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Mixed Ofsted report sees college slip to 'requires improvement'

PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 December 2019

Suffolk New College is now rated as 'Requires Improvement' by Ofsted Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk New College is now rated as 'Requires Improvement' by Ofsted Picture: GREGG BROWN

Suffolk New College has been graded as 'requires improvement' - despite being considered 'good' in the majority of areas by Ofsted.

Roger Fern, the chair of govenors for Suffolk New College, said he believes the college is entering an Roger Fern, the chair of govenors for Suffolk New College, said he believes the college is entering an "exciting era in our history" Picture: JON PARKER

Previously rated 'good' overall, Suffolk New College in Ipswich was visited by the education watchdog in November 2019.

Inspectors found the college needed to promote better personal development in its students, improve its leadership and management, and provide a better service for learners with additional needs.

In particular, assessors found students were missing basic maths skills, writing in their report that "leaders need to significantly improve the proportion of learners who gain mathematics GCSE, grades 9 to 4, and functional skills qualifications".

Categories considered to be 'good' were programmes of learning for both young people and adults, with significant investment in apprenticeships for plumbing and domestic gas training.

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Inspectors commended the college's friendly learning environment, and the work of teachers in helping students grasp an understanding of their potential careers. Those considering a role with the emergency services had met speakers from the police and fire service, for example.

A spokesman for the college said: "Suffolk New College is a successful college with strong finances that continually invests in our expanding resources.

"Overall, we were delighted to receive strong and positive feedback in five of the eight categories that we were judged on and we have ambitious targets as a college to continually improve in everything that we do."

The quality of education was also rated 'good', with Ofsted saying in their report that teachers' plans for lessons mean "most learners build their skills and knowledge in a logical manner".

Teachers also make sure students have learned one topic before moving onto the next part of a curriculum - but they were not using assessments to help students further their education, leading to students "not knowing how to achieve the grades they aspire to".

Chair of governors Roger Fern added: "We are committed to providing the very best education for our students and I believe that we are entering the most exciting era in our history."

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