College principal updates district councillors on turnaround progress
The principal of Epping Forest College has spoken of the progress already being made to turnaround the college as it looks to establish itself as "a first choice college” and one “you would be proud to send your children to".
The college is undergoing close scrutiny from Ofsted inspectors after it was judged to be "inadequate" in a report last November.
Major changes have been made since Saboohi Famili was appointed principal last September.
Following the report, the college is receiving more regular visits from inspectors and expects to have a further full inspection in 12 months time.
Ms Famili, speaking to Epping Forest District Council's overview and scrutiny committee, said Ofsted had already noted the speed and progress being made addressing various issues, including safeguarding matters.
She also thanked councillor Gagan Mohindra for the amount of time and support he has given to the college since he took on the role as Chairman of the Board of Governors.
Speaking about the measures being taken to address the college's 'inadequate' Ofsted judgement, Ms Famili told councillors: "Our post inspection action plan and our quality improvement plan is a very robust and thorough programme with clear time lines and milestones of achievement and impact, so it is not just a plan which will stay in a cupboard with no-one looking at it.
"It is a live document which is discussed, reviewed and updated on a regular basis."
The college is engaging with its students, and also with its stakeholders through its 'Today, Tomorrow, Together' consultation process.
Ms Famili said: "We are engaging with and listening to our stakeholders in a collaborative way. For example I run learner forums every month where we share what the key problems are and we tap into the talent of the young people that study at the college to solve the issues we face.
"This is their college and their future and it is important that they take an active part in its future. This is our approach with all our stakeholders to take the college forward."
She added: "The mood and the culture of the organisation has radically changed. The college is not of the mood of disappointment and despair.
"The determination and resolve that colleagues have to turn the college around and bring about the valuable learning opportunities for the community that we serve is quite evident in the organisation.
"There is a long way to go, this is not something I can change overnight. There is a strong confidence that the college can turn itself around and we are not leaving anything to chance.
"The college is looking strategically at where it needs to be at to be able to support the economic development of the local area, to be able to contribute to the workforce development of the future and also to be a college you would be proud to send your children to.
"This is an organisation which believes in success and high quality."
Mr Mohindra said: "We are very lucky to have Saboohi as our principal. The college has gone through significant transition in the last two or three years, we've had five chairman of governors and three principals or acting principals over that time-frame so part of our role is to create stability.
"My personal view is we are heading in the right direction, we have the major bits in place it's just making them all work better together and I'm sure Saboohi has the skills and ability to do that."