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Tech City College recovering after years of turmoil

PUBLISHED: 12:51 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:51 21 June 2017

Staff and students at Tech City College, led by principal Nasrin Farahani, celebrate an improved Ofsted. Picture: Polly Hancock

Staff and students at Tech City College, led by principal Nasrin Farahani, celebrate an improved Ofsted. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Tech City College has officially emerged from Ofsted disaster after its latest inspection report highlighted massive improvements.

The college, in City Road, still only has a “requires improvement” rating – third on a scale of four.

But importantly, it has risen above the lowest possible “inadequate” rating after Ofsted recognised the college’s leadership team has “raised standards”.

It was taken over by a trust, Aspirations Academy, in September 2015 when bosses admitted the college was in a “chaotic state”.

A couple of months later, teachers were holding strikes as they claimed “excessive pressure”.

But the latest Ofsted report shows things have settled down after a visit last month.

Inspector David Martin praised “improved quality” of teaching, “highly effective” development of students’ employability skills and the college’s “excellent partnerships” with national and local employers.

Principal Nasrin Farahani said: “I am so happy with these improvements – you have no idea. A year has passed since the last ‘inadequate’ report but now Ofsted is seeing the positives.

“I am actually really unhappy to get ‘requires improvement’. I am an Ofsted inspector myself and the overall report reads like a ‘good’. But maybe they were being a bit cautious.

“In any case, I honestly feel staff and students have done an amazing job. The students are given a really good experience inside and outside of the classroom.

“The atmosphere in the college has changed. People feel a sense of community. Students are so involved, with an active student parliament, and that’s what I love about this place.”

But Mr Martin warned “too many students still make insufficient progress” on their courses and leaders need to do more work to “sustain” the improvements made.

And Ms Farahini promised: “We are constantly improving and looking at ways to do things better. We have done significant work to improve the quality of teaching. Students never waste their time here, they are always doing something.

“Our aim, by the 2018/19 school year, is to be an ‘outstanding’ school. That’s our journey and we have recruited teachers from current ‘outstanding’ schools to join us next year.”

Tech City College is holding open days on June 28 and 29 between 10am and 3pm. Call 0203 301 3620 for information.


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