B&FC’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading colleges is underpinned by glowing reports from national organisations such as Ofsted (for Further Education) and the Quality Assurance Agency (for Higher Education). At our last inspection in October 2013, B&FC became one of just three UK general Further Education colleges to receive Grade 1 Outstanding by Ofsted across each of the main areas since a notoriously tough new framework was put into place in September 2012.
The report echoed the findings of the Quality Assurance Agency in our latest review, when B&FC received more commendations than any other university or higher education establishment in the UK to date. More recently, our degree-level education was awarded the Highest "gold" rating in the government's Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
B&FC is ranked in the top 3% of further education colleges in England for the sixth year running.* These accolades are a real endorsement of the superlative learning experience we provide for students so that they can confidently achieve all their goals.
*National Achievement Rate Tables (NARTs) from the Department for Education and Education and Skills Funding Agency 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Who they are – Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills. An independent, impartial agency that reports directly to Parliament, they inspect and regulate services that care for children and young people, and those providing education and skills for students of all ages. Every week, they carry out hundreds of inspections and regulatory visits throughout England.
Latest report – B&FC was last inspected in October 2013 and awarded the following grades:
- Effectiveness of provision – Outstanding: Grade 1
- Outcomes for learners – Outstanding: Grade 1
- Quality of teaching, learning and assessment – Outstanding: Grade 1
- Effectiveness of leadership and management – Outstanding: Grade 1
Summary of key findings for learners - why we're 'Outstanding':
- Learners thoroughly enjoy coming to College and most achieve exceptionally well. Progression rates onto higher education and employment are very high. The performance of learners taking qualifications in the workplace is outstanding
- The college is very successful at engaging learners from disadvantaged groups and ensuring that they stay on course and succeed. Outcomes are very positive for learners from a wide range of groups, such as young people in care and unemployed adults on job-search programmes.
- Teachers set high expectations for their learners. They use their industrial and professional skills exceptionally well to make lessons interesting and relevant, leading to high-quality learning.
- Outstanding academic and pastoral support enables learners to make excellent progress in developing personal and work-related skills.
- The college provides learners with a host of high-quality enrichment activities that build up their confidence and encourage them to be aspirational in their ambitions.
- Excellent governance and college leadership promote high standards successfully for staff and learners, and ensure that the college responds very effectively to the wide range of challenging needs within the local area.
- Partnership work with employers, schools and a range of other organisations is exceptional and makes a significant contribution to the learners' experience and success, and to the local community.
- Through the highly effective promotion of equality and diversity over a sustained period of time, respect, tolerance for others and inclusiveness permeate the college community. Every individual is valued and encouraged to believe they can succeed. Learners develop their understanding of equality and diversity as a result of the way staff thread this seamlessly through their work in the classroom, and through excellent additional activities that are both fun and informative.
To view the full report, please click here.
To view our official outstanding certification please click here.
Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA)
Latest review – B&FC was last reviewed by the QAA in May 2013 and judged as fully meeting UK academic standards. In addition, two out of the possible three additional key review areas (the quality of information produced for students and applicants, and the enhancement of student learning opportunities) were judged as ‘commended’ (the highest accolade).
The review also cited the following 11 areas of good practice:
- The clear link between the College’s commitment to inclusivity and employability and the resulting innovative assessment tasks
- The variety of assessment tasks and their relevance to the world of work which was valued by students and employers
- The College’s anticipatory approach to the consideration of and investment in learning resources
- The extensive and valuable contribution of students to the quality assurance and enhancement activities of the College
- The integrated approach to the provision of learning opportunities to enable the entitlements of disabled students to be met in the wider context of a College ethos of inclusivity
- The integrated and innovative approach to the provision of blended learning opportunities and e-resources using the virtual learning environment which is both comprehensive and reliable
- The high quality website which provides a user-friendly point of contact for the College’s intended audiences
- The positive contribution made by the role of the Higher Education Development Manager to the development and production of high quality and accessible course data and management information
- The comprehensive and continuing development of the virtual learning environment that facilitates effective dissemination of information, providing a ‘one-stop-shop’ for students and staff
- The positive contribution of the College’s equality and diversity agenda to the enhancement of learning opportunities across its higher education provision
- The embedded culture of enhancement as exemplified by the strategic leadership provided by the Higher Education Directorate and the complementary high levels of awareness among and involvement of staff and students across the College
To view the full review, please click here
Blackpool and The Fylde College degree-level education has been awarded the highest “gold” rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
The aim of the TEF is to provide students with better information when making choices about what and where to study, as well as recognising and rewarding excellent teaching and ensuring institutions are meeting the needs of industry.
A rating of gold means the institution has demonstrated the highest-quality teaching standards and is consistently outstanding. It provides outstanding outcomes for students from all backgrounds, particularly in terms of retention and progression. It also offers students outstanding physical and digital resources.
B&FC is one of just 16 colleges in the country to be awarded TEF Gold.
National Achievement Rate Tables (NARTs)
What they are – The National Achievement Rate Tables (NARTs) data is used to compare performance between all General Further Education colleges (GFEC) in England. Published by the Department for Education, the NARTs rank colleges by the percentage of qualifications attained by students.
Latest results - The National Achievement Rates Tables for 2018/19 were published in March 2020. They show B&FC is among England’s highest performing colleges for the sixth year running, ranked fifth out of 172 general further education colleges. The figures cover the 2018-19 academic year and indicate that B&FC has performed in the top 3% of colleges in England.
The performance tables also revealed B&FC is ranked second in England for improving student success in maths and fifth in England for improved outcomes in English.
The Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE)
Blackpool and The Fylde College is a founding member of the Chartered Institution for Further Education (CIFE), a new membership body for the higher performing FE colleges and training providers in the UK. It received its Royal Charter on 9 October 2015.
CIFE will be devoted to developing the potential, reputation and standing of the further education sector. Its mission will be to bring together the best training providers across the sector and collectively to promote, recognise and celebrate their professionalism and success.
CFE will aim to raise standards in the sector by offering an indicator of whole-organisation quality which goes beyond formal QA and appraisal mechanisms. Its members will be committed to developing models of best practice, continuously seeking ways to improve teaching and learning as well as governance.