Tag NCG

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Lewisham Southwark College to join NCG

The Governors of Lewisham Southwark College and NCG have agreed to a merger which will see Lewisham Southwark College join NCG in August 2017.

Governors of both organisations believe the merger will strengthen and further develop and improve education and training provision to better meet the needs of local communities in Central South London. All students will continue studying at Lewisham Southwark College’s current campuses in Lewisham and Southwark following the merger.

Lewisham Southwark College Chair of Governors, Chris Bilsland OBE, said:

“The Governors of Lewisham Southwark College are delighted the college will be joining NCG, ensuring that we can remain a local college but with national reach. The college will have the benefit of access to a huge range of expertise in areas such as apprenticeships and higher education as well as further education. At the same time, joining a like-minded organisation with an Ofsted ‘Good’ rating will support us in continuing to improve the quality of our provision.”

Jamie Martin, Chair of Governors at NCG said:

“We are delighted that the Governors of Lewisham Southwark College have taken the decision to join with NCG and look forward to welcoming the team in the coming months.”

Chief Executive of NCG, Joe Docherty, added:

“We look forward to supporting Lewisham Southwark College in their drive to improve the quality of education and skills provision in these two critically important London Boroughs, which will bring benefits to the students, employers and other stakeholders in Central South London.”

Lewisham Southwark College Principal, Carole Kitching said: 

“This is a very exciting time for the College. The merger will provide a catalyst for growth in the range of programmes we can offer students, including vocational and technical Higher Education. All five of NCG’s colleges have been recently rated Ofsted ‘Good’, and as one of the largest providers of apprenticeships in the country we can work together to offer employers locally a unique opportunity to engage with a single provider to meet their national training needs.”

“We will continue to determine our own curriculum in response to local need, with NCG’s full backing for growth and development. The College will maintain a high degree of autonomy through the powers delegated to a local College Board. NCG fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first and offers us a very strong and positive future.”

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NCG Welcomes Carlisle College into the Group

We are pleased to announce that Carlisle College has now merged with NCG.

We will support the continued development of provision in Carlisle and the surrounding area, ensuring the greatest security for staff and students and ongoing investment in Carlisle College.

Chief Executive of NCG, Joe Docherty, welcomes Carlisle College to the group:

“We are delighted to welcome Carlisle College to the NCG family of colleges and training providers. Carlisle is a successful college which will continue to serve the needs of its local community. It is our clear goal to help grow and develop the current offer for the benefit of learners and employers in Carlisle and we are pleased to be able to back that with the expertise and capacity of a major national group.”

Carlisle College Acting Principal, Steve Salkeld said:

“This is a hugely exciting time for the College that will bring new opportunities and the ability to respond to new skills needs in the area, with NCG’s full backing for growth and development.

“Carlisle College will retain its identity and name and all provision from our city centre campus. NCG fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first, and offers us a very strong and positive future bringing continued investment to help us meet the needs of learners, employers and the community.”

Carlisle College has a long-established tradition of collaborative and partnership working with the other Cumbrian Colleges and the University of Cumbria. The merger with NCG fully supports this approach and Carlisle College will continue to work with local partners on the achievement of the priorities set out in the Cumbria LEP’s Skills Investment Plan.

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NCG joins Collab Group

We are pleased to announce that have become the 36th member of the Collab Group of colleges.

Joe Docherty, Chief Executive says:

“Working in collaboration and in partnership with other FE providers, employers and stakeholders is vital for the future development and success of the FE and HE sector and we are looking forward to working with likeminded individuals and organisations who are equally dedicated to delivering the very highest quality technical and professional education.”

Read the full story from TES FE here.

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Carlisle College to join NCG

The Governors of Carlisle College and NCG have agreed to a merger which will see Carlisle College become part of one of the largest education and training groups in the UK. Carlisle College will join NCG from April 2017.

Carlisle College Chair of Governors, David Carter said:

“The Principal and Governors see the merger with NCG as the best solution to securing the future success of Carlisle College and we are keen to benefit from the support, expertise, investment and resources of NCG.”

Jamie Martin, Chair of Governors at NCG said:

“We are delighted that the Governors of Carlisle College have taken the decision to join NCG and look forward to welcoming the team at Carlisle in the coming months.”

Chief Executive of NCG, Joe Docherty, added:

“Carlisle is a successful college which serves the needs of its local community. We share their focus on providing what employers and students in Carlisle need to develop skills for their local economy, and we are pleased to be able to back that with the expertise and capacity of a major national group.”

Carlisle College Acting Principal, Steve Salkeld said:

“This is a hugely exciting time for the College that will bring new opportunities and the ability to respond to new skills needs in the area.

“We will continue to determine our own curriculum in response to local need, with NCG’s full backing for growth and development. The College will retain its identity and name, and will operate as an NCG college. The Group fully shares our commitment to putting learners and the community first, and offers us a very strong and positive future.

“Being part of a larger organisation will help us to secure local provision and bring continued investment to help us meet the needs of learners, employers and the community.”

Carlisle College has a long-established tradition of collaborative and partnership working with the other Cumbrian Colleges and the University of Cumbria.  The merger with NCG fully supports this approach and Carlisle College will continue to work with local partners on the achievement of the priorities set out in the Cumbria LEP’s Skills Investment Plan.

NCG is one of the UK’s largest providers of education, training and employability. The Group is made up of four colleges – Newcastle College, Kidderminster College, West Lancashire College and Newcastle Sixth Form College – and training providers, Intraining and Rathbone Training.

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2016 Highlights

2016 has been a busy year for NCG and our divisions; we take a look back at some of the highlights.

Parsons Building; an £18m redevelopment to transform post-16 learning

Back in March, Newcastle College unveiled the new Parsons Building on campus; a ten-storey facility boasting a range of real working environments to help train students for careers in a number of different sectors.

This includes a dedicated floor for healthcare training with a number of hospital wards that replicate the workings of a modern hospital; childcare facilities including a nursery, wet zone and reception class teaching area; and fully-equipped science laboratories dedicated to the delivery of biology, chemistry and physics. In addition, a domiciliary care flat that replicates a supported living environment with bath hoists, kitchen, and bedroom.

The Newcastle College Parsons Building enables employers to access a much needed training facility that will help them to train, recruit and retain highly skilled workers.

West Lancashire College Students Win Community Impact Award

In April, a group of eight West Lancashire College students came together for the Prince’s Trust team programme, winning the Community Impact Award at the Charity’s national ceremony at the London Palladium.

The Prince’s Trust team programme is designed to help young people develop the skills and confidence to find work in the future. The team set about transforming a garden at the Yewdale Counselling Centre into a tranquil haven, with different areas within the garden, individual seating and even repainted walls within the centre to help create a more relaxed environment for those undertaking counselling.

The team’s commitment to the cause was palpable; working late into the night and on weekends to get the job done, with their desire to go the extra mile to help pushing them over the edge to secure the national prize.  Well done Team 42!

Rathbone’s Legal Highs Destroy Lives Campaign a Success

A campaign led by young people at Rathbone Training has played its part in a change in legislation on legal highs.

At a Question Time event, in Manchester, on 27th March 2015, attended by 50 young people and 20 staff, young people raised the issue of legal highs with the panel of local decision makers which included Kate Green, MP for Stretford and Urmston.

A major talking point in the impassioned debate was the damage ‘legal highs’ do to young people’s lives, with several young people giving accounts of how they have affected them and their family and friends.

The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into force in May, just over a year after learners at Rathbone Training began highlighting the dangers of previously ‘legal highs’ and the impact they can have on people’s lives.

Intraining rated Grade 2 ‘Good’ by Ofsted

In June, Intraining achieved a Grade Two “Good” status from Ofsted, with the report praising its high quality of work with apprentices and partnering companies.

Inspectors looked at the quality of teaching, learning and outcomes for learners at Intraining, and awarded a ‘good’ status across all areas.

The OFSTED results clearly recognise Intraining’s strong work with employers and partners, as well as the investment they make to ensure that learners are safe, supported and are given the chance to fully unlock their potential by developing their skills.

TDAP

In June, NCG became the first Further Education Institution in the UK to be awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers.

This landmark development followed an intensive scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, who recognised that Higher Education provision at their Colleges – Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College – provide a high quality offer to students, equivalent to that of a university.

NCG validated their first BA Hons Degree in November, marking the first full degree award to be validated by a college group in the UK. The online degree in Leadership and Business Management was developed by NCG Direct as part of Newcastle College, and is expected to have its first cohort in January 2017.

NSFC best year on record for results

2016 has been a record breaking year for Newcastle Sixth Form College, with students achieving the best results the college has ever seen.

24 of the subjects the college offers achieved a 100% pass rate, with 85% of students choosing to progress to university (25% of which gained places at Russell Group universities).

Training Provider of the Year Award

In November, Kidderminster College was named Training Provider of the Year at the Worcester Apprenticeship Awards due to their excelled contribution to apprenticeships – both through increasing numbers and quality – and their role as apprenticeship ambassadors promoting apprenticeships in Worcestershire to young people, schools and employers.

Statistically, Kidderminster College’s success rates are well above the national average with an outstanding 99% of apprentices remaining in employment on completion of their apprenticeship programmes.

A Year of Student Successes

  • Newcastle Sixth Form College Student, Jennifer Olsen, was announced as the winner of the Talent 2030 National Engineering Competition for Girls for her project where she sought to develop cost effective ways of producing 3D printed prosthetic limbs.
  • Kidderminster College Administration Apprentice, Kathleen Sandford, from The Community Housing Group (TCHG) in Kidderminster, won the top award at the National Apprenticeship Service Awards, becoming the National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year.
  • West Lancashire College apprentice, Jack Baybutt, was also voted Intermediate Apprentice of the Year due to his infectious enthusiasm and business drive with his employer, The Cashroom Ltd.
  • Enthusiastic apprentices at leading energy provider npower had their successes celebrated with special awards presented by Intraining.
  • Learners from Rathbone Training received a National Volunteer Award from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) for their work with Neath Foodbank where they regularly help weigh, sort, pack and deliver food hampers.
  • Kidderminster College Dance Student, Joel Cooper, landed a role in the award winning musical, Wicked, at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
  • Newcastle College student, Kieran Nelson, won the title of ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at this year’s prestigious Newcastle Business Awards.

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NCG Introduce College Boards for each College within the Group

NCG is introducing a board for each of its colleges: Newcastle College; Newcastle Sixth Form College; West Lancashire College; and Kidderminster College, to provide non-executive oversight at a local level.

The introduction of individual boards brings an opportunity to influence and strengthen each of the colleges by collaborating with local leadership teams to ensure quality and effectiveness of provision which reaches thousands of learners every year.

This will enable NCG to move to a strategy which focuses on the local needs of the colleges within the group, ensuring that the curriculum design and quality agenda are supervised by people who are best placed to provide the checks and balances that good governance demands.

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The ultimate transparency for college group structures

An article in the TES FE reveals that the Education Funding Agency (EFA) will now allow each NCG Division to submit separate data returns via separate UK Learning Provider Reference Numbers (UKPRNs) for EFA-funded provision from 2016-17 onwards.

Our CEO, Joe Docherty, expresses his views on the much-anticipated change:

“This provides the ultimate transparency for group structures, but for me it is about more than just transparency. The counterpart to transparency is accountability, and by collecting and publishing data at division (or college) level, and with Ofsted committed to moving to inspections at that level, as CEO I can devolve more responsibility to college principals in the knowledge NCG itself will not itself be inspected.

This is allowing us to move away from a command and control model, with faster responsiveness, better performance and the improved culture which follows.”

Joe Docherty, CEO of NCG.

Read the full story from TES FE here.

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NCG welcomes potential Ofsted changes

An article in the TES FE claims that Ofsted is considering changes to its grading system, examining College’s at a campus level rather than just corporation level.

This is something NCG has been passionately calling for and our CEO, Joe Docherty, is featured in the story sharing his view on the current system and what a potential change would mean for NCG and all its colleges.

“Ofsted finds it practically impossible to inspect NCG and understand its constituent parts,” said Chief Executive Joe Docherty.

“It does not discriminate between performance in West Lancashire College, Kidderminster College or Newcastle College, and is therefore not serving the interests of learners, businesses or any other critical stakeholders of any of the colleges. We Welcome the consultation and will be delighted to take part.”

You can read the full story in the TES FE by following this link, it is a truly interesting read for anyone involved in FE.

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NCG first in FE to be granted full degree awarding powers

NCG becomes country’s first FE provider to be allowed to award own Degrees in historic decision

We are delighted to announce that we are the first FE institution in the UK ever to be able to develop and award its own Honours and Masters degrees.

Granted by the Privy Council, NCG has been awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP). This represents a great opportunity for our students to benefit from a wider range of degree level provision and puts NCG on an equal footing to universities in the degree awarding market.

We will use these new powers to build on our strengths as a vocational HE provider, developing degrees which are more responsive and meet the skills needs of employers. It will also allow us to support the Government’s increased focus on higher level apprenticeships and offer more opportunities for students from all backgrounds to progress into higher education.

This ground-breaking development follows on from an intensive scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, who recognised that HE provision at our Colleges – Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College – provide a high quality offer to students equivalent to that of a university and that we are a mature organisation capable of setting and regulating its own quality standards.

NCG, which has a nationwide network of colleges and training providers including Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College already offer more than 85 Foundation Degrees and Honours Degrees in a wide range of subjects. We were also one of the first to be awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers in 2011 and have a well-established, successful track record of providing learners with fantastic learning experience. Since 2014 over 1,000 graduates each year have had their degrees accredited solely by NCG and not a partner university.

NCG Chief Executive, Joe Docherty said: “Gaining Taught Degree Awarding powers is a landmark development for the sector. It’s a real breakthrough nationally and we are extremely proud to be leading the way for the whole of the further education sector.”

“Our colleges already work closely with employers to develop provision that addresses local and national skills gaps. Degree Awarding powers will enable us to be more responsive to the demand for higher level skills as well as supporting the local economy and more people into jobs.

“We look forward to seeing other colleges following this path and would be happy to share our experiences with others in the sector.”

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “This is a significant step forward for NCG and opens up more opportunities for young people in the local community to enjoy the benefits that higher education can bring.”

Commenting on colleges being able to award taught degrees, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The ability to award taught degrees is a big step forward in demonstrating the quality of higher education (HE) provision delivered in the sector. Hopefully the Government’s Higher Education and Research Bill will reduce any unnecessary bureaucracy to benefit colleges currently in the application process.

“We predict that more colleges will follow the example set by NCG in the next few years and will provide a distinctive HE service that meets the needs of local employers and communities.”

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central said : “This is a fantastic achievement for NCG and Newcastle College. Promoting fair access to higher education and giving local people more choice on where they want to study is vitally important. Our Colleges sit at the heart of our communities providing many opportunities for people of all ages to progress into higher education and employment, as well as supporting local businesses through higher level skills and training.

“As Chair of the APPG on Adult Education and a Newcastle MP I’ve seen first-hand how local colleges can vastly improve lives and support our thriving business community and regional economy.”

Jamie Martin, Chair of Governors, NCG said : “This award is a huge vote of confidence for NCG and its Colleges, and I am delighted at this tremendous achievement. NCG is once again leading the way for the FE sector and breaking new ground. Taught Degree Awarding Powers will enable our Colleges to be more responsive to the regional and national skills agenda through the development of higher level skills and training.

“This is something that the team at NCG have worked towards for many years and will set the bar for the sector as a whole. I very much hope that it will encourage other FE providers to continue the development of vocational higher level skills and training for the benefit of our regional and national economy.”

 

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