Foxes Academy celebrates 'Outstanding' achievements

Somerset County Gazette: FOXES Academy staff and learners celebrate success and recognition for their innovative vocational provision. PHOTO: Submitted. FOXES Academy staff and learners celebrate success and recognition for their innovative vocational provision. PHOTO: Submitted.

FOXES Academy in Minehead is celebrating after being recognised by Ofsted for its outstanding achievements, high standards and exceptional learner outcomes.

The residential training hotel and college for young adults with learning difficulties has been featured in a best practice case study.

The study was jointly released by Ofsted and the Commission on Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning (CAVTL).

It highlights the exemplary success of the Academy, including the high standards, the collaboration with employers and the exceptional preparation learners receive for their progress into work.

Principal Sharon Bowden said: “We are delighted to have been selected to be included on this best practice showcase.

“We work hard to achieve the best possible outcomes for our learners and we hope that by reaching a wider audience this example helps others to achieve similar results.”

Learners experience different areas of work within the hotel – from housekeeping to food preparation and receiving regular careers advice and guidance.

In addition to their programmes within the hotel, learners benefit from work experience placements outside the hotel, often within the local community.

Sharon added: “The most important thing is the difference we make to young people’s lives. “95% of learners who left in 2012 are now living semiindependently.

“Before they came to us, they lived with their parents.

“Eighteen out of the 21 leavers found employment within three months and these statistics are undeniably outstanding.

“We value the contribution local businesses make towards our training programme, either by offering work placements or by being supportive as the young people learn to use shops and services independently.

“Students not only gain vocational skills from this training but, because of the way we work with employers and industry, they come away with a clearer understanding of the skills needed for the work place and a genuinely more visible route into employment.”

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