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Greenwich College put into 'administered status' after damning report

A college has been put into administered college status after the FE commissioner found “serious problems” with the quality of its offer and its budget position.

Greenwich Community College was put into administered college status last month by skills minister Nick Boles, a newly published letter reveals today.

The college was referred to the FE commissioner after an Ofsted inspection report, published in December, found it to be inadequate in every category.

Dr David Collins’ report, also published today, reveals a number of serious issues at Greenwich.

It claims staff are critical of the senior team and have “lost confidence” in their ability to lead the college, complaining about their overall lack of vision and leadership. Processes and procedures are “confusing” and many people are not familiar with them, the report adds. Managers even describe them as being “tangled like a ball of wool”.

The report also claims that the college is not considered to be focused on the needs of young people in the area, and is viewed as "non-collaborative, insular and inward-looking". Partners describe the college’s support of learners as “inadequate”, and several have already severed their relationship with the institution.

Dr Collins concludes: “Greenwich Community College has serious problems, both in terms of the quality of what is on offer and its worsening budget position.

“Steps have been taken to bring in a number of highly experienced interims but the scale of the task to turn the college around is such that it will be necessary to consider alternative ways of meeting the education and training needs of learners and employers in the area.

“Administered college status and an urgent structure and prospects appraisal are therefore recommended.

“This will consider all potential options for the college, taking into account the best interests of learners and employers in the wider area.”

The skills minister agreed with Dr Collins’ recommendations. He said: “In light of the significant weaknesses identified and concerns about the long-term future of the college, I am placing Greenwich Community College into administered college status with immediate effect.”

In January, Greenwich appointed Lindsey Noble, former principal of Southampton City College, as its new principal. In Ms Noble’s 12 years at Southampton, the college rose to the top 5 per cent of colleges in the UK for success rates.

Richard Bourne, chair of Greenwich Community College corporation, said: "The corporation is actively responding to the points made by the commissioner in his letter to the chair.

"The corporation has not waited for the next set of meetings to be set up but has started the actions required to bring about the changes needed in the college.

"We look forward to participating in the structure and prospects appraisal process. The board is aware of our role to ensure the community of South-East London is well served with high quality further education in the future."



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