Ofsted Inspection December 2017

 An Ofsted Inspection Team visited the College in early December as part of a two-day review to look at every aspect of Hope Valley College; from leadership and management through to how safe students feel.

We are pleased that the Inspectors recognised our school’s caring environment and that they saw some really strong teaching practice that challenged and supported our students in their learning.


Amongst the positive comment made, Ofsted concluded that:

  • Pupils benefit from a wide range of extra- curricular activities. Their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is good. Pupils feel safe.
  • The post-16 provision is a strength of the school. High expectations, coupled with excellent pastoral care, ensure that students’ needs are well met.
  • Teachers plan tasks that engage pupils well in their learning and enable them to become secure in their understanding – particularly in English and maths
  • Pupils learn to respect everyone, including those who hold opinions and beliefs that are different from their own. They describe their school as ‘inclusive’, where all pupils are ‘cared for’.


While there were elements of the school that Ofsted was impressed with, there were also areas where they, understandably, thought we needed to focus on and strengthen.

One of their key findings was about the school’s leadership and management, which was given a four. This meant that, because of the Ofsted marking criteria, the inspectors had no other option but to conclude that the school has Serious Weaknesses overall.


Given our dedicated and skilled staff and how impressive Hope Valley College students are, we are obviously deeply saddened that leadership issues dictated our overall grade.


We are, however, a school that is facing financial and educational challenges as we adapt to the realities that the wider education sector is addressing. Our biggest challenge is how we respond to these challenges so we can ensure that we can continue to secure results that are above the national average.

At the time of the inspection there were still a number of important areas about Hope Valley College’s future that leaders at the school had not reached a consensus on. This was brought into sharp focus during the inspection.

We would like to assure parents and our community that many of these areas have since been addressed, and that we are working hard to resolve the remaining issues.


As part of these plans, Hope Valley College is currently in discussion with a Multi-Academy Trust about us joining a wider network of academies.

Critical to these discussions is our desire to retain the ethos that is the foundation stone of our school while also be able to access and grasp other opportunities that will help us grow and evolve.

To view the full report click here: http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/137350 

For a paper copy of the full report, please contact reception to collect or request us to mail it to you.

We shall also share our Ofsted Improvement Plan for parents/carers on the website when it has been fully approved.


We would like to offer you the opportunity to meet with governors and senior leaders at the College to discuss what the outcome of the report and the plans for the future mean for our community.


We appreciate how busy you are, and how many of you may have questions that are specific to your own child’s need and circumstances, so will be holding in drop-in sessions in the College dining room:


  • Monday 5 February 2018 between 2:30pm – 4:30pm
  • Tuesday 6 February between 6pm – 8pm

You are welcome at any convenient point during those times or, if you would prefer, please contact Jake Ward (PA to the Principal) on jward@hopevalley.derbyshire.sch.uk to arrange a meeting.


We have every confidence that we can quickly resolve the issues raised and secure the Ofsted grade that reflects the skills, effort and determination that our staff and students deserve.


Steve Dawson, Chair of Governors; David Willis, Principal.