Ofsted accolade for Paston College

A 700-student college in north Norfolk has earned a hat trick of outstanding grades in its latest Ofsted report.And the principal of Paston College at North Walsham says it could be even better when it fulfils its dream to move to a new site on the edge of town.

PASTON College has earned some outstanding grades in its latest Ofsted report.

And the principal Peter Mayne says it could be even better when it fulfils its dream to move to a new site on the edge of town.

The historic seat of learning is on a town centre site which combines Nelson's old school and the town's old girls grammar - but is keen to have a purpose-built campus near the Victory pool.

Mr Mayne said they were planning to submit a detailed funding bid in September and hoped to be open in 2011.

The Ofsted feedback flagged up outstanding capacity to improve, with a clear strategic direction in seeking to raise aspirations, and was making good progress in pursuing a new building.

It was also given outstanding grade one rankings in two subject areas - visual and performing arts and media, as well as languages, literature and culture.

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There were good grade twos in another four categories, and a satisfactory grade in science and maths. Key strengths included the good progress made by students, the quality of teaching and learning, rigorous monitoring, and support for students and leadership.

Areas for improvement were inconsistencies in success rates, under-performance in a minority of subjects and inadequate accommodation in a few areas.

Mr Mayne added: "Paston has always been a good college, but in the past five years we have set out to become outstanding. We were confident that Ofsted would recognise that we are well on the away to achieving that objective."

For AS courses, the college was is in the top 10pc of colleges nationally. For A Levels it was in the top 25 pc of sixth form colleges.

The proportion of students progressing to university had risen from 60pc to 80pc over the past five years.

Mr Mayne said that Paston's success in recent years was down to several factors, including its ability to recruit excellent teachers who were specialists in their subjects and

could get the best out of students aged 16-19.

"This is, by any standard, a very

good report, but we are far from resting on our laurels. Just as we are ambitious for our students, we are ambitious to convert many of those 'good' grades into 'outstanding' grades. This is our vision for the college and for the achievement of our students."