College is improving

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SOME of Doncaster College’s courses have been put in special measures, an Ofsted report has revealed.

The college is making ‘reasonable progress’ nearly three years after it was slated by Ofsted, according to Government inspectors.

They have just published their latest monitoring report into progress in bringing the college back up to standard.

Achievement and standards at the college, which has around 15,000 students, were rated as inadequate in a report in November 2008.

The latest report reveals that since September, all under-performing courses have been effectively identified.

In some instances curriculum re-organisation has led to courses being scrapped.

But it adds underperforming courses which are still being run have been placed in special measures and are monitored very closely.

The report also reveals there is now a higher proportion of good and outstanding teaching than at the time of the last report.

It adds principal George Trow, who joined the college last year, has built on work to provide greater stability and reassurance to the staff and learners.

The culture of the college was described as much improved and managers are more accessible and open.

The college has significantly reduced its budget deficit and operating costs by £4 million while still investing in resources for learners.

Staff costs as a percentage of the budget are now realistic and a financial recovery plan is ahead of schedule.

The overall success rate for adult learners is now around the national average and shows a significant improvement over the past four years.

The report added: “The college is acutely aware of the need for further increases in success rates and staff are concentrating their attention on the remaining pockets of under-performance.”

Rob Wilmot, chairman of governors at the college, said: “I am really pleased with the progress being made and the satisfaction rates of our students are also very high.

“Students feel safe and welcome at the college and they rate very highly the expertise and professionalism of our staff. Some 96.6 per cent of students feel the college is welcoming.”

Principal and chief executive Mr Trow, who joined the college from Rotherham College nine months ago, was pleased with the progress noted in the latest inspectors’ report.

He said: “I am proud to see the obvious improvements being made by our staff for our learners.

“Over 3,500 16 to 18-year-olds and over 14,000 adults study with us each year.

“Ofsted have recognised the progress being made in their report.”