Month June 2020

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NCG In the News: FE Week Visits Lewisham College

We recently welcomed FE Week to our Lewisham College campus to demonstrate how we have adapted to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Principal Asfa Sohail held a guided tour and outlined the steps we’ve taken to ensure the health and safety of colleagues and learners who are now back on the college campus as part of our partial reopening.

You can read FE Week’s report, which includes interviews with Asfa and our learners, here.

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Coronavirus Reopening Update: Monday 15 June

Like the whole country, NCG has experienced one of the most challenging and strange times in our history.

Firstly, on behalf of the NCG executive and all our governors, please let me express my sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of our colleagues for the dedication and resilience they have shown during this time. I am also grateful to our students, parents and partners for the patience and positivity they have shown.

Today, in line with guidance from the Department for Education, most NCG colleges will re-open for students in the 16-18 cohort. As directed, we are prioritising students in the year 12 cohort but allowing the flexibility to bring back other groups of students. All NCG colleges will continue to support those learners whom we cannot yet welcome back on campus and we are working on the further development of online resources and an absolute focus on ensuring that all our staff and our students are working and studying in a safe environment.

Colleagues have been working through our plans to re-open for a minority of learners, but it is not straightforward and, as well as doing our own planning and checking, we are working with the Unions to ensure that we have covered off the questions and concerns that are being raised by them on behalf of staff.

As well as planning for the immediate future, we are also starting to put our efforts into thinking about the new academic year and, in particular, how we can be sure that our Colleges are equipped to meet the needs of our learners, employers and communities when the next academic year starts in September.

The likely global economic disruption that is predicted means that people of all ages will need an even more purposeful college education. In particular we may find find young people being crowded out of jobs by more experienced adults and graduates. We will also likely see older workers suddenly having to re-train for a new career. There will also be a large cohort of young people who will need support to catch-up on their learning after several months of lockdown.

As ever, these challenges have already presented NCG with opportunities. The speed and efficiency with which we have been able to switch almost all of our teaching to online systems will provide valuable lessons the future, even when we return to the classroom.

We are uniquely placed to be able to learn the lessons from this period, whilst also continuing to work with the rest of the sector to lobby for the support FE requires to ensure an effective recovery in every part of the country, ensuring that nobody is left behind.

We will continue to meet these challenges because we are rooted in the communities we serve, because we are a vital partner for employers and civic organisations, because our students will always come first, and because we are all part of one NCG.

 

For enquiries, please contact press@ncgrp.co.uk.

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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at NCG

NCG and all its constituent colleges are committed to ensuring that our students, our staff and all of our stakeholders study and work in environments that embed the principles and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion. We do not tolerate racism or discrimination in any form. Recent world events highlight the need to look even more closely at what we do and how we do it, and make sure we know we are doing everything we can and should do to tackle racism and all other forms of discrimination and prejudice.

 

NCG is dedicated to our mission in pursuit of social mobility, in an inclusive and diverse learning community, and we know that great organisations really listen to stakeholders without defensiveness, or being distracted, or making excuses.

 

We have committed to revisit and review our work over the next few months to ensure we are in the leading class of practice in creating a diverse and inclusive environment. This work will begin in earnest in June and will accelerate over the summer, culminating in a revised and refreshed comprehensive EDI strategy and action plan, so that we know we can demonstrate continuous learning and lead the sector on EDI through external accreditation.

 

We will enhance our existing EDI Strategy through new work with a specialist diversity and inclusion consultant, to:

 

  • Carry out a forensic review and analysis of all policies, processes and practices through an equality, diversity and inclusion lens. This will include all the work of our People and Development colleagues, and will also give an assessment of management and leadership programmes, and all learning and development offers.

 

  • Perform additional qualitative research with staff and students about their current experience of EDI at NCG. We will talk to a representative range of staff and student groups by role, characteristics, length of tenure and so on.

 

  • Revisit our performance indicators on EDI to ensure we can measure our progress effectively.

 

  • Build the capacity of all of our staff to understand how unconscious bias works and ensure they have the skills to eliminate discrimination and prejudice through a blended learning and development programme. The learning from that will then be translated into our entire curriculum offer for students.

 

Please help us to be the organisation that you are proud of and want to work with by being involved in the forthcoming work to make sure we do things better.

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