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West Berkshire iCollege gets multi-million pound revamp, as it celebrates Good Ofsted report

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West Berkshire’s iCollege is set to get a multi-million pound revamp, with a new learning centre to be built on its Calcot site.

The news comes as the iCollege also celebrates the publication of its recent Good Ofsted inspection report.

The service, which offers provision for learners unable to access mainstream education, was inspected in April and achieved a Good rating for overall effectiveness.

West Berkshire's iCollege site at Calcot is to get a £2m revamp
West Berkshire's iCollege site at Calcot is to get a £2m revamp

It was found to be 'Good' across the board including the quality of education, leadership and management, personal development and behaviour and attitudes.

Headteacher Jacquie Davies said: "We're delighted with our recent report. The inspection team really understood what iCollege is about and recognised the unique value it brings.

“Our staff and pupils were fully involved in the inspection process, and I really appreciate their contributions in making iCollege so successful."

Inspectors said pupils were “polite and courteous”, “behave well most of the time” and had their successes are "celebrated by teachers at every step of the way".

The report described the “calm, kind and nurturing atmosphere” within the school, where pupils feel valued and learn how to be successful.

It said most pupils made impressive progress, with the older year groups achieving national qualifications. But did say it “should strengthen staff’s subject knowledge to ensure that all subjects are taught consistently well”.

Dominic Boeck (Con, Aldermaston), West Berkshire's executive member for education, children and young people, added: "This is a brilliant achievement and I'm really proud of iCollege and everyone involved in making it the success it is.

"Students often arrive unable to see their potential and it is wonderful to see their confidence build and the positive progress they make."

The iCollege will also see a new £2m “modern, purpose-built building” constructed as part of the district council’s investment in alternative education provision.

West Berkshire Council said the current facility is “too small and no longer suitable for delivering the full curriculum”.

Mr Boeck added: "We want all young people to reach their full potential, and the iCollege is fundamental in helping children who can't access mainstream schools to do just that.

“This new facility will really help them on their journey and I'm delighted to see it taking shape.

“It will improve morale, help us retain and attract staff and maintain the iCollege's high attainment standards."

Building work is due to begin in September and last for the full 2022/23 academic year.

Staff and students currently based at the Calcot site will temporarily relocate to a former infant school in Thatcham while the building work is completed.

The iCollege, which was established in 2017 and is based on five sites across the district, supports 84 learners, from ages five to nineteen.

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