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Southwark College "inadequate" says Ofsted

Education watchdog Ofsted has published its latest report on Southwark College which says that its overall effectiveness is "inadequate".

Southwark College
Southwark College's Waterloo Centre in The Cut

Southwark's further education college has centres in Waterloo (The Cut), Bermondsey and Camberwell where more than 8,000 students – three-quarters of them adults – study for a wide range of qualifications.

Inspectors who visited the college in November 2008 concluded: "The overall effectiveness of the college is inadequate. Insufficient progress has been made in improving students' success rates and the quality of teaching and learning, since the last inspection. Leaders' and managers' actions to improve the quality of provision for all students at the college have not had sufficient impact."

The college is keen to point out Ofsted's praise for its range of provision and for how highly valued its pastoral care is.

"Inspectors said that our self assessment process was thorough and accurate, but we disagreed with them on grading," says principal Dorothy Jones.

"But we will move forward and address all the issues of concern in their report, drawing on best practice in the sector in all areas, and particularly that of teaching and learning to ensure that any inadequate teaching is eradicated.

"However, we are dismayed that we have not received basic statistical information from Ofsted to assist us in our future planning, on teaching observations for instance, and regret that we have had to request this information formally under the Freedom of Information Act."

Southwark College is funded by the Learning and Skills Council which issued its own response to the Ofsted report.

"The LSC is committed to supporting Southwark College in its efforts to develop and implement a rigorous and robust post inspection action plan to tackle the areas of weakness and build upon and maintain the strengths," said the funding body in a statement.

The statement continued: "The LSC is pleased that the inspection found strengths within the provision at Southwark College. These key strengths included high success rates on level 1 courses, strong links with employers and community partners, a safe environment and the extensive and inclusive range of provision for learners and employers."

Read the full Ofsted report

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