Paston College at North Walsham receives warm praise from Ofsted

A 'proud' Paston College principal spoke of staff and student unity as he celebrated a good report from Ofsted.

Peter Mayne, principal of Paston College at North Walsham, was delighted after inspectors gave the institution a good rating and picked up on some outstanding features.

Inspectors visited the 750-student college, which in a previous guise was attended by Lord Nelson and Stephen Fry, on March 18.

Along with the good overall grade, they gave the same rating to outcomes for learners, quality of provision, leadership and management, equality and diversity, science and maths and arts, media and publishing.

They said: 'Paston College is a good college with a good capacity to improve. The college is small but it provides education and training for a wide variety of students at different levels.

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'In 2009/10, most advanced-level students made good progress and achieved their qualifications, often with high grades. A few students on lower-level courses did not complete their studies.'

The report added: 'Most students enjoy college life and their courses very much. Most students enjoy their lessons and the good relationships they have with their teachers, but occasionally students do not receive enough challenge to motivate them to gain higher grades.'

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Inspectors said governors and managers raised the ambitions of staff and students 'outstandingly well', while leadership, management and governance were rated 'good'.

Mr Mayne said: 'This is an excellent report. It recognises our success and the journey we have made, and continue to make, in raising student aspirations and success.

'I am particularly proud of Ofsted's comments on our ambition for students and the quality of our staff.'

The report identified some areas for further development, including the retention of students on lower level and vocational courses, more opportunities for health and community education, more formal arrangements for sharing food professional practice and encouraging higher participation at enrichment programme afternoons.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the college was putting behind it disappointment over a cancelled rebuild to plan to have more than 1,000 students on roll by September 2012.

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