Head of Redbridge College blames damning Ofsted report on “economics” of the area

Chief executive of Redbridge College, Theresa Drowley

Chief executive of Redbridge College, Theresa Drowley - Credit: Archant

The head of Redbridge College has defended its teaching standards and success rates after a damning Ofsted report highlighted a catalogue of failings.

Inspectors ruled that the college, which offers vocational courses, “requires improvement” overall following their visit in June.

The report states: “The proportion of students that successfully completes qualifications, whilst improving slowly, is below the national average. Too few students aged 16 to 18 stay to the end of their course.”

It also found that “teaching, learning and assessment are not consistently good across the college”, while “teachers do not have high enough expectations of students”.

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Chief executive, Theresa Drowley, said inspectors failed to take into account the “economics of the area” and the changes in senior management over the year.

She said: “When the inspectors came in May it was the Spring Bank Holiday and students across the college who had finished their work had got sufficient UCAS points to go to university, so many of them went away to earn some money to save for university.”

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Mrs Drowley added: “It’s disappointing Ofsted couldn’t see the economy of the area.

“They think we should keep students until July but I can’t blame them if they need to earn some money before going to university with tuition fees at £9,000 a year.”

The inspection report also found that pass rates in English and mathematics at the college, which is based in Barley Lane, Chadwell Heath, were below par.

Mrs Drowley said: “We have the students for 12 months. We can’t be expected to right the negatives that come from 12 years of education at other schools in one year.

“However, we accept we could do better and we will be addressing this.”

There were also a number of areas where the college was performing well, including the proportion of students that go on to university and extra support given to pupils who need it most.

Out of 314 UCAS applications at the college, 231 have been accepted on to university courses, with 28 yet to secure a place through clearing.

Mrs Drowley said she is confident about the future.

“We are on target to prove them (Ofsted) wrong. Our success rates are going up” she said.

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