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Top marks for Brighton college
A college has been rated outstanding for its visual arts department in its latest inspection.
Varndean College was given the top grade by Ofsted inspectors for its visual arts courses.
Inspectors also found a “significant amount” of teaching, learning and assessment to be outstanding at the college, in Surrenden Road, Brighton.
Areas for improvement highlighted included grades not adequate in functional skills courses, individual targets for students not being aspirational enough and too few adults completing foundation level programmes.
But the inspection team praised the very successful International Baccalaureate Diploma course.
The report said: “In 2011/12 all students completing the course passed and the average diploma score per student was very high compared to national and international averages”.
Describing Varndean College as “very inclusive”, a key finding of inspectors was “the significant extent to which students make better than expected progress” and that “many students achieve better than would be expected from their starting points”.
Inspectors noted the “large number going on to prestigious universities” with 12 students taking up places at Oxford or Cambridge.
In addition inspectors said students benefit from “abundant teaching and learning resources” and classrooms “packed with thoughtfully chosen visual resources”.
Phil Harland, college principal, said: “I am delighted the inspectors recognised my staff “provide exemplary individual support for students” because this is at the heart of Varndean’s inclusive ethos. They also saw that in managing the college we put students first.
“I am immensely proud of this report and of my staff for making Varndean College such a great place to study.”
Janice Robinson, the chair of governors, added: “Ofsted inspectors clearly recognised that staff at Varndean College provide young people in Brighton and Hove with a good quality sixth form education.”
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