Harrogate army college ‘outstanding’ in new Ofsted report
Oct 21, 2021
The Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Harrogate Army Foundation College has been rated outstanding in a new Ofsted report.

The army college’s result was released alongside 13 other centres, all inspected under a new framework.

The college, on Penny Pot Lane, Killinghall is the only basic training establishment for 16-19 year olds in the British Army.

The Ofsted report praised the college for its “very good training .. immaculate facilities”.

It also gave positive feedback on its safeguarding saying the college investigated incidents throughly and made necessary improvements.

In recent years the college had been in the spotlight following bullying and assault complaints by soldiers and their families. In 2018, the Guardian revealed college staff were accused of 50 cases of assaulting or mistreating teenage recruits between 2014 and 2017.

This week’s report said recruits said “there is no bullying at college” and believed staff would deal with any incidents that arise.

Areas for improvement

A common reason for recruits leaving training was down to not understanding the demands of the army. Ofsted said the college needs to give accurate information.

It also pointed out the recruits’ poor diet, adding that the soldiers should be taught the importance of healthy eating.

Persistent weaknesses across the 14 sites in resources, infrastructure, accommodation and improvement planning were found.

Ofsted said the same problems had been identified for the past two decades. The inspecting body has called on the MoD to put measures in place to prevent repeating failures.


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New vision for the college

A new Commanding Officer was employed in July 2020, Lt Col Simon Farebrother MC, with a new vision for the college.

The report added his ethos of “emotional and psychological safety, inclusion and teamwork is firmly embedded” within the college.

He said:

“I’m absolutely delighted, the grade reflects the hard work of my military, civilian and contractor staff at all levels. I’m enormously proud of them, continuing to deliver throughout an extraordinarily challenging period.

“The junior soldiers depart with valuable qualifications, a bunch of new friends and walk into a brilliant career, full of opportunity.”

The inspection was carried out in May 2021.


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