NEW HEAD AT CRISIS COLLEGE SAYS SORRY TO STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES ; Investigation as Ofsted Gives It Worst Possible Rating.

Article excerpt

THE new interim head of a crisis-hit college has said he is 'desperately sorry' staff and students have been let down - while promising to slash Pounds 5m from its budget.

Ian Clinton took over at Stockport College last month after it was hit by a string of damning reports.

Government inspectors are investigating after Ofsted gave it the worst possible rating and slammed the quality of its leadership.

Now Mr Clinton has also criticised both management and pockets of bad teaching - and pledged to turn the college round.

In October Ofsted downgraded the college's 'outstanding' status to the lowest grade four rating, slamming poor leadership, accommodation and teaching.

The government's new 'further education commissioner' David Collins is expected to report back his findings on the crisis later this month.

Mr Clinton, previously head of colleges in Leeds, Blackburn and Merseyside, told the M.E.N: "This place has got a bad deal.

It's been let down by the sector, as I said to the staff when I met them.

"Somebody... needed to apologise to them and that's exactly what I did.

"Genuinely, I am desperately sorry about what's happened."

He said 'warning signs' had been repeatedly missed by leaders, who he said had become carried away with 'grandiose' ideas after the college was given an 'outstanding' rating in 2008. …

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