TRC told to improve after Ofsted finds students ‘not progressing’

THOMAS Rotherham College has been told it needs to improve by government inspectors, who found students were not progressing as expected.

The Moorgate Road college’s overall effectiveness was rated as “requires improvement” following an Ofsted inspection in mid-January.

Personal development, behaviour and welfare was the only area to be rated “good” at the 1,548-pupil college, which converted to an academy last November.

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Malcolm Fraser, lead inspector, said: “Leaders, managers and teachers are not held to account sufficiently for their own performance and for the outcomes for students.

“Consequently, actions to bring about the necessary improvements identified in the college’s self-assessment have not yet been effective.

“Governors have been distracted by their considerable work in securing the sustainability of the college through joining a multi-academy trust. 

“As a result, they do not provide sufficient challenge to leaders to ensure that the urgently needed improvements to A-level outcomes are made.”

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Achievement rates on A-level qualifications declined significantly in 2016/17 compared with previous years, he added.

The report, published this week, said the proportion of students gaining their A-levels was “declining” and “too many” students were not progressing.

But the “inclusive college” was praised for its  “culture of respect” and inspectors said students received “effective advice and guidance”.

The college’s tutorial programme and enrichment activities were praised for enabling them to “develop a good awareness about life in modern Britain, how to keep themselves safe and healthy, and how to protect themselves and others from the risks of radicalisation and extremism”. 

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The college’s current interim principal, Dr Stephan Jungnitz, took up the post in January after Dr Richard Williams retired after 11 years at the helm.

The college announced this month that its first female headteacher, Shirley Brookes-Mills, will take over as principal in June.

Mr Fraser added: “Governors are well qualified and commit a great deal of their time to securing a sustainable future for the college. 

“The college’s membership of the Inspire Trust from November 2017 is a well-considered strategic approach with the ambition to improve quality and secure continuity of high-quality education from the age of three to 19 for the communities that the trust serves.”

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In a statement the college said Ofsted had identified “many positive areas” and it recognised “the challenges highlighted”.

The college said action had already been taken prior to the inspection to address areas of improvement.

Dr Jungnitz added: “These recommendations have come at just the right time as the college has just appointed a new principal. 

“We are confident that this year’s, and next year’s outcomes, will be on the way to good, if not outstanding.”   

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