West Suffolk: Newmarket College goes into special measures

Special Measures: Newmarket College

Special Measures: Newmarket College - Credit: PA

GOVERNMENT inspectors have placed a west Suffolk school into special measures after it was judged as inadequate in three out of four categories.

The Ofsted report of Newmarket College, published yesterday, ranked the achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and leadership and management as inadequate. The behaviour and safety of pupils was judged as requiring improvement.

Last night, Principal Dr Bob Cadwalladr, said the report was a “bleak document” that was distorted and unhelpful.

The Exning Road site has been under scrutiny since its poor GCSE results last year, which saw only 28% achieve five or more A* to C grades, including Maths and English. The Suffolk average was 51%.

The EADT revealed yesterday that a review of education attainment in the region had been launched by Forest Heath District Council, partly due to lower than average results.

The report states that a team of inspectors visited the college on February 14 and 15 this year and found that for pupils “inadequate progress is widespread throughout the college”, while teachers’ expectations are not high enough and the “pace of learning is too slow”.

Writing in the report, lead Inspector Kate Griffin said: “Standards are too low and in 2012 only half of the students made the expected progress in mathematics.”

Most Read

She added that the proportion of students gaining five good GCSE passes had been significantly below the national average for three years and although had improved in 2011, had dropped again last year.

Although the college was praised for the politeness and safety of its students, it also described its sixth form as inadequate due to poor attendance and “not enough good or outstanding teaching.”

Dr Cadwalladr, said the report was disappointing.

He added: “Obviously we know that our results last year were not good enough. We got the wrong end of the stick with the exam results lottery and got hit badly, so we knew we were up against it.

“But the report is distorted, there is very little account taken of good practice within the college. It’s a very bleak document and because it is so distorted I don’t think it is very helpful because it doesn’t give a good picture of the college.”

Dr Cadwalladr said he was upset that progress within the college was not documented. He added: “The students that are here now are showing good progress, we’re very confident the exams will be better and next year will be even better.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter