Principal defends college after Ofsted report criticises ineffective teaching

East Coast College principal, Stuart Rimmer. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

East Coast College principal, Stuart Rimmer. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A college principal has defended its record after it was rated as 'requires improvement' by Ofsted.

East Coast College, which has a campus in both Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, was formed in August 2017, but was criticised by inspectors for 'undemanding' teaching and a lack of a culture of high expectations.

However, the college was rated 'good' for apprenticeships and praised for planning well-designed programmes for employers and students.

The report was published on Friday, June 27, a week before a consultation response was published over a proposed merger of the college with Lowestoft Sixth Form College, most recently rated 'good' by Ofsted.

Inspectors also criticised the management of the school, judging the quality of teaching as 'too optimistic', with teaching described as 'not effective.'

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They wrote: 'Leaders' evaluation of the quality of teaching is too optimistic; they do not include wider aspects of teaching and learning in their evaluations. 'Too many adult learners and learners following study programmes do not make rapid progress. As a result, too many are behind with their work.'

It adds: 'Teaching and learning across the provision and within different subjects are not effective. Too many learners make slow progress in their studies and do not achieve their potential.

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'Teachers do not plan and provide teaching well enough to challenge and extend learners' skills. Too many teachers and staff do not have high expectations of what their learners can achieve; as a result, too many learners do not achieve higher grades.'

Stuart Rimmer, principal of East Coast College, defended the institution's record and said the merger of Lowestfot and Great Yarmouth colleges has been a 'painful process.'

He said: 'As a new college it is remarkable the improvements made in less than a year. Merging systems, processes and cultures is a lengthy and painful process.

'The inspection has helped to focus our efforts on our strategic plan to put quality teaching and learning at the heart of what we do.'

He added: 'Grade aside, I am immensely proud of the progress to date: the commitment, passion and professionalism shown by staff and the rate at which I know we will continue to drive improvement.'

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