College praises staff and students as Ofsted recognise progress

Suffolk New College is making "reasonable progress" in improvements, Ofsted has said

Suffolk New College is making "reasonable progress" in improvements, Ofsted has said - Credit: Gregg Brown

Suffolk New College has praised students and staff after Ofsted inspectors found the institution to be making reasonable progress, following a disappointing 2019 report.

The monitoring visit – conducted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic – came following the report which found the Ipswich-based college to "require improvement".

Inspectors had found the college's leadership and management, tied in with personal development and provision for students with high needs, to be subpar.

During the virtual visit however, inspectors said the college is making "reasonable progress", and highlighted how teachers offer effective support – and have helped to make students feel safe during the pandemic.

They also praised the use of technology and students' attendance.

Concerns remained however over opportunities provided for some students and career guidance, while teachers have also been unable to give feedback to students during practical lessons.

The college has faced the pandemic since the report – and has acquired Otley College to create Suffolk Rural, as well as expanding to Halesworth to launch "College on the Coast".

Alan Pease, deputy principal of Suffolk New College, which has set up a hotline to help BTEC student

Alan Pease, deputy principal of Suffolk New College - Credit: Archant

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Alan Pease, deputy principal at the college, said he is pleased progress has been recognised, all while the college has undertaken an ambitious expansion.

Mr Pease said: “The report shows that inspectors found that the actions that we have implemented (since our last inspection) have had a beneficial impact on students – and the improvements that we are making are sustainable.

“Therefore, I’m pleased that we have been able to make such progress and I’m incredibly proud of how our students and staff have responded to the lockdowns – and how everyone has respected the rules from our community during the return of face to face learning."

Mr Pease added the college has not taken its "eye off the ball" due to the expansions – with a new Tech Campus in Ipswich also in development – and said improvements are going from "strength to strength".

“I would like to thank everyone for their incredible efforts during this visit and throughout the last 12 months," he added.

“We will now reflect on the report and set about continuing to make great strides forwards together, as we gradually move towards a post-Covid world.”

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