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‘Tremendous achievement’: Joy at improved Ofsted rating for College

PUBLISHED: 16:55 12 March 2020

East Coast College is celebrating a Good Ofsted rating. Picture: East Coast College

East Coast College is celebrating a Good Ofsted rating. Picture: East Coast College

Archant

A college that was previously told it must improve has been praised for its progress by Ofsted inspectors.

Thrilled staff and students at East Coast College are celebrating after being rated as 'good' by the education watchdog.

The college was previously rated as 'requires improvement' following an Ofsted inspection in May 2018.

But after East Coast College merged with Lowestoft Sixth Form College in August 2018 and retained the East Coast College name, the governing body has set a high benchmark for academic excellence.

The report said: 'Since the merger, leaders and governors have developed robust systems to drive improvement.

'Most of the learning is based in Suffolk at the Lowestoft campus where the sixth form college is based.

'The other campus is in Great Yarmouth.'

With the college commended for establishing good relationships between students and teachers, the report praised staff for 'setting an atmosphere that is calm and orderly, geared towards learning.'

A college spokesman said: 'For the Lowestoft campus, this is a great improvement having been through some very challenging times before combining to form East Coast College.'

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'This is great news and I congratulate everyone at East Coast College for this tremendous achievement.

'A progressive and successful further education and 6th form college is vital to the future of Lowestoft and Waveney, so as to give our young people every opportunity to realise their full potential and to fully contribute to the area's economic regeneration.'

Stuart Rimmer, principal and CEO of East Coast College, said: 'This result is all about 'teamship'. Our staff team is the most committed and student focused of any college I've ever worked in.

'When students join our college they join 'Team ECC' whichever part of the college they belong to. We have the highest performing sixth form in the region, the largest STEM provision, the most inclusive and supportive choice, strongest employer links, university higher education and degrees taught in our towns, and really great teaching.

'We love supporting education and skills in our communities in Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

'We have some amazing plans to reveal over the coming months.

'There is no better choice for students in our region.'

Reaction

Mike Burrows, chair of Governors, said: 'We are delighted that Ofsted have rated East Coast College as good.

'The commitment and teamwork of our staff is outstanding and their hard work and skill has made a real difference to the quality of learning and the experience provided for learners.'

Investment from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership was pivotal in the college's successful Ofsted inspection. Chris Starkie, CEO, said: 'This is good news for East Coast College, its staff, students and local businesses.

'We are delighted to have invested £10m from our Growth Deal with Government in the College's new Energy Skills Centre, which is an excellent example of the College and partners developing an innovative solution to support the future needs of our energy sector.'

Stephen Baker, chief executive of East Suffolk Council, added: 'A strong educational provision is fundamental to the continued growth and success of Lowestoft.

'This rating by Ofsted will give the students and the College a huge boost in confidence.'

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