AoC Beacon Awards 2012/13 Winning College Profiles
AoC Beacon AwardsAoC Beacon AwardsProspectus 2012/13Winning CollegeProfiles 2012/13Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Designand DevelopmentLeadership and Quality ImprovementResponsiveness, Partnership and Impact
“”I was extremelyimpressed with theway the structure andcontent was craftedby academics workingwith industryspecialists... The staffare fully aware of theneed for students toraise their profile andsector skills in aclimate whereemployment isuncertain.Corporal,RAF RecruitingAwards for Innovation in Further EducationAoC Charitable Trust Awardfor Innovation in FESport and Public Service Department, Chesterfield CollegeInnovation in ActionThe Sport and Public Service Department at Chesterfield College neededimprovement. Success rates had plateaued at benchmark level for the precedingthree years. Learners were leaving the programmes in significant numbers becausethey were dissatisfied with assessment and quality of provision.The College took immediate and robust action to radically redesign thecurriculum, as well as the assessment and support mechanisms, to offerpersonalised and bespoke learning and attain excellence within twoacademic years. The directorate is now graded as outstanding.The College achieved this by running a number of parallel and complementaryinitiatives to transform the learner experience. These included:• Full-scale curriculum redesign in partnership with employers and learners• Redesigned and rebuilt personalised assessment methodology• Personalised and bespoke curriculum and support• Maximum use of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)and multiple pathways to excellence• Significant learning outside the classroomThe overall impact of these initiatives was a 17.2% increase in success over twoyears. All pre-existing achievement gaps were closed. High grades and valueadded scores increased significantly across all areas and learner and employersatisfaction soared.Learners now enjoy their programmes and are keen to finish them. Employers areextremely happy with the learners they employ who have completed their studies.The Sport and Public Service Department has been transformed and continues tohave a very positive impact on all those who are involved with it.
Awards for Teaching and Learning,Curriculum Design and Development• 1st4sport Qualifications and sports coach UK Awardfor Sport in the Curriculum• Edge Award for Practical Teaching and Practical Learning• JLT Benefit Solutions Award for Health andCommunity Care• LSIS Award for Efficiency through the Effective Useof Technology in FE and Skills• Microlink and National Grid Inclusive Learning Awardfor Students with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities
Sports Department, South Devon CollegeInspiring the local community through sportSouth Devon College won this award for its high-quality teaching and learningacross a distinctive, inclusive and comprehensive sports curriculum, which usessport to inspire the local community.The approach has resulted in students developing high levels of skills in coaching,leadership, exercise instruction, customer service, event management and team-work. Learners consistently achieve excellent success rates and there is outstandingprogression to higher education and employment in sports development, coaching,teaching and leisure management.Beacon Award assessors interviewed present and past students, parents, localemployers and community partners, and observed vocational lessons and studentsengaged in community coaching. The sports department also showcased its workwith employers, national governing bodies, the county sports partnership and localschools, which ensures the core curriculum and linked qualifications are designedto be relevant, innovative and inspiring.The award highlights how the sports curriculum raises the aspirations andachievements of young people in the area. Last year, for instance, the College usedthe London 2012 Olympic Games to inspire learning, including engagement withthe Olympic Sports Makers’ volunteering programme, hosting Olympic torchbearers, running an Olympic themed staff celebration and organising a county-wideevent run by College sports students for students with learning and physicaldifficulties.Awards for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design and Development1st4sport Qualifications andsports coach UK Awardfor Sport in the Curriculum“”The students at theCollege are excellentexamples of howLondon 2012 ishelping to sparkyoung people’simagination andinspire them to getinvolved and makea difference. I hopethey will motivateother young peopleto join their journey.Co-ordinator ofthe London 2012Education Unit
“”Being taught inthis real worldenvironment oftenputs our studentshead and shouldersabove othercandidates whenit comes to findingemployment.Jeanette Dawson OBE,Principal and ChiefExecutiveAwards for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design and DevelopmentEdge Awardfor Practical Teaching andPractical LearningAgriculture Department, Bishop Burton CollegeEnterprise in EducationEnterprise in Education is a long-term initiative which uses the concept ofenterprise to influence the College’s educational strategy and equip studentswith the skills they need to progress in life and work.In practice, this means that the College consistently focuses on the needs ofindustry and employers, so that students develop appropriate skills to succeedin the workplace or in their own businesses.Practical teaching, learning, assessment – and a continuous striving for excellence– lie at the heart of this strategy. The emphasis is on the importance of Real WorkEnvironments (RWE), many of which are provided on the College campus.Bishop Burton, which has a national reputation for quality and is the only Collegein the UK to hold Centre of Vocational Excellence status in both agriculture andequine, prides itself on its realistic outlook when it comes to preparing studentsfor the working world.The College farm is run as a profitable commercial business with financial andproduction targets. This gives students invaluable experience. Classroom sessionsare supported by use of the farm and estate to demonstrate industry practice,farm duties to develop skills working with farm staff, and challenging real lifeassessment briefs. Student duties take place in the pig unit, dairy unit, arablefarm and sheep and beef unit.
Healthcare Cadet Partnership Team, Xaverian Sixth Form CollegeHealthcare Cadet ProgrammeThe Xaverian Healthcare Cadet Programme has pioneered the use of clinicaleducators whilst providing a model of how both large healthcare providers anda successful Sixth Form College can work together for the benefit of both studentsfrom a widening participation background and the local community.The programme was set up in 2008 in response to a predicted shortfall in therecruitment of healthcare assistants by Health Academy Northwest and torequests from high schools to provide pathways into the NHS for their level 1and 2 leavers. The aim was to give comprehensive support to mainly vulnerableand widening participation students, enabling them both to acquire skills andqualifications, and be employment ready by the end of the course. This involvedestablishing the role of clinical educator and creating an integrated programmethat allowed students to spend three days a week in College and two onplacement in primary care clinics.Following the success of the level 2 programme, the College introduced a Level3 Multi-Professional Healthcare Cadet Programme. This has enabled studentsto take a BTEC Diploma in Health and Social Care with work placements on thewards at the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust(CMFT) and with the Northwest Ambulance Service. This has supported studentsin continuing to higher education or taking up positions in the workplace.Awards for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design and DevelopmentJLT Benefit Solutions Awardfor Health and Community Care“”Another innovation ofthis work is that dueto the very thoroughseven-week induction,young students areallowed on wards andare able to undertakepersonal care tasks.This is all the moreremarkable as somecadets are fromcultures that wouldnot easily accept this.Beacon Assessors’report
“”I was feeling reallydown and fed up andbogged under withwork and my homelife but this unit mademe think that maybemy dream job isn’t sohard to get to now Ihave identified shortsteps and ways ofhow to get there –can’t wait to pass myqualifications andthen come back andgive a talk to newstudents.StudentAwards for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design and DevelopmentLSIS Awardfor Efficiency through the EffectiveUse of Technology in FE and SkillsLearning Technologies and Resources Service and TutorialManagement Team, South Devon CollegeUsing technology to sustain excellence efficientlySouth Devon College has utilised e-systems to deliver whole College tutorialprogrammes and provide independent learning opportunities to enable additionalsupport for students whilst also saving staff time.Enabling students to achieve their full potential is central to South DevonCollege’s aims and this includes developing skills as well as gaining qualifications.The curriculum has been designed to meet this need, and two key elements havebeen introduced to help learners achieve more while ensuring efficient deliverythrough the use of technology:• The cross-College tutorial programme is planned and resourced centrally toprovide learners with an accredited Personal and Social Developmentqualification. All the teaching and learning resources, linked to a weekly pro-gramme of work, have been created by a small team and made available viaMoodle (our online virtual classroom), thus reducing the total amountof planning time required to deliver the qualification.• All full-time Level 3 courses are timetabled with one hour of independentlearning per week. These sessions are supported by non-teaching staff whowork closely with course teachers to provide structured sessions that add valueto the course programme. These sessions include study skills packages and thedevelopment of employability skills.Moodle is the key delivery tool for both these initiatives, and our bespokeelectronic individual learning plan system, LEAP (www.leap-ilp.com), sharesinformation and manages individual learner progress on the course programme.
“”We do a lot of excitingthings at College. Theteachers have helpedme to be able to cookmeals at home withmy family. I lovecoming to College.LearnerAwards for Teaching and Learning, Curriculum Design and DevelopmentMicrolink and National GridInclusive Learning Awardfor Students with Learning Difficulties and/or DisabilitiesLDD New Horizon Team, Hackney Community CollegeNew Horizon ProgrammeHackney Community College has developed an innovative opportunity for schoolleavers with severe learning difficulties and complex needs including autism, tobe educated within their communities rather than travelling away to a specialistCollege or centre. New Horizon at Hackney Community College was originallydeveloped as a result of a short-notice response to local demand in 2009. Theprogramme has grown and the College is now an approved specialist providerfor students with high-level care and support needs.New Horizon learners benefit from high-level, individualised support whileenjoying full inclusion in everyday mainstream College life. They are supportedwith inclusive, personalised learning and care plans and by a network ofspecialist staff.As part of their ‘life destination plans’, New Horizon learners are also able toaccess mainstream courses across the College wherever possible. The learnersmake impressive progress, achieve qualifications and develop as young adultswithin Hackney Community College’s open College campus.Each year since the start of the programme, the College has adapted its facilitiesand provision to enable more groups with differing needs to take advantage ofits innovative approaches and inclusive environment.
Awards for Leadershipand Quality Improvement• City & Guilds Award for Staff Developmentin Further Education• LSIS Award for Outstanding Leadership of Improvement
“”The teaching at theCollege is excellent.Studying here hasenabled me to get towhere I want to beand my degree hashelped me to adoptan inclusive approachin my work. TheCollege has enabledme to further mycareer.Leila, SpecialistSupportAwards for Leadership and Quality ImprovementCity & Guilds Awardfor Staff Development inFurther EducationInclusive Practice Team, Weston CollegeInspiring staff – an innovative approachto staff developmentWeston College has developed an innovative approach to staff development.The College values staff as its greatest asset and aspires to enhance the provisionof quality and excellence in learning for all. The Foundation Degree in InclusivePractice was created to address a skills gap for people working in the area ofLearning Difficulties and/or Disabilities (LDD). It was developed in collaborationwith management, learners, partners and staff themselves and enabled staff work-ing full-time to gain a recognised qualification, which advanced them profession-ally and raised their self-esteem and confidence.This degree was launched in 2007 and has developed each year with the additionof new specialisms, a master’s degree and Level 2 and 3 awards. It was originallydesigned for the College’s own staff, but has expanded to include professionalsworking within the LDD field. As the first such qualification in its field it hasattracted significant interest locally and nationally, with other Collegesinvestigating opportunities for their staff to take the qualification.Staff are now highly committed, motivated and at the forefront of inclusivelearning nationally. No other provider has developed or offered the opportunityfor staff in this field to specialise and link it to career advancement andincreased pay structure.
“”The Principal’sleadership andaspiration forexcellence are strong.He and seniormanagers are skilledand relentless inpromoting asupportive culturebased on high expec-tations using effectiveteamwork. Managersat all levels putlearners’ needs firstand ensure they meetchallenging targets.Ofsted reportAwards for Leadership and Quality ImprovementLSIS Awardfor Outstanding Leadershipof ImprovementWhole College, Harlow CollegeTeaching and learning strategySix years ago Harlow College was suffering from multiple problems. Successrates, value added and average grades were poor, and finances and reputationwere unsatisfactory. Ofsted described the College as “weak”. In spite of this, itsGovernors wanted the College to become the market leader for further educationstudent success.In 2007, the College implemented a radical new Teaching and LearningStrategy, which signalled a major turning point in student success. The Collegeintroduced innovative features including daily learning objectives, studentsbeing free to leave when objectives had been achieved and single-unit teaching.At the same time, the College experienced the dramatic shift from centralised con-trol to devolved control. College teams now determine how they willdeploy their resources, construct timetables and deliver learning.Harlow College’s improvements since 2006/7 have hugely enhanced thereputation of the College. Achievements/outcomes include:• Setting new national records for student success at 94.1%• The highest value added of any Further Education College (ALIS scheme)• The second highest average points per entry of any Further Education College• Growth in enrolments since 2006 of 142%• The establishment in 2012 of a £9.3m University Centre• Being the successful lead for the establishment of a University TechnicalCollege (UTC)• Described by the Prime Minister in 2012 as “World Class”• Achievement of a strong surplus in each of the last three years• Described by Ofsted as “utterly transformed”
Awards for Responsiveness,Partnership and Impact• AQA Award for College/School Partnerships• Association of Colleges Award for College Engagementwith Employers• Pearson Award for Widening Participationto Lifelong Learning• University of Southampton Award for14-19 Widening Participation• Welsh Government Award for Engaging Learnerswho are not in Education, Employment or Training
“”I would think thateverybody would tick‘agree completely’because there are nofaults. It’s a veryinteresting courseand I would certainlyrecommend it toanyone.StudentAwards for Responsiveness, Partnership and ImpactAQA Awardfor College/School PartnershipsLearning Pathways and Support Directorate, Coleg MenaiFilling the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineeringand Mathematics) Skills GapColeg Menai has forged close partnership links with local secondary schools,major employers and the wider community to establish relevant pathways for14-19 school provision. The Anglesey Energy Island initiative highlighted therequirement for a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce in the field ofenergy generation, including nuclear, wind, tidal, biomass and solar. To respondto this skills gap in the local area, particularly in the engineering technology sector,Coleg Menai carried out a purposeful and planned extension of STEM provision.As a result, the number of school learners following Level 1 to Level 3 Engineeringcourses increased from 56 in 2007/2008 to 271 in 2011/2012.Fulfilling the need for employable recruits begins by engaging early with theprospective workforce. College provision bridges the gap between theclassroom and the world of work with a programme of educational site visitsto organisations including First Hydro, Wylfa, Magnox, Airbus and VauxhallAutomotive, and by inviting external speakers from related industries suchas Horizon Nuclear Power.To ensure a full range of progression for learners, the College also offers anexcellent range of post-16 courses up to higher education level, as well aswork-based learning and apprenticeship opportunities in the engineering field.
“”We’ve got a fantasticrelationship withBridgwater College.The College canprovide us withhighly skilledindividuals whocan fit specificallyinto the roles wehave here.Michael Errington,HR Manager, DHLSupply ChainAwards for Responsiveness, Partnership and ImpactAssociation of Colleges Awardfor College Engagement with EmployersCross-College Department Teams, Bridgwater CollegeDHL/Morrisons Employability ProgrammeBridgwater College won this award for developing, delivering and marketingan innovative and inspirational training model for industry. The project exceededcustomer expectations, provided new and repeat business for the College andraised its profile in the business community. A cross-College initiative, theBusiness Development department led the project, which also involved the LandBased Sports and Science team, Business and Professional Services and theMarketing department.The construction of a new DHL/Morrisons regional distribution centre on theoutskirts of Bridgwater, which would serve 60 stores and create 1,000 new jobs,led to a strong local training need. The company’s vision was to provide specificskills training to enable local unemployed people to access the job opportunities.Having secured the training contract, the College created a realistic warehouseenvironment using DHL/Morrisons equipment. It then took more than 1,000 localpeople through a bespoke two-week programme devised for the company, whichincluded not only job-related and interview skills but also company ethics andbehaviours. Every student who completed the programme received a formalqualification plus a guaranteed job interview with DHL/Morrisons. Of these,70% were successfully selected to work for the company.This programme has not only helped to staff an entire distribution centre, it hasalso transformed the lives of local families. Six other major local employers – But-lins, Haven Holidays, Isleport Foods, Mulberry, Paragon and EDF Energy – haveembarked on similar programmes in conjunction with the College. As a result, theCollege is now seen as a strategic partner in the regeneration of the local economy.
“”I have received greatsupport from thetutors and now myhusband is alsoconsidering acommunity coursewith the College.Selma Limada,studentAwards for Responsiveness, Partnership and ImpactPearson Awardfor Widening Participationto Lifelong LearningCommunity Learning Team, Trafford CollegeCommunity Learning – Learn locallyTrafford College is committed to enhancing the learning opportunities availablein the community to help people of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles accesseducation and training in local community venues.The College successfully bid to become the sole provider of Community Learningin Trafford because of its proven track record for exceeding engagement targets. Itthen established this successfully through a co-ordinated and efficient communityteam including two enthusiastic Community Development Workers, qualifiedteaching staff delivering demand-led provision and strong working relationshipswith community partners.Working closely with these partners to understand local needs, Trafford Collegeis able to reach many adults from all walks of life, supporting them back intolearning and work through a flexible approach to the delivery of learning, andby providing award-winning Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG). It helpsstudents such as Selma, who completed courses in numeracy after more than 20years away from the classroom, and Alison, who set up a jewellery-makingbusiness after completing a course in the community following a longcareer break.Trafford College’s Community Learning model has strong strategic leadership,is fully integrated and is an exemplary and sustainable model that has developedover a number of years. College staff take pride in seeing how it can improvestudents’ lives.
“”Personally, I thinkhe has done brilliant.The course has donewonders for him,much better than anyof the schools havebeen for him. Since hehas been on the coursehis whole attitudetowards life haschanged.ParentAwards for Responsiveness, Partnership and ImpactUniversity of SouthamptonAwardfor 14-19 Widening ParticipationWork-Based Learning and School Partnerships, City College, PlymouthPre-Employment ProgrammesCity College Plymouth’s Pre-Employment Programmes use extensive links withemployers, schools, specialist agencies and community organisations to offer aspecialised alternative to formal education for learners who struggle withmainstream education. The College’s Work-Based Learning department is uniquein the outstanding efforts it makes to co-ordinate multi-agency support for youngpeople who are disengaging from education for significant and complex reasons.Amongst other factors, these include: homelessness, drug and alcohol issues, abuse,neglect, mental health problems, poverty and learning and behavioural difficulties.The programmes provide exceptional opportunities for learning, which areindividually tailored, highly flexible and vocationally focused. The departmentis also actively engaged in funded research to optimise further education for thehardest to reach in the South West region.The College supports hundreds of young people in the Plymouth area back intoeducation, employment or training every year. This work directly reduces futurepublic expenditure and broken generational cycles of worklessness in manyfamilies in the city. Through a shared perspective, over the last decade, manyemployers large and small have come to recognise the benefits of effective andinnovative NEET engagement. The Pre-Employment Programmes have helpedto change the common perception of the NEET group from ‘inherent problem’to ‘untapped potential’.
“”I knew that if I everneeded help orencountered a crisis(which was quiteoften), that there werepeople there whowould take the timeout and listen to meand try to help inwhichever way theycould, which for mewas invaluable.Care leaverAwards for Responsiveness, Partnership and ImpactWelsh Government Awardfor Engaging Learners who are notin Education, Employment or TrainingLearner Services Team, Neath Port Talbot CollegeRaising the quality of support for lookedafter children and care leaversThe project aimed to raise the quality of support for looked after children andcare leavers by providing the best possible opportunities for them to enter andsuccessfully complete programmes of study to improve their access toemployment and higher education.The appointment of a Designated Person, the protocol with the Local Authority’sLeaving Care Team, newly forged relationships with teams out of county, and theimplementation of the Buttle UK Quality Mark, enabled the College to effectivelytarget this group of vulnerable learners. This helped to make their transition toCollege easier and helped them overcome the challenges they face. The projecthas created an enhanced support system that takes into account individualneeds, and a well-supported application and enrolment process that includesthe removal of financial barriers to learning.The Designated Person provides dedicated support and advocacy, and is anaccessible main point of contact for both learners and support workers. Theclose working relationships between organisations have ensured that eachlearner’s progress is effectively monitored, enabling early intervention tosolve any issues and prevent non-achievement.Together, these initiatives have been of immense benefit to learners. Recruitment,retention, attainment and progression rates have improved dramatically sincethe project began.