100928969 eastonandotleycollege - Easton and Otley College needs 'swift action', commissioner says

Easton and Otley College needs 'swift action', commissioner says

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Inspectors found there was “insufficient progress” at the college

A rural higher education college, given two consecutive inadequate ratings by inspectors, still has “too much poor teaching”, a report said.

Easton & Otley College, which has campuses in Norfolk and Suffolk, offers courses in agriculture and engineering.

An intervention assessment by the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) said “very swift action” was needed.

The college said a full structural review would take place, but there had already been a “turnaround”.

The FEC intervention was its second in 13 months, prompted by inadequate ratings by Ofsted.

Ofsted inspectors visiting last year had said too many of its 5,000 students failed to achieve their qualifications or left their courses early.

The FEC then visited in November and said “expectations of a significant improvement in student outcomes have not materialised” since its previous visit in July.

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Otley College, near Ipswich, and Easton College, near Norwich, merged to create one institution in 2012

“To provide an improved experience for students this year there needs to be very swift action to immediately improve attendance rates, tracking of student progress and, most significantly, the quality of teaching and learning,” it said.

Governors had not held senior leaders to account and achievement rates were still well below the national average, the report states.

It added: “The college and board need to put in place sufficiently skilled and experienced quality improvement personnel… to ensure there is not a further repeat of an inadequate judgement when the college is next inspected.”

The college said a consultation process would take place and a recommendation would then be made by the FEC to the government and to the college board, between Easter and early summer.

Principal Jane Townsend added: “The latest assessment was completed over three months ago, since when we have been very pleased to see a turnaround in a number of areas.

“We are focusing on maintaining this momentum in everything we do.”

Chairman Mark Pendlington said it wanted to make the college “a regional and national champion for teaching”.

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