Page last updated at 16:45 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Inquiry at 'inadequate' college

school classroom
Inspectors said there was a declining trend in the success rate of students

An underperforming Tyneside college has started an internal investigation after being described as "inadequate" following an Ofsted re-inspection.

Tyne Metropolitan College has received its third damning report in 15 months.

In the latest, released on Thursday, the college was labelled inadequate for its capacity to improve.

Chair of governors, Judith Woodruff, said an investigation was under way into a "select number of issues" that had been raised in the report.

In 2008, Ofsted inspectors criticised the health, care and public services department and the college's ability to ensure that students are improving.

Senior leaders are not sufficiently clear about the causes of underperformance to provide direction and support for middle managers
Ofsted report

In Thursday's re-inspection report, Ofsted said the college's capacity to improve was still "inadequate" but the health, care and public services department had scored slightly higher, with a satisfactory mark.

The report stated: "The college continues to demonstrate inadequate capacity to improve."

It added: "Senior leaders are not sufficiently clear about the causes of underperformance to provide direction and support for middle managers."

Inspectors also said there was a declining three-year trend in the overall success rate of its students.

'Highly committed'

The college is the major further education provider in North Tyneside and opened in the Battle Hill estate in 2005, after North Tyneside College and Tynemouth Sixth Form College merged.

It was visited by former Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005 and labelled a "flagship college".

Ms Woodruff said: "We are delighted that Ofsted has recognised the progress made in health, care and public services provision since our previous inspection and has validated an improved grade for that area.

"However, in the second area covered by the visit, capacity to improve, the college still needs to make further progress.

"Our staff are highly committed to the success of their students and continue to work hard to ensure students achieve the best possible results."

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