STRATFORD College is on the road to recovery.
The college’s latest Ofsted report recognises improvement following a year which saw the college in financial turmoil and enter into a merger with Solihull College & University Centre.
College principal Andrew Cropley said: “The past year has been full of uncertainty for the college, but having made the decision to enter into a merger with Solihull College & University Centre, we are now looking forward to a secure future as the proposed merger remains on track for December.
“I accept Ofsted’s findings that the full impact has not yet been felt from some of the improvements we have made but I am delighted that the report recognises that our students benefit from excellent skills development and preparation for their future careers.
“I am proud of our achievements, in particular of the college staff’s skill and dedication and of our students’ hard work and determination as we continuously strive for improvement.
“We believe that we are already well on our way to regaining our ‘Good’ status, building on our outstanding creative curriculum. The upcoming merger will accelerate this by combining our established strengths with Solihull’s infrastructure, expertise and investment capacity.”
Back in March the then cash-strapped annopunced it was being bailed out by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) – after Lloyds Bank refused to provide temporary financial support.
And part of the bail out saw former Warwickshire College deputy principal Mr Cropley take over from Nicola Mannock as principal.
Solihull College & University Centre principal John Callaghan, speaking following publication of the Ofsted report, remained confident of a bright future following the merger of the two colleges.
He said: “Given the difficult financial position the college has faced in recent years, the report was extremely positive and gives us a clear and rapid improvement agenda.
“It is evident from Ofsted’s findings that Stratford College has remained committed to maintaining standards of teaching and student experience and the recent leadership changes have really helped in creating stability and achieving this outcome.
“I very much look forward to a post-merger future in which, by combining our various strengths and areas of expertise, we are able to provide ever higher standards of provision for our local communities.
“We hope to announce some new curriculum opportunities at the forthcoming open events and to follow this up with more detail on our planned investment.”