High flying college

LIPA Sixth Form College (LSFC) has been rated as ‘outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted, just two-and-a-half years after it opened.

The inspection, LSFC’s first, took place over three days at the end of February. It achieved the highest possible rating for effectiveness of leadership and management; quality of teaching, learning and assessment; personal development, behaviour and welfare; outcomes for students; 16 to 19 study programmes and overall effectiveness.

The inspection judgements observe that there is “a culture in which staff model high industry expectations and standards within a very caring and supportive environment. Students work diligently and collaboratively to achieve the high standards their tutors set. They make excellent progress and achieve their qualifications. As a result, the large majority move on to prestigious higher education institutions.”

LSFC is a specialist college for 16-19-year olds, focusing exclusively on the creative and performing arts.

Sponsored and managed by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), it opened in September 2016 to its first intake of 190 students who studied acting, dance, music, sound technology and technical theatre and design.

Director of LIPA Sixth Form College, Charles Bartholomew, said: “We are thrilled with the result of our inspection, especially given that it’s our first inspection.

“The college has an amazing team of staff, who demonstrate a passion for performing arts education and a deep commitment to support our students to achieve. The college also embodies the unique ethos of LIPA, with a focus on professionalism and project-based learning.

“Our students impressed the inspection team not only with their high standards, but also with their engagement with the local community.”

LIPA Sixth Form College is one of just a handful of further education providers in England that specialises in the performing and creative arts and the only one of its kind in the North West.

LSFC continues to expand and has just launched a musical theatre course, which will have its first intake of students in September.

Mark Featherstone-Witty, founder of The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts Learning Group, said: “We were determined to provide a learning legacy for our city. The college, following LIPA HE and our primary school, is the third of what we want to be a joined-up journey from four to 24, so we have high hopes for our current High School bid.”

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