Hereford College of Arts celebrates new Head of Further Education, enhanced leadership, and strong Ofsted results

Hereford College of Arts celebrates new Head of Further Education, enhanced leadership, and strong Ofsted results

This autumn, Hereford College of Arts has celebrated a number of significant developments – making notable new appointments to the team, and achieving a commendable ‘good’ rating from an Ofsted inspection in October.

Ben Gamble joined HCA in September 2017 as the new Head of Further Education. In his role, Ben will take responsibility for all the college-level courses based at the Folly Lane campus, as well as working to strengthen progression paths for students moving from college-level to university-level courses at HCA and beyond. Having previously worked in a number of further education organisations across the UK, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to HCA.

Mervyn Jones has joined HCA as the new Chair of the Board of Governors. Mervyn has considerable experience in the private sector, as well as governance experience in organisations across the arts, community-based projects, innovative start-ups, and higher education. His expertise will help to drive HCA’s strategic approach over the next few years, during which the college will continue to build its reputation and equip students with skills for life and work.

These developments affirm the college's intention to deliver high quality arts education as is made clear from the results of its recent Ofsted inspection in October 2017. At a time when many further education colleges are finding it challenging to retain their previous ‘good’ Ofsted ratings in the face of the demanding requirements, HCA is proud to have retained its ‘good’ rating. In particular, the new report from Ofsted praised how happy students are when they are in college, the high skill level of the technical demonstrators on staff, the strong links and partnerships with creative organisations, the high standards of student work, the positive and safe atmosphere on campus, and the foundations studying at HCA creates for further study or employment.

Ben Gamble said, “As a former student of HCA, I’m thrilled to be returning to the college to take up a leadership role. Ofsted has recognised the high standard of our education provision, and I am looking forward to driving the college-level offering forward.”

Abigail Appleton, Principal at HCA, said, “This is an exciting time for HCA – and our students have an important role to play in the creative economy of Herefordshire and further afield. We’re very proud of our recent Ofsted result, and how well it reflects our level of support and ambition for our students.” 

Mervyn Jones, new Chair of the Board of Governors comments, "This Ofsted result is a great recognition of the commitment of HCA staff and the achievements of our students.  We see this as a strong foundation from which to continue to increase the profile and reputation of our specialist arts college that empowers students’ creativity from our post-16 courses, right up to our post-graduate degrees."