Barnfield Academies Impress Ofsted Inspectors

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The impressive progress made by two academies sponsored by Barnfield College has been confirmed by Ofsted.

It is great to see the College’s DNA and the wider support of the Barnfield Federation play such a pivotal role in the Academies’ transformation. We are immensely proud of the phenomenal progress that has been made and of the outstanding results.

The impressive progress made by two academies sponsored by Barnfield College has been confirmed by Ofsted.

In newly issued inspection reports, the first since each academy opened in 2007, Ofsted rated Barnfield West Academy as outstanding and Barnfield South Academy as good with outstanding features.

Barnfield Academies Chairman Pete Birkett hailed the performance of students, staff and parents from each academy, in Luton, Bedfordshire.

Barnfield West Academy, which specialises in creative cultural industries, enterprise and new technologies, received outstanding final rankings for both its overall effectiveness and its capacity for sustained improvement.

Inspectors highlighted the leadership of senior management, the support of the Academy board and the Barnfield Federation, the high quality of teaching and community values as key factors in the Academy’s success.

Within the report’s main findings her Majesty’s Inspector Heather Weston concluded: “Barnfield West Academy has improved outcomes for students from one of the lowest in the country to among the very highest in only two years. This truly remarkable achievement is due to the dedication, passion and relentless drive for improvement with all involved in the life of the academy.”

Inspectors of Barnfield South Academy highlighted the level of community cohesion and the leadership and governance provided by both the academy and its sponsor Barnfield College as ‘outstanding’ strengths. The academy’s capacity for sustained improvement was also rated as outstanding.

The report said: “The proportion of students who leave with no future education or employment places organised has been reduced from around a third of all students in 2007 to none in 2009. This reflects the considerable improvement and the benefit of close collaboration with the sponsor, Barnfield College of Further Education.”

Barnfield Academies Chairman Pete Birkett said: “This is a fantastic endorsement of how a positive approach and partnership working can really make a difference to outcomes. All students, staff, senior leaders, parents, partners and Directors should be delighted with their great achievements.

“It is great to see the College’s DNA and the wider support of the Barnfield Federation play such a pivotal role in the Academies’ transformation. We are immensely proud of the phenomenal progress that has been made and of the outstanding results the Academies have achieved over the past two years.”

Barnfield West Academy opened its doors in September 2007 and within two years GSCE 5 A*- C (with Maths and English) pass rates tripled. The academy, which specialises in Business and Enterprise, ICT and Creative and Cultural Industries, now sits firmly in the top tier of Luton’s school league table and is outperforming the national average for five or more A* - C passes including English and Maths.

Barnfield South Academy has increased its 5 A*-C (with Maths and English) by 23% since opening as an academy in September 2007. The academy specialises in Performing Arts, ICT and Business and Enterprise.

Both Barnfield West and Barnfield South – the first academies sponsored by an FE college in the UK - will each move to £30m start-of-the-art sites in 2011 and offer Sixth Form provision for the first time.

-ENDS-

Issued on behalf of Barnfield College by Adessi.
For more information please contact John Brenan on 0113 256 9999 or john.brenan(at)adessi.co.uk

Notes to Editors:
Barnfield College is the largest college in Bedfordshire and Luton, with 10,000 full and part-time students accessing state-of-the-art facilities across four campuses. It provides a wide range of vocational courses and career opportunities at all levels to Foundation Degree status.

Officially rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, Barnfield is rated among the top 5% of colleges nationally and in 2003 became the first FE college to earn Beacon status. It is also an Investors in People Champion and a UK Skills Champion.

Barnfield broke new ground in 2007 by becoming the first FE college in the country to sponsor two underperforming secondary schools in Luton. Barnfield West and Barnfield South academies have since made huge improvements, being recently assessed by Ofsted as Outstanding and Good with Outstanding points respectively.

Last November, Barnfield was chosen as the first FE college in the country to secure Government support to set up a new Studio School for 14-19 year olds. Barnfield Enterprise Studio, due to open in September 2010, will offer a hands-on approach to learning for students who find the current academically focused education system disengaging.

For more information visit http://www.barnfield.ac.uk

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