Ofsted has praised USP College for its progress following a recent monitoring visit.
The monitoring visit took place to review and evaluate the progress governors, leaders and staff have made to establish a shared strategic direction for the newly merged College. The visit also considered improvements made in the quality of provision since previous inspections.
The Inspectors, who visited the College's two campuses, Seevic Campus in Benfleet and Palmer's Campus in Grays, between 5-6 June, observed several lessons and spoke with the staff, students and governors.
The College was monitored on four themes, which could have been graded as Insufficient Progress, Reasonable Progress or Significant Progress.
One theme was graded as Significant progress, with the remaining three being graded as Reasonable Progress.
Theme 1 - the progress leaders, managers and governors made in establishing a shared vision, mission and values for the new College and in identifying strategic priorities and an effective management structure was judged as 'Reasonable Progress'.
Highlighting the five sector areas of learning the College implemented - Creative & Digital, Health, Care & Medical, Financial Sector & Professional Services, Life & Sports Sciences and Early Years, Childcare & Education - Ofsted commented on the 'clear vision' put in place by the College which 'focusses sharply on learners' routes to employment.'
Theme 2 - the progress senior leaders and governors made in establishing an effective governance structure with suitable expertise to serve the needs of the College was judged as 'Reasonable Progress'.
The Inspector said: "Governors have been instrumental in setting the strategic direction of the College and the careers focus in teaching and learning.
"Governors use their own links effectively to directly benefit learners through their good relationships with local employers."
Theme 3 - the progress senior leaders made in ensuring that the curriculum tackles the skills gaps in the local economy while meeting the needs of employers and learners was graded as 'Significant Progress'.
The report says: "Leaders have ensured that the courses the College offers align appropriately to the employment needs in the local area.
"Leaders work effectively in partnership with a range of local organisations and groups to ensure that their five sector areas provide clear routes into identified careers."
Theme 4 - the progress leaders and managers made in evaluating the quality of provision, and actioning key weaknesses in predecessor colleges identified at the previous inspections was graded as 'Reasonable Progress'.
Ofsted commented that: "Teachers ensure that learners are supported effectively in their learning.
"Learners behave well and are keen to learn. Learners' behaviour at the Palmer's Campus is much improved."
Dan Pearson, Principal & Chief Executive for USP College said: “I am extremely pleased that our staff’s hard work and dedication to improving the student experience in a very challenging financial environment has been recognised.”
This is a very positive outcome for the College who have been working hard, putting in place a career-focused learning strategy that focuses on matching students' skills with those needed in the local economy.