Eastleigh College’s College House has been awarded Outstanding by Ofsted following its fifth consecutive inspection, meaning it has been recognised for providing the highest standards of FE since it was first established fifteen years ago.
College House provides further education and residential care for students aged 16 to 19-years-old with moderate learning disabilities. It forms part of Eastleigh College’s Winchester Campus and provides a unique, essential and often life-changing residential education experience for students.
It is the only provision of its kind attached to a mainstream college nationally, as Tracey McAdam, Eastleigh College’s Winchester Campus Manager, explained: “Almost all our students have come from specialist schools that cater exclusively for young people with learning difficulties and we are their first experience of inclusive education.”
Tracey continued: “We’re thrilled to be recognised as Outstanding once again. The inspections are un-announced and very student-focused looking not only at their experience, but also their outcomes and progression.
“We have a superb and dedicated team here at College House, and also at Eastleigh College where the students go three days a week to work towards their qualification. We really individualise our support, balancing the provision of college education with the need to enhance independent living skills, community activities and social development.”
Ofsted stated that the College provides consistent highly effective services, and contributes to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for young people. The report highlighted staff are well supported by leaders and managers who are inspirational in their approach to the care and support of students who flourish and make exceptional progress.
Eastleigh College’s Winchester campus is also home to The Hive, which operates a range of social enterprise opportunities including a professional kitchen, joinery workshop, businesses suite and gardens to take part in horticultural activities.
Student, Stephen Bowman, 19 who is just finishing his third year at College House, said his biggest achievement was preparing himself for living independently. He explained: “I’ve enjoyed socialising with the other students. Next year I am going to The Hive. Being at College House has helped me prepare for this because I’m now more confident and ready to learn new skills.”
Nineteen-year-old Matthew Woodyard, has completed a foundation level Skills for Independence and Work course. He said: “I’ve liked everything about College House. I’ve become independent and been able to meet up with my friends outside of college. I’ve learnt to travel on my own and now feel able to deal with lots of different situations. After the summer I am looking forward to going on to the Skills for Supported Employment course at Eastleigh College.”
Eastleigh College Chief Executive and Principal, Dr Jan Edrich, said: “I’m extremely proud of the staff across the College who work together to ensure this unique provision is so rewarding for students. We focus on providing situations to broaden students’ horizons and support them to learn the skills they need to take advantage of opportunities.
“It’s great to see students gain confidence and achieve ambitious goals, and we’re delighted the Ofsted team recognised how we aid this holistic growth alongside their educational, college-based achievements.”
One of Eastleigh College's governors, Councillor Judith Grajewski, has been appointed Local Authority Director of Solent LEP. This Local Enterprise Partnership brings the business community together with the further education and higher education sector to ensure a prosperous and sustainable economic future in the region.
Eastleigh College has been awarded AoC Beacon Status in two areas, in recognition of its excellent support for students, and for the College’s work with employers, providing professional training and delivering skills to help grow the economy.