The Orpheus Centre is now in the top 10% of specialist colleges in the country after being judged Outstanding by Ofsted.

The college has achieved the top Ofsted rating in all areas; Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership and Management, as well as the specialist area of Provision for Learners with High Needs.

The Orpheus Centre is an independent college for young disabled adults from across the UK who have a love of the arts. The centre was started by musician and lyricist Sir Richard

 Stilgoe and at its site in Godstone, Surrey, Orpheus students achieve formal qualifications while learning skills to live more independently and developing their creative talents.

Achieving an Outstanding rating is particularly challenging and the result reflects the Orpheus Centre’s dedication to high standards of teaching, exceptional student support services, and a robust, inclusive learning environment. The college has grown significantly with the number of students rising by 83% over the last five years and currently supports 64 students. The Orpheus Centre has adapted its learning provision over recent years to welcome increased numbers of students with more complex needs and the site itself has developed to enable as many students as possible to attend.

The Ofsted report recognised that: “Learners are highly motivated and ambitious to achieve their aspirations, qualifications and outcomes…Learners personify the values of the Orpheus Centre. They greatly enjoy their learning and become increasingly bold, inclusive and resilient… They aspire to make the world an inclusive and joyful place.”

Orpheus Principal Chloe Smith said: “This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff, students, supporters and our entire college community. Our mission has always been to empower the students to achieve their full potential, and this Outstanding rating confirms that we are succeeding in our goals. "

Specialist colleges play a crucial role in the education sector by offering tailored learning programmes and support for students with diverse learning needs. They provide an inclusive educational experience that respects and meets the unique requirements of disabled students. The personalised opportunities available at the Orpheus Centre make sure that each student can thrive academically, socially, and personally in a fun and encouraging environment.

The Ofsted report also recognised that: “[Orpheus] learners value the support they receive to become empowered, advocate for themselves and challenge negative behaviours and discrimination. They are supported to lead sessions for their peers in subjects they choose, which help them to appreciate equality and celebrate diversity.”

Orpheus CEO Dr Rachel Black said: “Although times have thankfully moved on and opportunities for disabled people are greater now, we’re not there yet. Society still places too many obstacles in the way of finding a job and living the life they want for many people. We enable Orpheus students to develop their independence and confidence and learn the skills they need to live their best lives. With these brilliant young people, we are working to influence society to remove the obstacles in their paths so that they can plan for a brighter future. We want to grow to welcome even more learning disabled students in the future and rise to the challenge of welcoming more diverse cohorts in the years to come. ”