‘Good’ Ofsted rating for Burgess Hill college

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A college which provides education for children who are unable to attend school has received praise from Ofsted in a recently published report.

The West Sussex Alternative Provision College (WSAPC) opened in September 2013 as a result of the merger of the Links College North and The Links College South pupil referral units.

WSAPC , whose head office is in Cuckfield Road, Burgess Hill, covers the entire county with eight centres stretching as far North as Crawley and as far west as Chichester. It also encompasses the mid West Sussex area and the coastal strip.

The college provides education for pupils who are at risk of being or have been permanently excluded from primary or secondary mainstream schools and those who are out of school for medical reasons.

Staff and pupils have plenty to celebrate with the college being graded ‘good’ overall by inspectors in the report which has just been published following an inspection in July.

The Ofsted report recognises that WSAPC enables its pupils to “make good progress in their learning and development” and that a “good proportion of pupils make faster progress than expected”.

Teaching was seen to be of good standard.

One pupil explained to the inspectors that: “Teaching is better here; I’ve made good progress and I’m looking forward to going back to another school.”

The report goes on to state that pupils’ behaviour is good and that pupils “respond well to the help and direction given to them” by staff at the college. There is “little disruption in lessons and pupils typically develop more positive attitudes to learning than they showed in their mainstream schools”.

The college is led by two Co-Head Teachers – Sheila Carroll and Doug Thomas.

Sheila said: “I am extremely proud of the students and staff at WSAPC and I was particularly impressed that the students showed that they are dedicated to improving their learning and future chances by taking hold of the opportunities on offer at the college.”

Doug said: “I would like to express my thanks to all who work at the college for their continued support in making WSAPC a very special place.

“ Sheila and I are excited to be working with the pupils, staff and Governing Body to take WSAPC from strength-to-strength, to build on such a positive first report for the new college.