An Outstanding Ofsted grade for RNC!

RNC blind and partially sighted students on the field holding large letters spelling RNC

RNC (The Royal National College for the Blind) has officially been graded as Outstanding by an Ofsted inspection of the residential provision!

At RNC we are absolutely thrilled to announce that, after a three day inspection of our residential provision, Ofsted considers us to be Outstanding! Inspectors noted that “The actions of the college contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for young people.”


We are proud to highlight that some of the key findings from the report included;

  • Students make exceptional progress from their starting points. They make vast improvements in their confidence, social skills and independence skills.
  • Students have access to a wide range of recreational and specialist facilities at this college. This helps them to make continued and sustained improvements in all areas of their lives.
  • Feedback from students, their parents and other professionals about the college is superb.
  • An extremely motivated, skilled and dedicated staff team delivers exceptionally high quality, individualised care to students.


We were awarded the Outstanding grade in three key areas;

  1. Overall experiences and progress of young people
  2. How well young people are helped and protected
  3. The effectiveness of leaders and managers


Overall experiences and progress of young people: Outstanding

The student voice has always been critical to the values of RNC and 19 year old Tiri Hughes from Devon, Student Governor, says “Having been an RNC student representative for three years, I’m very proud to see that the residential provision has been given an Outstanding result. It is definitely very well deserved as staff work constantly to ensure that students are safe and happy.”


As a residential college many of our students travel from all across the country to study at RNC and 17 year old Charlotte Milburn from County Durham, Chair of the Student Representative Group, adds “I truly think that the college deserves this result as the residential, independent living skills and social elements of the college are fantastic alongside the fantastic academic side. Coming to a college so far away from home and living in a completely new environment was scary to begin with, but the college had all the right support in place to make sure that all students were happy and always had someone to talk to. Living independently has boosted my confidence massively and I am so much more independent and confident since starting at RNC.”


At RNC, everything is geared towards the future for our students and the Ofsted report highlighted “All students receive an exceptional level of oversight and support from staff and develop transferable skills for a successful adult life.”

No two RNC students are the same; every student has a different starting point and a different journey ahead of them. Ofsted inspectors found that “Excellent partnership work with students, parents and professionals as well as skilful observation mean that staff ensure that the needs of each student are individually identified and sensitively met.”


How well young people are helped and protected: Outstanding

As a residential college students are in our care 24 hours a day and their welfare is always of the highest importance, Mary Kenyon-James, RNC’s Director of Student Support Services, says “When our students are here, this is their home and we do all we can to ensure that they feel as comfortable and as safe as they can be.” The Ofsted report recognised “The senior management team has clear and meticulous arrangements in place to ensure that the safety of students is prioritised at all times.”


The effectiveness of leaders and managers: Outstanding

Mark Fisher, RNC’s Principal, says “I am so proud for RNC to have achieved an Outstanding grade from Ofsted and I want to thank everyone for their efforts in helping to show Ofsted what the College is all about! Everyone works together as a team to achieve success, whatever success looks like for each individual student. When I say ‘team’ that 100% includes our students; they have a really powerful voice to express what they need and what they want from their time here. They also help to shape the future of RNC for students who will be here after they leave.” The Ofsted report praised the College and stressed that “Managers and staff are exceptional at identifying and meeting the evolving needs of blind and visually impaired students and adults. All college departments, the governing board and students actively contribute to the strategic management plan.”


As the UK’s leading residential college for people with visual impairment we are exceptionally proud to have achieved an Outstanding grade for our residential provision and these are just a few of the many highlights featured in the report.

Read the full report on the Ofsted website


Apply Now

We still have places available for September 2018, so if you would like to come and visit an Outstanding residential college please call our student enquiries line on 01432 376 621 or email

Article written by Bik Lee, Digital Media Officer at RNC


Watch the video below to find out what residential living is like for our students;


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