Ofsted Report

East Durham College is delighted it has once again been graded as ‘Good’ following a rigorous four-day full inspection, in April 2024, by Ofsted, as well as receiving two ‘Outstanding’ grades for Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes.

A team of 11 inspectors visited all areas of the College’s provision, from 30th April to 3rd May 2024, scrutinizing teaching, learning and college life, with the College being recognised for its exceptional contribution to meeting the local and regional skills needs, earning the highest accolade of 'Strong' for its contribution to meeting skills needs.

This was the fifth ‘Good’ rating in a row for the College - which has two sites in Peterlee and its Houghall campus, in Durham - following successful inspections in 2008, 2014, 2018, 2021 and now in 2024.

Suzanne Duncan, Principal and Chief Executive, who is retiring this summer, said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the judgement and the glowing inspection report we’ve received from Ofsted.

“I’m delighted Ofsted recognised that our students and apprentices demonstrate exemplary attitudes to their education and training, and value deeply the high expectations that our senior team, teachers and progression coaches have for all of them, grading the College as outstanding for behaviour and attitudes.

“The college continues to invest heavily in facilities and resources; Ofsted have highlighted how our students and apprentices study and train in environments that replicate current and future industry practice, with teachers who are experts in their disciplines.

“Our amazing staff team work incredibly hard to ensure our students and apprentices receive the very best education and experience during their time with East Durham College; on behalf of the governors and myself, we’d sincerely like to thank all our staff and students for their commitment, resilience and determination to excel and this shines through in this report.

“Looking to the future, I truly believe the College is on the cusp of becoming an outstanding college and I wish everyone the very best in this ambition.”

During the visit, inspectors met with governors, college leaders, staff, students, stakeholders and employers and judged Personal Development - the way the College’s curriculum supports students to develop their knowledge and skills beyond the purely academic, technical or vocational - as ‘Outstanding’.

David Butler, Chair of Governors at East Durham College, expressed his pride at the result and said: “On behalf of everyone involved with the College, we welcome this report which reinforces the ever-growing reputation of East Durham College and the extremely high standards everyone works towards.

“As the report says, our leaders and managers are committed to providing transformative education pathways and enriching the lives of learners and apprentices in the communities that they serve. They have developed a carefully tailored curriculum that prepares learners and apprentices well for their next steps, and our learners and apprentices develop the professional attributes and behaviours that employers value highly.

“It is an immense privilege to be involved as Chair of Governors at East Durham College and I’m delighted that everyone’s hard work and dedication has been praised so highly by Ofsted.”

To read the full report, please visit the East Durham College section of the Ofsted website

Inspection dates 30th April to 3rd May 2024

Official Ofsted ratings:

The quality of education - Good

Behaviour and attitudes - Outstanding

Personal development - Outstanding

Leadership and management - Good

Education programmes for young people - Good

Adult learning programmes - Good

Apprenticeships - Good

Provision for learners with high needs - Good

Contribution to meeting skills needs - Strong


To see the full report, please visit the East Durham College section of the Ofsted website