BURY College ensured students were ready and equipped to learn online when the coronavirus pandemic struck and the country went into the first lockdown, Ofsted found during an inspection.

The Government's education watchdog visited the college to establish how it was continuing to deliver a good education during this time.

Ofsted found that the college responded quickly to the fast moving situation ­— and was ready to do again if needed.

Inspectors reported: "Leaders implemented a strategy to deliver most learning online. They quickly identified learners who did not have access to computers and provided them with the necessary resources." And during the first lockdown, the college kept in touch with vulnerable learners to ensure they were safe.

The inspection report stated: "Staff at the college work closely with the local authority to monitor learners who are children looked after. For example, learners who became homeless were referred to

the local authority for rehousing and college staff arranged food parcels."

In some cases workbooks were posted out to students, who were also provided with pre-paid envelopes in which to return completed work.

Now students are "benefitting from a large proportion of their programme being delivered through face-to-face teaching".

Inspectors said: "Teachers are very proud of themselves as well as their learners. They feel that they have had a responsive and resilient attitude during the pandemic. Teachers have created a culture of support and camaraderie for one another in their continued efforts to assure the quality of the curriculum."

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Bury College has seen a "significant" rise in the number of students wanting to enrol on health and care courses.

Becky Tootell, Bury College deputy principal, said: “We are extremely proud that our focus on prioritising the needs of our students in a safe and supportive way has been recognised by Ofsted. Throughout covid-19, the entire Bury College community has come together to support all our learners and to ensure that they have received the learning and support they need for a positive future.”