College is learning right lessons

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SUSSEX Coast College is making ‘significant improvements’ according to Ofsted inspectors who made an unnanounced visit to the £100m building.

The Station Plaza complex has improved its literacy, numeracy, IT according to the inspectors.

It also increased its retention in A levels and other equivalent vocational areas.

The inspection was carried out on May 23 and 24 and comes just weeks after new principal Clive Cooke started in the job.

Last year the college was given a damning Ofsted report rating it as inadequate.

Mr Cooke was brought in to steady the ship and he confidently declared the college would have an outstanding rating by 2016.

The college has installed a new leadership team to back up Mr Cooke.

This includes deputy principal April Carrol and Dan Shelley and vice principal for enterprise and Mel Hollands, director of InBusiness, which deals with apprenticeships and work-based learning.

Mr Cooke said: “It is like a ‘health check.’

“We have moved forward and made improvements, including a strong new leadership team, made up of top educational specialists:

“In addition to an excellent leadership team, I have put in place a number of initiatives to improve student experience.

“These include investing in student mentors to provide every learner with individual guidance and support.

“Every student now has a weekly academic tutorial to support their learning and progress.

“I am convinced we are on course to deliver strong results for students this year.”

Chair of the Board of Governors, Pat Farmer, said: “This external validation confirms the confidence of the Governing Body that the new management team is on the right track to improve the outcomes for our students.”

Councillor Jeremy Birch, leader of Hastings Borough Council said: ‘It is clear that, under Clive’s leadership, Sussex Coast College Hastings is in the process of making decisive and far-reaching changes and I believe that future inspections will bear this out.

“I really hope the college is getting back on track and on its way to becoming the outstanding centre for learning we need in Hastings.”

Mr Cooke continues to have an open door policy and invites anyone to contact him for further information about the college. His PA can be reached on atomlin@sussexcoast.ac.uk