THE PRINCIPAL of a college rated inadequate by Ofsted says she is “100 per cent confident” she can turn things around for the better.
Saboohi Famili started working at Epping Forest College in Borders Lane, Loughton, in September 2016.
The 46-year-old said she knew the college was in a bad state when she took up the post and was not surprised when the report was published.
The college was rated inadequate in eight areas after its inspection in November.
She said: “When Ofsted rated us inadequate it was no surprise – we know there is lots of work to be done and we are not proud of where we are.
“When I took on this job it was clear what the expectation was and I feel 100 per cent confident that I can improve things.
“My passion is for further education and I want to push the students to reach for and believe in better.”
The college was rated inadequate in areas such as outcomes for learners, personal development, behaviour and welfare and quality of teaching, learning and assessment.
After the damning report, the principal introduced an attendance monitoring system to tackle the huge numbers of students arriving late to classes.
She has also proposed delaying morning classes until 10am, to give teenagers more time in the mornings.
Ms Famili said: “One of the things the students say is when others arrive late they disrupt the class and are less engaged because they have missed the start.
“We appreciate some students have responsibilities that may make them late like they have to care for their parents in the morning or drop their siblings to school.
“We have introduced a system where students are checking on the attendance of classes and making sure people are on time.
“We are also proposing starting classes at 10am because other colleges have tried it and have had success.
“We have also introduced the ‘don’t walk by’ initiative so if a student sees someone misbehaving or bullying someone they should report it.”
Ms Famili, who is originally from Iran, arrived in the UK in 1999 and applied for refugee status after she was accused of instigating riots in her home country.
The former professor of engineering at the University of Tehran, spent the past seven years working at Guernsey College and Sutton College.
She added: “We are providing the employers of the future in Epping Forest and we have reached out to businesses and the council to be part of our curriculum to make our students ready for work.
“I am very systematic in my approach to things. I have climbed six of the highest mountains in the world.”