The Orpheus Centre has been praised as “a good provider” of further education and skills by Ofsted in its latest report.

Following the inspection in January 2018, Ofsted awarded the college in Godstone, Surrey an overall rating of Good (Grade Two) with its provision rated Good across the board. They especially lauded their improvements in the quality of provision and the outcomes for students.

The inspection team commended the Orpheus Centre as “highly ambitious for all of their students”. They commented upon students’ enthusiasm and respect for each other and complimented the high standard of their performance work.

Inspectors hailed improvements in leadership, with a focus on quality of provision and the students’ experience that have improved results so that students make good progress, “…enjoy learning and are very proud of the skills they develop”.

The report said:

  • “The specialist performing and visual arts curriculum helps students to develop the transferrable skills they need to thrive as independent citizens and as members of the community.”
  • “Students are enthusiastic about overcoming their barriers to learning; they are highly motivated and inspired by the exciting curriculum and the opportunities they have to perform.”
  • “Students gain confidence in their communication skills and successfully develop greater independence.”

Graham Whitehead, Chief Executive of the Orpheus Centre, said:

“As we celebrate our 20th anniversary it is a great tribute to the hard work of our students and staff that Ofsted has recognised Orpheus as Good. The grading, along with the very positive comments, is encouraging feedback on our route to becoming an overall Outstanding provider.

“The Ofsted inspectors were clearly impressed by our trend of rising results, and the excellent student engagement they witnessed. They recognised our investment in significant resources to improve the skills of our staff and the positive impact this has had on students’ attainment and progression.

“I’m pleased that Ofsted highlighted the strength of our partnerships with companies offering work experience to our students as these are crucial to preparing our learners for work, developing their skills and helping them progress. I’m also delighted they have recognised the value of our unique approach to teaching independent living and learning skills via the arts.

“I am also happy that our highly personalised study programmes have been recognised. This is a great tribute to our staff, our partners in the local community and local councils, parents and carers who all work together with students to plan learning programmes that support individual students’ aspirations.

“I’d particularly like to recognise the students themselves who continue to challenge preconceptions and break down barriers with the high quality of their work.”

Members of the public can see these skills in action as our students and alumni join with students from the Arts Educational school to star in founder Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus the Mythical in March.

The Orpheus Centre was last inspected in 2016 when it was judged “Requires Improvement”.

A full copy of the inspection report can be found here.

For more information or images please contact Moira Lambert, Director of Development, The Orpheus Centre on 01883 741 416 or [email protected].

Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus the Mythical – a musical comedy based on a Greek tragedy with guest stars including Rob Brydon, Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Samuel West, Jane Asher, Patricia Hodge and Bertie Carvel—runs from 23-31 March at Andrew Lloyd Webber’s theatre, The Other Palace. For further information visit