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Hereford Sixth Form College Maintains “Outstanding” Status

Posted on 20th March 2023

Deputy Principal Phil Tranter, Dan Read, Principal Catherine Brearey, Millie Farnell, Executive Principal Peter Cooper

Hereford Sixth Form College remains one of the leading further education providers in Herefordshire and the surrounding counties’ with a recent Ofsted visit resulting in the college maintaining “Outstanding” status. Principal Catherine Brearey commented on the news, "The College is delighted to maintain Outstanding status after a rigorous inspection. It is testament to the care, commitment and skill of college teaching and support staff that students excel and develop into well rounded, successful young adults."

The report has marked all six key areas of “Overall Effectiveness” as “Outstanding”, these include Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development, Leadership and Management, Education Programmes for Young People and Provision for Learners with High Needs.


The report praises the learner experience: “Students benefit from an inclusive, supportive and nurturing environment…and develop as confident individuals”. College Management were praised for their “clear and ambitious vision for providing high-quality inclusive education” which enables students of all backgrounds to develop as well-rounded individuals and achieve high grades in their studies. Students are “exceedingly well prepared for life after college” with the extensive personal development programme, “seamlessly woven through the curriculum”. It was noted that the model of education ensures “almost all students to progress into higher education, apprenticeships or further study”.


Alongside and in support of the curriculum, the quality of careers support at college was noted as excellent with students benefitting “from a broad programme of career-focused activity throughout their time at college.” The report also noted that students benefit from extensive support in applying for higher education with the college nurturing relationships with many universities, as a result a high proportion of student receive places at prestigious institutions. The college’s Reach programme was celebrated for being highly successful in raising aspirations for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


Leaders were also commended for creating a “broad programme of wraparound support” for students with additional support needs and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities. “Support staff mentor, advise and create individual well-being programmes communicating closely with teaching staff to ensure students receive the support they need. Ofsted highlighted an example of this is students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, working with the physical well-being manager in the gym to help increase their classroom focus.

The extensive enrichment programme, including a theatre company, choirs, bands, and interest groups,  also received acclaim for covering a wide range of students’ interests and high participation amongst learners. Students reported that they felt safe at college and know how and where to seek help on campus: “Leaders ensure that the culture of trust and respect at the college means that students are confident in supporting each other. They also have the confidence to ask for help from college staff when needed.”