High fives hit in round two;FE Focus

19th March 1999 at 00:00
AN inner-city college in one of the most deprived areas of the country has been awarded five top grades. Lewisham is the first college to get a full set of grade 1s for cross-college provision in round two of inspections by the Further Education Funding Council. This round - which requires colleges to substantiate their own assessments - is harder than the first. Nearly 200 colleges have been covered.

The college achieved grade 1 for student support, general resources, quality assurance, governance and management and computing. All the remaining curriculum areas were graded 2, except engineeringother humanities, which achieved a 3.

The report, published today, says: "Senior management provides strong, confident leadership and has established a self-critical environment within which everyone values and evaluates their performance openly and honestly... Inspectors saw outstanding teaching in most subjects and little teaching was less than satisfactory."

Of the college's students, 79 per cent live in wards designated by the funding council as deprived. The educational achievements of school-leavers in Lewisham are also well below the national average.

Ruth Silver, the principal, said: "People in this area really are committed to change and to making things better - and we are part of that story."

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