College merger hailed a success by regulator in new report

Cambridge Regional College, Huntingdon campus. Picture: CRC

Cambridge Regional College, Huntingdon campus. Picture: CRC - Credit: Archant

Staff and students at a college in Huntingdon are celebrating after receiving a “good” rating in their latest Ofsted report.

According to the report, "significant progress" is being made following the merger of Huntingdonshire Regional College and Cambridge Regional College in 2017.

In May, Ofsted inspectors visited the Huntingdon campus of Cambridge Regional College to monitor developments since the merger.

Ofsted inspectors said that leaders, managers and governors had made significant progress in bringing together the two colleges, establishing a shared vision, mission and values and creating an effective management structure.

The report said: "Senior leaders, governors and managers have rapidly and successfully established and embedded a shared culture and new values across both colleges. Staff, learners and governors very quickly developed the 'We Are CRC' brand to create one identity post-merger. As a result, learners, staff and governors have fully embraced the merged college as one organisation."

However, despite an "upward trend" in academic performance, the report also stated that managers and leaders would need to identify clearer targets, with progress in identifying weaknesses in the former Huntingdonshire Regional College set up in the first year following the merger being "slow".

The report said: "Managers do not always state clearly enough what specific actions are needed to enable further or more rapid improvement to take place. They do not always identify clear or inspirational targets. The result is, that although the quality of provision is improving, progress in the first year following merger was too slow."

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Mark Robertson, principal of CRC, said: "We are really proud of the team at CRC who have come together from the two former colleges to ensure that students in our region have an excellent experience and a high quality of education.

"We have worked closely with partners, employers and others to develop a curriculum that meets local needs."

"Applications to study at CRC Huntingdon are up more than 30 per cent compared to this time last year and we are seeing an increase in the number of students travelling to both our Huntingdon and Cambridge campuses from across the whole region."