Date Posted: June 30, 2017
A recent monitoring inspection of UTC Plymouth by Ofsted has been extremely positive. The monitoring inspection has identified the significant improvements made since the disappointing inspection in 2016. The HMI Stephen Lee wrote:
“Leaders and managers are taking effective action towards the removal of special measures.”
The Chair of Governors Nick Buckland OBE has been instrumental in supporting and driving UTC Plymouth to this outcome. Nick Buckland OBE said:
“The Staff, Governors and Students of UTC Plymouth have actually wanted the Ofsted inspection for some time. We all knew that they would find an improving school and this report demonstrates that the ongoing work has been successful. We need to continue to show improvement that takes us out of special measures as quickly as possible and the inspection team recognised that objective and saw that we are on the right trajectory. The hard work of the whole team in the school has paid off and I’m immensely proud of them all.”
Ofsted recognised the impact the Principal Polly Lovell has had on driving UTC Plymouth forward. Leaders at all levels are being developed and this has resulted in accountability for student progress. The report states that the Principal “has acted with determination to improve the work of the UTC. She has demonstrated perseverance and resilience.” Ongoing leadership for the college is important as highlighted by Ofsted and it is going to be essential to ensure continued improvement is maintained. It is therefore pleasing that Governors at the college have persuaded Polly Lovell, the current Principal, to stay in her role; this is a significant plus for the college as it moves forward on its improvement journey.
The appointment of a new Head of English is effectively driving forward the literacy programme within the college. “This has had a positive impact on standards in English in Key Stage 4. The work in students’ books shows that they are now making better progress, especially the most able, who are developing greater fluency in their writing.”
Teaching and Learning within the College was evidenced as being “characterised by higher expectations of what students can attain and the progress they can make. There is also evidence of a higher degree of challenge in the work that students are being set.”
Ofsted report that students “talked of how their engagement with learning and enjoyment of education had improved markedly since joining UTC Plymouth at the start of the year. Students in Year 13 are much happier now, due to recent improvements in the quality of education in the sixth form, particularly valuing the work to develop their employability.”
The improvement in careers education was acknowledged, meaning that students are now following programmes more suited to their needs. This in turn has improved behaviour within the college as students are more engaged. Ofsted referred to the development of employability and work related learning as “particularly strong”. In 2016, all students on the 16–19 programmes who left UTC Plymouth went onto higher or further education, apprenticeships or employment.
Polly Lovell Principal of UTC Plymouth said:
“I am really pleased for all the staff, students and our governors that have worked so hard in the last year to turn around the previous judgement. Our ongoing collaborations with other city schools provides a benchmark for us to check on our progress. The vital affiliation with the Royal Navy and Plymouth Manufacturers Group really secures what a different model of education we are providing in the city. I am confident during the next academic year UTC Plymouth will be well on its way to being rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted. I look forward to leading the college as it continues its improvement journey.”