Outstanding Ofsted Report




✅ 'Outstanding' Quality of Education
✅ 'Outstanding' Behaviour and Attitudes
✅ 'Outstanding' Personal Development
✅ 'Outstanding' Leadership and Management
✅ 'Outstanding' Education Programmes for Young People


"Students flourish in the college’s positive and harmonious environment. They respect and value the wide range of cultures and views that they experience at the college."

"Students are empowered by the trust that staff show in them to take responsibility for their learning journey. Highly skilled and knowledgeable teachers motivate and support students to always try their best"

"Leaders and managers have exceptionally high expectations in order to ensure that students can ‘be the best that they can be’, which is reflected in students’ highly positive behaviour and conduct."

"Managers and teachers plan and sequence teaching exceptionally well to ensure that students develop a deep understanding of each subject’s foundational principles before moving on to the development of more complex and demanding knowledge and skills"

"Teachers have very high expectations of what their students can achieve. Students are motivated to reach, and in many cases, surpass these aspirational grades."

"Leaders ensure that students explore a stimulating range of social, political and cultural issues through the well-planned philosophy, theology and ethics curriculum. All students benefit from being able to discuss often challenging topics in a safe and respectful environment."

Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College is immensely proud to announce that Ofsted has once again awarded the College Outstanding status for all areas.

Following an inspection in March 2022, the College has received a final report, which lists the College as outstanding in every area, this includes Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership and Management.

College staff, students and governors are highly praised in the report, with repeated descriptions of the College as “exceptional”.

The Ofsted report firstly comments on ‘what is it like to be a student at Notre Dame?’, and we are proud their findings fully support our ethos and values in that “all students flourish in the college’s positive and harmonious environment”; that students “respect and value” the diverse College community culture and most importantly in support of the College ethos to develop the whole person: “Leaders and managers have exceptionally high expectations in order to ensure that students can ‘be the best that they can be’.

The inspectors were impressed with our teachers’ subject expertise, saying it was “highly evident” and that they “are accomplished in using a range of methods and approaches to promote learning.” In addition, they stated that staff “plan and sequence teaching exceptionally well.” Our students “are empowered by the trust that staff show in them to take responsibility for their learning journey.”

Ofsted were impressed by the “exceptionally high expectations” of staff, which ensure that “students can ‘be the best that they can be’.” This is reflected in our students’ “highly positive behaviour and conduct”, which creates “a calm and purposeful environment”, enabling them to thrive. The inspectors noted that our teachers set target grades for students that are based on the highest performing students in the country, enabling students to surpass their aspirational grades. Progression, including to “prestigious universities” was noted as a key strength.

Ofsted stated that Notre Dame’s curriculum is “highly ambitious” and meets “a diverse range of needs and interests”. Not only do we offer a wide range of academic A-levels, but also a number of vocational programmes, including T Levels, that meet the changing needs of our students as well as local and national employers.

Reflecting on the array of enrichment opportunities that the college offers, Ofsted noted that our students “successfully develop their confidence and resilience through a rich and varied programme of extra-curricular activities”.

Pastoral staff guide students “exceptionally well” to make informed choices about their next steps. Students with special educational needs or disabilities, achieve and progress “at the same very high rates as their peers.”

Leaders and other staff at Notre Dame were praised for the effectiveness of safeguarding at college, and it was noted that effective links with external agencies are used to provide support for students. As a result, our students are safe, and feel “exceptionally safe”.

The Governors were praised as “knowing Notre Dame extremely well”, “ably supporting Notre Dame’s leadership team and making a valuable contribution to shaping the college’s future.”

College Principal Justine Barlow said, “We are incredibly proud to have retained our Ofsted Outstanding status. I would like to say a huge thank you to all the students who, after two very difficult years, have demonstrated an outstanding attitude to learning, outstanding resilience, and have helped to re-energise the community of Notre Dame. A special thank you goes to all the staff who relentlessly support students academically and pastorally to be the ‘best they can be’! Finally, thank you to all parents and carers: your support is invaluable and very much appreciated."

You can read the full report on the Ofsted website here.

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