A principal at a specialist training college for young people with learning difficulties said improvements to raise standards are already having an impact as Ofsted found it is making ‘reasonable progress’ to be lifted out of the requires improvement category.

Woodbridge College on Springfield Road, Kearsley, was inspected in October 2022 and was rated as ‘requires improvement’.

Inspectors returned during a monitoring visit to evaluate the progress that had been made in the areas in need of improvement and noted that ‘reasonable progress’ had been made.

The report said: “Leaders responded swiftly to rectify the weaknesses identified at their previous inspection.

“They redesigned the curriculum completely and used feedback from parents and carers, staff, and sector membership organisations to inform their curriculum decisions.

“Leaders moved away from a qualification-driven curriculum to one that focuses on students’ education, health and care (EHC) plan outcomes and future aspirations.

“They implemented their new curriculum at the start of the summer term of 2023.”

Principal Marie Cullen said: “The actions of the provider are already having a beneficial impact on learners.

“Improvements are sustainable and based on the provider’s thorough quality assurance procedures.

The Bolton News: Students at the collegeStudents at the college (Image: Woodbridge College)“We have implemented changes to assessment and how we evidence learning.

“We are developing an ambitious curriculum to meet the needs of our learners.

“These remain key priorities for us.”

The latest visit also found that the approach to staffing had also changed, meaning that there is now a team of “well-qualified, permanent staff”.

Ms Cullen says that the commitment of college leaders, staff, and governors making swift improvements for the students really shines through.

She said: “It was necessary to critically evaluate the college as a whole in response to Ofsted feedback.

“College leaders worked with trust leaders to implement the necessary changes.

“As a new college, we are still on our improvement journey, so it is difficult to achieve a grading of good on a first full inspection.

“We fully accepted that the college still required further improvements.”

 Students with profound and multiple learning difficulties, who also have sensory needs, now benefit from ambitious, personalised learning that focuses on developing their communication, independence, and social interaction skills.

The report said: “They learn how to work with and tolerate others and to follow simple instructions correctly.

“Leaders have incorporated specialist therapies such as speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and music therapy into the curriculum to support students’ learning.”

The inspection also found that most staff use signing confidently to reinforce students’ understanding of oral communication.

The report said: “Tutors plan learning activities around students’ personalised targets that are now derived from their EHC plan outcomes.

“Most targets are clear and help students to make at least the progress expected of them across a variety of different learning activities.”

Ms Cullen said: “Without a doubt the commitment of everyone involved with the college to making sure the college delivers its vision for all our students has helped us make the necessary changes.

“We are well supported by Woodbridge Trust to ensure the college has continuing success.”

There is also a careers strategy meaning students can attend work placements at specific job roles such as working in a warehouse.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.