Skip to content
Skip to navigation
Join the team
Back to home
Back to news
View full sitemap
'Good' News for The Royal National College for the Blind
RNC is delighted that it has been officially graded as 'Good' by Ofsted across all aspects of its residential provision. following its latest inspection.
Specialising in education and training for young people with visual impairment, RNC's students live on campus during term time, which means the standard of its residential experience is inspected independently of education by Ofsted.
The inspection took place over three days in January with inspectors speaking with staff and students to get a full understanding of the residential care provided.
The overall rating of 'Good' highlighted that RNC's students receive real benefits from living on campus. As part of the overall experiences and progress of young people, the report said:
'Young people receive good-quality tailored care.... processes also enable the staff to develop good partnership relationships with parents and other professionals. As a result, where a need is identified, staff quickly ensure that the young people are appropriately supported and enabled to make good progress.'
'There are strong links between the health, education, well-being and residential professionals who work at the college. This ensures that the young people learn and master skills in all settings.'
Inspectors looked at a wide range of services which underpin the positive experience and progress of students, including student support, safeguarding, accommodation, activities and catering.
The report declared that:
'Young people state they feel safe'
which is testament to the College's strong governance ensuring safeguarding practice is monitored and reviewed, and
'...staff practice is constantly reviewed and the safety of young people remains a priority.'
The report also noted:
'The College site is safe. The premises and grounds are well-maintained and repairs are speedily undertaken where necessary.'
At the time of inspection, improvements were already in hand to update catering provision. New menus have since been implemented with a wider choice of meals on offer.
Activities had to be curtailed during the pandemic, but a new activities co-ordinator joined the College in February and, adding to the existing programme, students have already been offered opportunities in bowling, boxing, swimming, rowing, board games, walks, shopping trips and a trip to Cadbury World.
The report praised the hard work of governors, management and staff, stating:
'Governors and the senior leadership team have faced a challenging time and have successfully steered the college through a period of change encompassing the Covid-19 pandemic.'
'During this challenging period, existing staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that there has been consistent staffing and extra-curricular activities available to young people.'
Lucy Proctor, Executive Principal, said:
'We are really pleased with the feedback and tone of the report. We have achieved a lot during a very difficult period for the College. Although we have dropped from Outstanding, the report was hugely positive with no surprises and inspectors acknowledged that plans to remedy their recommendations were already in motion when they visited.
We've had a very long period of financial difficulty plus two years of pandemic and the comments about the provision reflect how focused everyone has been on continuing to meet students' needs and ensure they achive their ambitions and outcomes. Part of our strategic plan includes refurbishing the halls of residence, and we will be launching a capital appeal later this year as part of our 150th anniversary celebrations.'
Jess Price, Director of Student Support Services, said:
'The Ofsted report demonstrates the high-quality personal support that our students receive. We pride ourselves on developing our students' skills and confidence in preparation for living independently and we are thrilled that the hard work of our staff, during a particularly challenging time, was acknowledged in this report.'
Rachel Seddon, Head of College, said:
'We're really encouraged by the inspection report and I would like to congratulate staff and students on their consistent hard work and resilience over these difficult times. We are always looking for ways to improve through our own self-evaluation and the inspectors could see that we have clear improvement and development plans in place, although these have been difficult to implement during the pandemic.'
You can read the full report