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Suffolk New College Principal ‘very pleased’ with latest Ofsted grade

News overview

Suffolk New College is celebrating after getting seven Good grades and one Outstanding in their latest Ofsted report.

Viv Gillespie, Principal (Simply C Photography)

Since the last inspection, the College has dramatically expanded and now incorporates four campuses in Ipswich, Otley, Leiston and Halesworth.

Principal, Viv Gillespie, welcomes the news that gave them an overall grading of ‘Good’ when a team of ten inspectors visited the College between 15 and 18 November 2022.

Mrs Gillespie said: “We believe we are on a journey to outstanding and the encouragement everyone received on the back of our latest inspection result gives us all the desire and drive to continue this forward momentum.

“We would like to thank students, staff, stakeholders, parents, governors, business partners and all of the community for their efforts in helping us to achieve this outcome.

“We are very pleased to receive the positive feedback, but we won’t be resting on our laurels. We are all hungry for more success.”

As it stands, all schools and colleges are judged on eight different criteria.

The following final judgements were made in terms of Suffolk New College

  • Personal development: Outstanding
  • Quality of education: Good
  • Behaviour and attitudes: Good
  • Leadership and management: Good
  • Education programmes for young people: Good
  • Adult learning programmes: Good
  • Apprenticeships: Good
  • Provision for learners with high needs: Good

Highlights from the report include the following statements.


“Learners enjoy their time at the college and value the new skills and knowledge they learn.”


“Leaders work closely with stakeholders to identify industry developments so that they are well prepared to meet future skills needs.”


“Learners and apprentices benefit from a well ordered learning environment.”


“Leaders have established a strong culture of safeguarding across the college.”

Stephen Pugh, Chair of Governors (Suffolk New College)


Chair of Governors, Stephen Pugh said: “Suffolk New College has been making great progress in recent years as we have expanded our offer, merged with the college at Otley, now Suffolk Rural, and met the needs of ever more learners and employers.

“It is terrific news to have this progress recognised by Ofsted and be graded as a “Good” college. A lot of people have worked extremely hard to achieve this grading and on behalf of the governing body I would like to send them my sincere thanks.”

Sian Dent, 18, from Colchester is a student governor and she is also studying on a level three equine course at the Suffolk Rural campus of Suffolk New College. Sian said: “I’m ecstatic with this news and the outcome of the report. “I’m looking to work with horses in the context of rehabilitation as a career after college and being a student at Suffolk Rural has given me the skills I need to achieve those dreams.”

Posted 3 January 2023
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