Group which oversees Northamptonshire's Tresham College graded 'good' by Ofsted

The group which runs Northamptonshire's Tresham College campuses has been praised by Ofsted after an inspection.

Ian Pryce.
Ian Pryce.

The Bedford College Group - which merged with Tresham College in 2017 - was inspected by the education watchdog for the first time since the colleges joined forces.

Education chiefs visited campuses in Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough as well as sites in Bedfordshire.

The year before the merger Tresham College was rated 'inadequate' in a highly critical report, but things are now looking up after a new graded of 'good'.

Ian Pryce, principal and chief executive of Bedford College for two decades and who led the development into the group, said: “This is a fantastic inspection result.

"Staff at Tresham have risen to the challenge and can now claim it is a very good college. Just as pleasing, Bedford College has improved again on its previous inspection.

“We can now rightly say we are a very strong group of colleges."

In the report, Ofsted graded the group as 'good' in all areas.

They said the college left students and apprentices well-prepared for their next steps.

Lead inspector Rebecca Perry said: "Learners develop the skills and knowledge required by employers, both through college-based provision and in the workplace.

"They apply their new knowledge and skills effectively to produce high quality products and standards of work."

She added: "Young learners and adults benefit from regular contact with employers and understand fully the industries in which they intend to work.

"As a result, they are prepared well for their next steps."

A £10m refurb of Tresham's Wellingborough tower block is set be finished in time to open in September.

The college also hopes to bring A-Level provision back as soon as 2021 with a new building in Corby or Kettering.

Mr Pryce added: “We are grateful for the support of Semlep who have invested in our redevelopment of the Wellingborough campus which will bring new life into the town centre and in our multi-million advanced engineering centre in Bedford which is a beacon for technology training.

“Our group was one of the first colleges to make the grade under the new education inspection framework which is again tribute to our senior management team and staff who had to set show the way.”