STUDENTS at Bolton Sixth Form College are inspired to enjoy learning and achieve high standards, according to school inspectors.

Ofsted found that the majority of its students go on to university, and a third of those are the first in their family to go on to higher education.

The praise came as the college announced it was closing its Farnworth campus.

Inspectors marked the college as good and found that students’ results are in line with the “high national average for sixth form colleges”.

This achievement is made even more remarkable given that the average attainment of students on entry is significantly lower than that seen in other sixth form colleges.

Inspectors added: “Students develop good personal, social and employability skills.

“The college presents a harmonious community where the growth and care of the individuals are nurtured and promoted.”

Teaching staff were found to have “high expectations” and “care deeply” for the students and used their extensive subject knowledge to inspire students to enjoy learning and to achieve.

Governors, leaders and managers were said to be “strongly committed to an ambitious vision of a college where all students achieve highly and benefit from positive learning experiences”.

The college could further raise standards, said Ofsted, by having more outstanding teaching and raising achievement grades in a small minority of subjects.

Principal Steve Wetton said: “We are pleased that Ofsted recognises the improvements that the college has made since the last inspection report in 2011.

"The report emphasises not only the increase in success rates but the breadth of opportunities and support available to students which encourages them to participate in a wide range of enrichment activities.

“Our ‘World of Work’ programme develops their employability skills and helps to prepare them for progression to both university and workplace.

“We feel very strongly that these extra-curricular activities are essential in supporting students in their academic studies and will ultimately lead to them being well rounded and successful individuals.”

Mr Wetton said the report would provide the college with a solid platform to work towards its goal of being rated as outstanding.