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Fashion Retail Academy deemed "Outstanding" by Ofsted

Lauretta Roberts
14 November 2016

The Fashion Retail Academy has been awarded an "Outstanding" ranking by education regulator and inspector Ofsted.

The employer-led college in central London, which was founded 12 years ago, was inspected by Ofsted in September, which highlighted a number of areas for praise including a culture of excellence set by leaders, governors and managers and excellent links with industry.

"We are delighted at the recognition of the unique and pioneering nature of the Fashion Retail Academy (FRA). This is testament to our innovative model and would not be possible without the support of our employer and retail partners along with our dedicated and passionate staff," said principal and CEO Lee Lucas.

"The FRA has been a catalyst for bringing together an extremely competitive industry for a common purpose to achieve a shared goal; to develop and inspire talent for a specialist career in fashion retail. I believe that it is these relationships, along with our continued focus on ensuring everything we do results in positive outcomes for learners, that is the biggest factor in our success," Lucas added.

Since its inception around 7,000 students aged 16 or over have passed through the academy and 76% have gained employment (in roles directly relevant to their course of study) with 18% furthering their education at university.

The curriculum followed is set by the industry and updated annually in partnership with the FRA's industry partners who include Arcadia, Marks & Spencer, Next, Experian and F&F (Tesco). A further 130 fashion retail brands work with the academy to provide masterclasses, industry projects, work placements and recruitment opportunities.

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