Greenwich Community College has been hit with its second consecutive inadequate Ofsted rating, following an inspection carried out two weeks after it federated with another London provider.

The grade four-overall report, published by Ofsted on Tuesday, was highly critical of maths and English provision and wider teaching at Greenwich and said that “the proportion of learners who complete and achieve their qualifications is below that for similar colleges”.

It came after the college received an inadequate Ofsted rating in December 2014, before it was subjected to a structure and prospects assessment by FE commissioner Dr David Collins, which resulted in a recommendation that it merge with Bromley College.

The original plan to merge by January 1 had to be shelved because of issues with consulting banks and reconciling the colleges’ two different pension schemes.

The colleges federated instead at the turn of the year, meaning that grade two Ofsted-rated Bromley’s management team effectively took over Greenwich two weeks before the inspection team’s visit began on January 19.

Sam Parrett (pictured), who was previously Bromley College principal and now heads both institutions, told FE Week: “Greenwich went through quite a dramatic period of change, following the previous Ofsted report [in December 2014] and a visit from the FE commissioner, and it was clear the same result was likely again.

“The slightly frustrating thing for us is that we were due to merge with Greenwich Community College before the inspection took place, which would have meant that Greenwich would have been dissolved as an independent institution, so there would not have been an inspection.

“However, this will ultimately be good for the college because we have basically been given a free consultation on all the issues that need addressing.”

She added the plan was now to merge the colleges from August 1 and “Bromley Corporation will take the decision over this on March 16”.

The latest Ofsted report on Greenwich called on the new management team to “rapidly improve teachers’ skills to check all learners’ understanding and knowledge during lessons to ensure that learners are ready for their next lesson and the next steps in their learning”.

However, it did state that “new management arrangements are already leading to improvements”.


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