skills and technical knowledge they need for work. Learners and apprentices produce work of a good standard that is at or above the level at which they are studying. They take pride in their work and know what to do to improve. Learners’ and apprentices’ achievement is good. Since the previous inspection, leaders and managers have successfully improved the proportion of learners and apprentices who complete and pass their courses. Apprentices do not further develop their English skills sufficiently, and adult learners on employability courses do not sufficiently develop their English and mathematics skills to reach their full potential. On a small number of courses, the proportion of learners who achieve their qualification is too low, including grades A* to C or grades 9 to 4 in GCSE English and mathematics. A minority of students, in particular the most able, do not make the progress they are capable of from their starting points.