Sussex Coast College slammed by Ofsted report

Sussex Coast College Hastings
Sussex Coast College Hastings

SUSSEX Coast College is expecting a damning Ofsted report following its first inspection just 14 months after opening its doors.

The multi-million pound facility which opened in September last year is expected to receive a level four rating of ‘inadequate’.

Level four is the lowest rating possible, with grade one being outstanding, grade two being good and grade three being satisfactory.

Bosses are now bracing themselves from the fallout from the report which is expected to be officially received in January.

The Observer understands Ofsted inspectors were critical of a number of aspects of college working practices and pastoral care of students.

These included leadership and management, teaching and learning standards, safeguarding of students and equality, supported learning and counselling outside class.

The board of governors will now meet on December 14 to discuss the implications of the inspection and the college will have until June to start improving standards.

Principal Janak Patel joined the college in January and said the green shoots of recovery were already in progress when Ofsted inspectors arrived during the autumn.

Mr Patel was formerly the vice principal of Royal Forest of Dean College (RFDC) in Gloucester and was appointed principal in October 2008.

He went on to help lead the college management team which turned RFDC from an ‘unsatisfactory’ college in its 2004 Ofsted to a ‘Good College with Outstanding Features’ in its 2009 Ofsted report.

A mathematician by background, Mr Patel is a father-of-two and was born in India and brought up in Bolton, Lancashire.

Earlier in his career he worked as a mathematics teacher in a secondary school in Nottingham.

Mr Patel said: “The green shoots of recovery were already in progress when the inspection was carried out. I have been through this process before with Royal Forest of Dean College and I am confident I can do it again.

“We expect to be told we are an inadequate college but we were already improving leadership and there is already a marked difference.

“There is confidence in the new leadership.

“We have to bring in experts in teaching and we have to provide better support to our teachers.

“We have to provide better trained teachers. We have to have a culture of leadership and determination and staff feeling confident about themselves to make this college outstanding.

“I have done that and I thrive on these things.”

Pat Farmer, chairman of the college’s board of governors, said: “It would be inappropriate to make a comment until after the board has met on December 14.”