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Support not monitoring: No to Ofsted’s visit at New City College

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Support not monitoring: No to Ofsted’s visit at New City College.

Staff at New City College have been notified of an inspection this week.

However, we are angry to hear reports in the press that Ofsted seem intent on undermining our work and demoralising people.

Reports of Ofsted inspectors bullying and intimidating staff, raising their voices, dismissing the impact of Covid are completely unacceptable.

We have pulled out all the stops to continue to provide education and support to our students throughout the pandemic.

Despite our efforts, and sacrifice, we have faced one barrier after another:

Scarce regard for our safety in the college setting.

Dodgy and unfair exam algorithms that have done nothing but cause distress to our students and staff.

Burgeoning workloads with an obsession with attendance monitoring added to teachers' remit.

Inadequate funding on top of a decade of cuts and job losses that has ravaged further and adult education.

145,000 people have died of Covid. We are still working in the middle of a pandemic.

The impact on students’ mental health, wellbeing, social development and learning is incalculable. We are there to pick up the pieces.

Ofsted’s respect among those who work in education had dropped to an all time low before the pandemic. The post inspection reports are meaningless and do nothing to help raise teaching and learning standards.

Failure to understand how the public health crisis has impacted on teachers and students’ lives will not only prevent Ofsted recognising the real problems facing staff and students. It will place a barrier in identifying the real causes of concern within the college group.

It will also demonstrate how out of touch Ofsted is from the realities of everyday life working in Further Education.

We do not want to be part of an agenda to pile the pressure on schools and colleges as if the pandemic and austerity never happened.

We do not welcome yet another barrier to teaching and supporting our students.

We welcome Ofsted identifying how workload and class sizes can be reduced and detailed metrics to demonstrate to government how a decade of cuts have seriously undermined the ability of colleges to rise to the needs of our communities.

Richard McEwan UCU Branch Secretary Poplar
Michaela Hendriks UCU Branch Secretary Hackney
Peter Wareham UCU Branch Chair Arbour Square
Vincent Thurgood UCU Branch Chair Redbridge
Lesley Rowley UCU Branch Chair Epping
Khair Kabir UCU Branch Chair Havering
Daniel Dixon UCU Equality Rep Epping
Perdy Patterson UCU Health & Safety Rep Arbour Square
Lorna Monroe UCU Equality Rep Havering
William Brownings UCU Branch Chair Hackney

on behalf of the UCU Liaison Committee
New City College

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