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New principal at Wiltshire College after order to improve from Michael Gove

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

Principal Di Dale has left her post at Wiltshire College to be replaced by

Principal Di Dale has left her post at Wiltshire College to be replaced by

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One of the West's biggest chain of colleges has a new principal after government inspectors ordered it to improve.

Wiltshire College operates three main campuses in Salisbury, Chippenham and Trowbridge, a major agricultural college at Lackham, near Chippenham and five enterprise centres at Bemerton Heath in Salisbury, Corsham, Castle Combe, Devizes and Warminster.

But for threes inspection running, dating back seven years, the college has been given a Grade Three rating – which says the college is 'satisfactory'.

And now, under Education Secretary Michael Gove's new criteria, a "satisfactory" rating is unsatisfactory, and so Ofsted inspectors have ruled the college "requires improvement".

Long-standing principal Di Dale has left her post on sick leave and is understood to not be returning for a while, and Amanda Burnside has been appointed as acting principal.

She has pledged that the college will be offering "outstanding" education to thousands of youngsters across Wiltshire within five years.

The Ofsted inspectors rated everything except English provision as requiring improvement, with criticism for the students' exam pass rates, teaching and management and the success of its apprenticeship schemes.

"Student success rates remain below average and the rate of increase has not been fast enough, particularly for success rates for adults and at level three," the Ofsted inspectors' report said.

The college has weathered a series of major financial blows, dating back three years, with a succession of cuts and redundancies to both teaching and non-teaching staff.

Morale was said to be low, and the Ofsted inspectors said teaching quality was poor. "Too many lessons are undemanding and uninspiring. As a result, students lack concentration and do not always grasp important learning points," the report said.

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