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Gateway College

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Gateway Makes 'Significant Progress' And Welcomes New Principal

Image: James Bagley, Principal of Gateway Sixth Form College.


Following a third re-inspection monitoring visit to Gateway Sixth Form College on 9th and 10th October by the education watchdog Ofsted, the city college has been recognised as having made ‘Significant‘ and ‘Reasonable Progress’ towards improvement in all six areas identified.  This is the last monitoring visit before the College is re-inspected and regraded some time before March 2018 and all indications show that the hard work of the Board of College Governors and staff are bearing fruit.

In November 2016, inspectors downgraded Gateway from a rating of ‘good’ to ‘inadequate’ and as action was taken by the governing body.  In March 2017, a new Interim Principal was appointed and an organisational restructure introduced alongside the delivery of a Post Inspection Action Plan (PIAP).  Since then, the College has consulted with parents, carers, partners and students and worked together with staff to raise standards.

The latest Monitoring report highlights “Reasonable Progress” has been made in five of the six areas identified and “Significant Progress” made in the sixth.  

The report states that “..The college-wide post inspection action plan (PIAP) has a clear focus on the six main themes and priorities likely to lead to substantial and rapid improvement, as identified at previous re-inspection monitoring visits.”

“Managers and staff use the PIAP effectively across the college.  Consequently, governors have a clearer understanding of the key objectives, improvement actions and the progress made against the actions.  Staff understand the key objectives and how they can contribute to progress and quality improvements.”

“Reasonable Progress” has been made in the area of “Actions to strengthen governance and governors’ knowledge of college performance and the impact of their holding managers to account”.

It says, “Governors and senior leaders continue to prioritise the development of systems to enable more effective monitoring of students.  For example, there is a new attendance system in place that allows daily reviews of individual attendance, classes, teachers and curriculum areas.  This is used to identify those students at risk of falling behind in their studies.”

“It is too soon to measure the impact that all indicators will have on the college’s ability to make necessary improvements.  However, early indications around attendance and progression are encouraging.”

The area of “The effectiveness of teaching, learning and assessment at meeting students’ needs and challenging them to make good progress and achieve or exceed targets” has also made “Reasonable Progress” with the report noting, “It is too early to judge whether feedback and individual action plans following formal observations have an impact on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment.  However, early indications are positive.”

The report goes on to say, “Since the beginning of September, the principal meets and greets all students in the morning and there is an obvious senior leadership presence around the college to ensure prompt attendance.  Consequently, there were very few examples of poor punctuality seen during the re-inspection visit.”

“After three non-attendances, staff invite parents or guardians to discuss a strategy to ensure that the student attends.  This rigorous monitoring is having an early impact on attendance, which is substantially higher than that for the previous year.”

“Significant Progress” has been made in the area of “Actions taken to make better use of the good relationships with stakeholders to increase the number of students who participate in meaningful work-related learning” stating, “Tutors develop employability skills for all students through the new tutorial system.  A number of tutor sessions contain a focus on employability skills.  Tutors plan these sessions to support the timings of the work experience visits.”

“Managers and staff continue to develop existing and relationships with employers and employment agencies to provide students with relevant work experience…Almost all level 2 students will receive work experience.  All year 2 level 3 year students who ask for work experience will be accommodated.”

John Kirk, Chair of the Board of Governors at Gateway College said, “We are delighted with the outcome of our latest monitoring visit from Ofsted and the progress the College is making towards being regraded.  This report is again very encouraging, and confirms that solid progress and improvements in quality continue to be made across the College.”

We would like to thank Marin Sim for his exceptional leadership as our Interim Principal, and the Board of Governors is delighted to announce that James Bagley has been appointed to the post of Principal of Gateway Sixth Form College, succeeding Martin to carry on his good work.  Martin has worked alongside James, who has been our Vice Principal for Curriculum for three year, and between them, they have done an excellent job in raising standards.”

“As an existing part of the Gateway family, James has clearly demonstrated his abilities and commitment to the College.  The Board of Governors look forward to James leading our progression and vision to become the foremost Sixth Form provider in the area.”

James Bagley, newly appointed Principal of Gateway College added, “ I am very much looking forward to working as Principal in partnership with all staff, students, parents, governors and the wider community to ensure that Gateway provides a high quality learning experience for all of our young people.  I am a strong believer in the role education plays in breaking down barriers and building social mobility across our communities.  As such, we will work hard to ensure that we continue to raise standards and expectations of ourselves and of our learners to enable them to progress to positive destinations.”

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