The Urdang Academy celebrates an ‘Outstanding’ rating by Ofsted

ofsted_logoThe Urdang Academy is celebrating after being honored for receiving an overall award of ‘Outstanding’ in its latest Ofsted inspection for 2011. The glowing report for the Central London Performing Arts Academy gave ‘Grade 1’, the highest possible grade, stating that

“students achieve outstanding outcomes and the passionate commitment to being an inclusive center of excellence has been realised.”

This report is a credit to Managing Director, Solange Urdang, who is described by Ofsted as

“providing inspirational leadership”

and her leadership team, who were noted as being

“highly responsive to industry trends”

it gave special acknowledgement to the work of Stephanie Pope, the Principal and Craig Phillips, Course Director. Its timing could not have been better, marking Urdang’s 40th year and recognising the ten years of dedication that Solange has given to the academy, raising standards and leading to this ‘Outstanding’ award.

Speaking on the published report, Solange Urdang commented:

“At the Urdang Academy we are dedicated and committed to continuous improvement, always providing the highest possible standard of training. We are delighted that this has been recognised with the findings of the recent Ofsted inspection. The report represents a clear endorsement of Urdang’s ability to offer the very best learning experience and is a very fitting testament to the hard work put in by both staff and students alike on a daily basis. We are all very proud to receive the designation of ‘outstanding’ and I say this on behalf of everyone here at the Urdang Academy. I hope the outcome of this report will inspire our future students to go on to achieve even more success.”

During March 2011, HMI Joanna Beckford-Hall and her team of Ofsted inspectors inspected the Urdang Academy. The Inspection Report looked into key areas of college life, which included the overall effectiveness of provision, capacity to make and sustain improvements, outcomes for learners, quality of provision, leadership and management and equality and diversity. The Ofsted inspection report compliments the Urdang Academy in many specific ways, including: -

“The welcoming and friendly community is highly-inclusive and celebrates diversity”

“Pastoral guidance & welfare, including the prevention & treatment of injury, are exemplary”

“Many opportunities to perform both in-house and at external events”

“Bright, airy studios and excellent location for attending West End productions”

“The academy is an innovative place of learning”

“Employers commented unanimously on high standards and students’ preparedness for the industry”

“The career trajectory of graduates is impressive with quick progression from ensemble to soloist work”

Ofsted concluded,

“The Urdang Academy is an outstanding academy with outstanding capacity to sustain further improvement. Since the last inspection the pace of change has been rapid and insightful, resulting in much improved outcomes for all students. The move to Old Finsbury Town Hall has undoubtedly been a catalyst for change over the last four years, with Urdang becoming a hub for community and outreach work and extending the original ethos of its founder to attract a diverse student population. The academy enrols many students from different ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds onto the foundation and diploma courses and to the new degree programme. The use of the building for rehearsal for West End shows and other performing arts events means that students are immersed in seeing the professional industry at work in the academy.”

Read full report here

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