NCG Official

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NCG Responds to Gavin Williamson’s FE Speech

NCG has responded to the the recent speech by the Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson on the future of FE.

Liz Bromley, CEO of the NCG Collaboration of colleges commented:

“Like all colleges NCG has worked hard over recent months to support learners, communities and the country in this critical hour of need and we welcome the warm words that have been offered to FE over this time. 

Warm words now need to be matched with hard actions and we welcome the emphasis that the Secretary of State has today placed on FE.

For too long colleges have been the forgotten middle child of education. We stand ready to ensure that everyone can access the education and training they need, regardless of age or circumstance. The COVID19 crisis has made clear that the government’s vision to ‘level up’ Britain must be made real if this county is to meet the biggest policy challenges it has faced since 1945. In particular we welcome the Secretary of State’s commitment to increasing opportunity which fits exactly with NCG’s mission of creating social mobility, through economic prosperity.

We look forward to working with central, devolved and local government to make this vision a reality and will be proactively engaging with the detail of new policy proposals”.

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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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A Day of Peace at Kidderminster College

Colleagues at Kidderminster College came together on Saturday 21 September to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Peace with their MAS Lab World Peace Concert.

 

The international day of peace is a United Nations initiative, established in 1981 and observed globally on the 21st September. It is a shared day for all humanity to commit to peace above all difference and to celebrate building a culture of peace.”

– Kev Gammond, MAS Lab Curator

 

The event, which was free to attend, brought together artists, musicians, authors and speakers for a day of shared celebrations. The diverse range of traditional, local, distant and unique cultures showed what peace means and demonstrated how it can inspire and improve everyday lives and local communities.

The soundtrack to the day was provided by Kidderminster’s own Black Country Brass, who performed moving renditions of a collection of national anthems from around the globe. Human rights activists Todd Maforimbo and David Shuck delivered thought-provoking talks and renowned poet Keisha recited poems addressing the need to be at peace with ourselves so that we are able to be at peace with others.

 

This is probably one of the biggest recent news stories for Kidderminster College, drawing together many regional and international partners on an international event… it’s big stuff.

It is of the times we live in globally, it feels the college is making a statement of peace when there are many things that divide us – peace is so fragile and often taken for granted.

Throughout the day staff demonstrated their commitment & empathy towards humanity on a global scale and showed what it means to our learners.  Their passion and vigour for an international event is something I haven’t seen in education for a long time.”

– Palvinder Singh, Deputy Principal, Kidderminster College

 

MAS Records & MAS Lab

Kev Gammond founded MAS (Mighty Atom Smasher) Records, a non-profit music development programme based in Kidderminster, in 2001. The label has partnerships with local education authorities across the UK and has Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs), Robert Plant (ex-Led Zeppelin) and Karl Hyde (Underworld) as its patrons.

The initiative combines industry knowledge and experience with education to give our young people the very best learning experience and prepare them for the wider industry.

Kev launched his latest project, MAS Lab, last year with the purpose of bringing communities closer together through the promotion of social and political causes both locally and nationally.

You can find out more about MAS Records here as well as an hour-long livestream of the event, which includes an inspirational address of UK gangs and knife crime from Dr Ross Deuchar, on Kidderminster College’s Facebook page here.

 

What’s Next?

In 2020, Kidderminster College and MAS Lab will be joining forces with organisations across the UK to combat criminal gang-related activities.

Partnerships with The Ubuntu Roundtable Project will connect young people with local police authorities to open a discourse about issues in local areas, bringing communities together to reduce the risk of criminal activity.

 

Our thanks go to our colleagues at #TeamKC for organising an enlightening and inspiring event. We all look forward to hearing about the continued positive impact on our learners and the community.

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Monumental World Peace Day at Kidderminster College

Colleagues at Kidderminster College are coming together to hold the MAS Lab World Peace Day Concert on Saturday 21st September 2019. The free event, which starts at 12 noon, will feature artists, musicians, authors and speakers celebrating this year’s international day of peace.

“The international day of peace is a United Nations initiative, established in 1981 and observed globally on the 21st September. It is a shared day for all humanity to commit to peace above all difference and to celebrate building a culture of peace.”

– Kev Gammond, MAS Lab Curator

Musical guests include Black Country Brass, one of the Midland’s top brass bands, and JJ Vibez Music Group from the Kadoma School for the Blind in Zimbabwe.

Renowned poet Keisha will be introduced by Leslie Fairclough (InspireYou), one of the many inspirational speakers appearing during the afternoon, including human rights activist Todd Maforimbo and David Shuck, Midlands Peacekeeper, who will be speaking about his prominent role within the community.

In 2020, MAS Lab will be collaborating with organisations across the UK, focussed on combatting criminal gang-related activities. In anticipation of next year’s focus, MAS Lab will welcome special guests Blaire Kirk Adderley and Mark Murray from the prestigious Tutu Foundation and Youth Futures anti-knife crime and serious youth violence team, who will be sharing their experiences of the Round Table initiatives in London. Author and Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of the West of Scotland, Dr Ross Deuchar, will also  be addressing UK Gangs and Knife Crime.

To keep up to speed on events throughout the day, follow us on Twitter at @NCG_Official and @KidderminstColl.

 

#WeAreNCG

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Interview with NCG CEO Liz Bromley

NCG CEO Liz Bromley recently sat down with Elouise Leonard-Cross, Director of Learning & OD to talk all things learning at NCG.

Liz shares an insight into her background in education, her belief in putting the learner at the heart of everything we do and what she hopes to see happen within the FE sector.

 

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NCG Announces the Appointment of Liz Bromley as Chief Executive Officer

NCG is delighted to announce the appointment of Liz Bromley as our new Chief Executive Officer.

 

Taking up the post on Monday 19 August, Liz was previously Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Central Lancashire.

 

Liz will be supported in her role by Chris Payne as Deputy Chief Executive.  Chris has been serving as acting CEO since October.

 

Liz said: “I am truly delighted to be joining this ambitious group of colleges. Further Education has never been needed more or been better placed to answer the needs of our emerging workforce, and to offer opportunities to everyone who wants to learn.

 

“NCG represents everything that matters most in the education sector – offering relevant learning at all levels in our local communities, but also working across boundaries to ensure best practice in teaching and leadership development right across the sector.

 

“I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues and privileged to be leading NCG as we open up opportunities for learners right across the UK.”

 

Having worked in other senior roles in education – including at the University of Salford and Goldsmiths, University of London – Liz also has also been a board member of the National Centre for Entrepreneurship in Education, the CBI North West and a governor and trustee of the Sir John Brunner Foundation, among many other non-executive roles.

 

Chris Payne added ‘we are very excited about Liz joining the team here at NCG and can see the immediate value she will be able to add to our journey to make the group a great place to learn, teach and work’

 

Peter Lauener, NCG Chair of Governors, added: ‘Liz will bring huge drive and creativity as well as a successful track record in education leadership.

 

‘On top of that she brings an absolute commitment to developing the highest standards of education and training in all our colleges so that they can provide a beacon of opportunity for all our learners in the diverse communities we serve.’

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