SGS College | Be Outstanding

Covid Update

On Tuesday 29 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April.

Updated guidance advises:

  • Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a high temperature.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can return to college when they no longer have a high temperature, and are well enough to attend.
  • Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice is 3 days.

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1 April:

  • Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings. Therefore, we will no longer be able to order test kits .

Published 1 month ago

SGS College Celebrates Ofsted Grading On The Continued Journey To Outstanding

Learners and staff of SGS College are celebrating the result of their recent Ofsted inspection, which saw the college receive an overall rating of good with outstanding judgements for personal development and adult provision.

South Gloucestershire and Stroud college (SGS) was formed from the merger of Filton and Stroud colleges in 2012. The college has six main campuses. The Filton and WISE campuses in North Bristol, the nearby SGS Horizon campus opened in 2023 to provide specialist construction facilities for apprentices. The Queens Road campus in central Bristol specializing in art, plus the Stroud campus in Gloucestershire providing a range of vocational education programmes and the new SGS Create facility for learners aged 14 to 16, many of whom have social, emotional or mental health difficulties. There is also SGS Berkeley Green based within the Gloucestershire Science and Technology Park.

Sharing Ofsted's view that learners and apprentices enjoy studying in the highly inclusive environment created by staff at all levels, SGS was judged as having a clear and ambitious vision for providing education and training that contributes strongly to meeting the needs of local and national employers. It was felt by Ofsted that the College considers carefully their local communities and demographics, designing and building provision that aims to empower learners and apprentices, enabling social mobility and improved life chances.

This was especially true with the new SGS Create, based at the Stroud Campus. Ofsted stated that the College had been courageous in their development of new full-time provision for learners aged 14 to 16 in Gloucestershire, committing substantial resources, time and research into developing the curriculum, to ensure that it meets the needs of these young learners extremely well.

The first cohort of Create learners joined the College in September 2023 and it was demonstrated staff care deeply about providing opportunities for this group, many of whom have experienced disadvantage, have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) or negative prior experiences at school. By supporting these learners to stay on their programme, achieve qualifications and advising them on their next steps, SGS was considered as contributing to the reduction of young people who are not in education or training.

The inspection confirmed learners and apprentices are taught courses that have been thoughtfully designed with teachers providing opportunities for learners to develop their personal attributes and employability skills, and to gain a wider understanding of how to contribute positively to society. It was emphasised that learners and apprentices enjoy their learning and that teachers have expert knowledge of the subjects they teach.

Additionally, learners and apprentices are prepared very well for their next steps, including employment, apprenticeships, further or higher education or the successful integration into society.

A key attribute of this preparation is work experience with it being outlined by Ofsted that young learners take part in valuable placements that extend and deepen their understanding of their chosen subjects and/or career pathways.

This is enabled by the work SGS undertakes with regional stakeholders. Ofsted commented that the College uses their extensive contacts with employers to provide worthwhile opportunities for learners to develop their knowledge of work and practical employability skills.

This collaborative approach to working with external partners contributed heavily to SGS being judged as making a strong contribution to meeting regional skills needs, the highest judgement a college can receive.

It was evident SGS works highly collaboratively with local authorities, the West of England Combined Authority, Job Centre Plus, Business West - the largest regional Employer Representative Body in the country, and over 1500 employers, including many small medium and large organisations, such as the NHS and Amazon.

The College also proudly demonstrated an in-depth understanding of, and responds positively to, the skill priorities and needs of the locality whilst working highly effectively in partnerships to support the implementation of the Local Skills Improvement Plans.

Importantly, Ofsted advised that those studying at SGS develop quickly their positive attitudes to learning and high standards of professional behaviour, valuing the high-quality facilities available to them and treating their teachers and peers with mutual respect.

Furthermore, Ofsted felt learners and apprentices are safe at SGS and are very well supported, particularly in relation to their well-being and mental health. As a result, staff place a high priority on ensuring those studying at any campus feel confident to ask for help if and when they need it. As a result, learners and apprentices feel valued.

Sara-Jane Watkins, Principal of SGS College comments:

'We are really proud of the judgements that Ofsted have made of SGS. They recognise the excellent work that staff across the College have made in their commitment and enthusiasm in delivering great education and learning for all of our learners. We are especially proud of the recognition that Ofsted has made of our many initiatives that we have developed in order to help so many of those disadvantaged in society. We want to make a positive difference to the lives of all of those we support. Having the great work we do with employers recognised is also pleasing as we have put so much energy into ensuring that our curriculum offer meets local needs and that we are seen as one of the main providers of local talent and are really supporting the region with their workforce for the future'.

Matt Atkinson, Chair of Governors at SGS College said:

The board of governors are absolutely delighted with our recent inspection outcome. This is a real testament to the hard work of our dedicated staff and fantastic students. The inspectorate highlighted our many strengths and we now have a clear roadmap to become absolutely fantastic in everything we do. Colleges are at the heart of the UK's economy and I am delighted that the strong contribution we make to driving skills has been recognised in this report.

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