Norfolk and Suffolk agricultural college: 'Failing' Easton and Otley College to be split up

Easton & Otley College students in field Image copyright @EastonOtley
Image caption Otley College in Suffolk and Easton College in Norfolk merged to create one institution in 2012

A "failing" agricultural college is set to be split up and merged with two other colleges.

Easton and Otley College, which has 5,000 students in its two campuses, was rated inadequate by Ofsted for the second year in a row in 2018.

It has announced plans for its Easton campus to become part of City College Norwich, and its Otley campus is to join Suffolk New College in Ipswich.

Following consultations the mergers are set to take place in January 2020.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Ofsted inspectors have been critical of the college, whose Suffolk campus is at Otley to the north of Ipswich

Easton & Otley College trains people in subjects like farming, health and engineering.

The proposed move follows a report and recommendation from the Further Education Commissioner, Richard Atkins.

He began a business review last December with the intention of finding the best future for the college, following the two disappointing Ofsted reports.

Image copyright @EastonOtley
Image caption Floristry, Equine Studies and Conservation are three courses available at the college

Easton and Otley's principal, Jane Townsend, said: "Both Suffolk New College and City College Norwich have successful track records of driving quality improvement.

"We are now able to benefit from that experience through this collaboration - a model which has proved successful elsewhere in the country."

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the college, said: "This has been a tough couple of years as the college has got itself in the best possible shape to make sure that land-based education survives and thrives well into the future."

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