Nelson and Colne College


Name Nelson and Colne College
Ofsted Inspection Rating Outstanding
Inspection Date 29 April 2008
Address Scotland Road, Nelson, Lancashire, BB9 7YT
Phone Number 01282440200
Type General Further Education and Tertiary
Age Range 16-99
Religious Character Does Not Apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils Unknown
Local Authority Lancashire
Catchment Area Information Available No, we only have catchment area data for schools in England
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Description of the provider

1. Nelson and Colne College is a tertiary college. The college’s two main centres are based at Nelson and at Colne. Students at the college are drawn principally from the Pendle district, but also from Burnley, East Lancashire and a small number from Yorkshire. The college is consolidating its mainstream provision onto a single site in Nelson, with a new building and the refurbishment of existing accommodation. Work is due for completion in August 2008. The college offers academic and vocational provision in 12 of the 15 sector subject areas. The curriculum offer has been extended and ranges from pre-foundation courses to a small number of higher education (HE) qualification courses. General certificate of education advanced level courses (GCE A and AS levels) are available in 32 subjects and vocational courses in 13 areas, with apprenticeships available in eight occupational areas. The college recruits a substantial number of Key Stage 4 school pupils onto its vocational provision. In 2007, the college was part of the Burnley and Pendle Consortium which made a successful gateway bid to deliver the 14-19 diploma in media. 2. The borough of Pendle is composed of industrial towns, small villages and open countryside. The total population is approximately 89,000. There is high deprivation in seven of the Pendle wards. The percentage of adults living in Pendle who have no educational qualifications is 36% compared with 29% nationally. General certificate of secondary education (GCSE) attainment varies between schools but is, overall, considerably lower than the national average. Some 43% of school pupils leaving Key Stage 4 gained five or more A* to C passes in 2007. The large majority of full-time enrolments comprises of students aged 16-18, with adults accounting for over 90% of part-time enrolments. Some 33% of full-time students are from minority ethnic backgrounds compared with 15% in the local population. Some 52% of full-time 16-19 year old students come from disadvantaged communities. Between 2003 and 2007 enrolments increased by 45%. The number of full-time students increased by 30% in the three years up to 2006/07. 3. The college aims, through partnership working, to deliver the highest standards of teaching and learning, offer outstanding and relevant provision to young people, adults and employers, value and support its students so they achieve their full potential and be proactive in removing barriers to learning and progression.

Main findings

Achievement and standards Good: Grade 2 10. Achievement and standards are good. The overall long course success rate is high and is increasing in line with the national average. In 2006, the rate placed the college in the top decile of general further education (GFE)/tertiary colleges and third highest among GFE/tertiary colleges which recruit extensively from similar areas of high deprivation. 11. The long course success rate for students aged 16-18 is high; consistently well above the top quartile position of GFE/tertiary colleges. The success rates at levels 1, 2 and 3 separately are frequently well above the top quartile rates and all were above this rate in 2007. Retention rates in 2007 were slightly above average and pass rates were high, at or above 90% at all three levels. Key skills success rates are high. A high proportion of apprentices achieve the full framework, many within the planned period. 12. The success rate on GCE A levels is high. It has been above 90% in three of the four years to 2007. In 2006, the rate dipped slightly below 90%. These rates are consistently above the national average for GFE/tertiary colleges. The GCE AS level success rate is satisfactory. The progress made by students on GCE A levels compared with their attainment at Key Stage 4 is good; on GCE AS levels they make satisfactory progress. 13. The long course success rate for adult students is consistently well above average. It was at the top quartile position for GFE/tertiary colleges in both 2006 and 2007. In 2007, the rates were close to the top quartile rates at levels 1 and 2 and above average at level 3. Retention rates in 2007 were slightly above average at levels 1 and 2 but below average at level 3. Pass rates in this year were high, above 90% at all three levels. 14. Many learners make outstanding progress; for example, one young person originally recruited at entry level is now studying mathematics at university; another recruited at this level is presently studying at advanced level. Quality of provision Outstanding: Grade 1 15. The quality of teaching and learning has continued to improve since the last inspection and is outstanding. The college has an accurate and detailed view of the many strengths and the few areas for development in teaching and learning which has contributed effectively to the improvements in students’ achievement. 16. A rigorous internal observation system judges that around 80% of lessons are good or better. Feedback to teachers is comprehensive and individual development needs are noted and methods of sharing good practice are clearly identified. The system helps implement the college’s developmental priorities in teaching and learning by focusing on these during observations. An effective