University Technical College Portsmouth wins outstanding Ofsted rating after being rated inadequate 16 months ago

A PORTSMOUTH college has seen its Ofsted inspection grade leap from ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’ - the highest possible grade - in only 16 months.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 2:45 pm

The principal of UTC Portsmouth is ‘delighted’ with the positive news, which was announced following an inspection into conditions at the college.

UTC Portsmouth is a university technical college for pupils aged 14 to 19, and provides a curriculum focused on STEM subjects for its 403 pupils.

Inspectors spoke with staff and pupils to compile their report.

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James Doherty, principal of UTC. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Published on July 23, a month after the inspection took place, the report rated UTC Portsmouth ‘outstanding’ in every category from quality of education to sixth-form provision.

Ofsted found that ‘pupils flourish’ at the college, which teaches them to be ‘active, responsible and thoughtful citizens’.

Reports of bullying were found to be ‘extremely rare’, and the inspectorate concluded that UTC Portsmouth is a ‘very supportive and inclusive place to be found’.

UTC Portsmouth

James Doherty, principal of UTC Portsmouth said: ‘I am delighted with the report, which highlights the quality of education as a standout area, reinforced by the unparalleled destination figures for our students; the best in the region.

‘We are seeing significantly more students go onto university from their studies with us than the national or regional average.’

The previous inspection, which took place in February 2020, judged the college to be ‘inadequate’ - the lowest possible rating.

However, Ofsted found that the college has ‘swiftly addressed’ the ‘significant weaknesses’ found during the last inspection - and now pupils and staff are ‘overwhelmingly proud’ of their learning community.

Students collect their A level results at UTC Portsmouth last year. Alex Bird, Kate Cooper, and Melic Oughton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

James added: ‘The inspectors were especially positive about how respectful and sensible our students are and recognised what a caring and nurturing environment we have created at the college.

‘I was proud that they noted how impeccably our pupils conduct themselves and that they are intrinsically motivated to do their best.

‘I am delighted that we now have an overall effectiveness rating that reflects the fantastic college we are.’

UTC Portsmouth’s training and enrichment programmes were also highlighted as an area of strength.

Inspectors recognised the valuable employability skills these programmes help students develop.

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