As we approach the end of 2019, instead of my usual column,
here is a round-up of news from throughout the year, highlighting what a
stellar organisation the Nelson and Colne College Group is.
We kicked off the year with an Engineering Apprenticeship
Event where more than 100 visitors attended Nelson and Colne College to
discover the exciting range of career opportunities in the thriving industry.
Students and local salon owners were also inspired by a visit from Dawn Ward,
one of the British aesthetic industry’s leading ladies, who talked about her
journey in business and the skills required to succeed.
Nelson and Colne College maintained its position as the
‘number one college’ in figures released by the Department for Education. This
included our status as the number one college in Lancashire for A Level
progress, the leading FE College in the country for GCSE Mathematics progress,
and second nationally for GCSE English progress. Meanwhile, Lancashire Adult
Learning’s approach to family learning and improving lives through adult
education was praised by the National Literacy Trust during a visit to
Northlight in Brierfield.
Around 200 people from Burnley and Pendle took advantage of
Lancashire Adult Learning’s Raising Aspirations careers event held at Northlight.
The free event was held to highlight the employment and educational
opportunities available in Pendle and Burnley for those seeking employment or a
change of career. Nelson and Colne College celebrated National Apprenticeship
Week and National Careers Week, and was also top of the national table for
16-18 learner achievement and Apprenticeship timely achievement!
Nelson and Colne College was named as the FE College of the
Year in the prestigious Educate North Awards 2019 – a fantastic honour. The
awards celebrate and recognise best practice and excellence in the education
sector and the honour acknowledged our outstanding performance in the areas of
teaching, student experience, innovation and economic impact.
Hair and Beauty students at College learned about the
history of one of Europe’s leading salon fixture and fittings manufacturers
when they visited the factory of REM, based in Nelson, and discovered the
company’s 100 years of heritage. A new group of volunteer teachers in Pendle, Burnley
and elsewhere also took their first steps into teaching after being trained by
LAL to help teach the 370 targeted learners basic English skills through the
Integrated Communities English Language Programme.
Artistic and creative students had their chance to shine at
the College’s annual Art and Design End of Year Show, showcasing a wide range
of pieces including fine art, film, graphics, photography and textiles
exhibits. I’m delighted that four of these students were later awarded
Commendation Awards by the Mayor of Pendle for their contribution to art and
culture in the borough.
Lancashire Adult Learning celebrated training up 700 members
of the public to be lifesavers across the Red Rose County, working in
partnership with the North West Ambulance Service, Lancashire County Council
and BBC Radio Lancashire. Ninety-five per cent of LAL’s staff also undertook
essential lifesaving training over the course of the academic year. Meanwhile,
College BTEC Sport and Exercise Sciences student Dominika Bzdon had her
extraordinary achievements recognised when she was named as the national BTEC
Sport Student of the Year.
I was thrilled that the College bucked the national trend
and enjoyed a stunning rise in the highest grades at A Level, with many
progressing on to Russell Group universities, including Oxbridge, or leading
Apprenticeship or employment opportunities. There were so many success stories
on a brilliant day, and it was fantastic to recognise these achievements,
alongside those of our vocational students, at our Star Awards.
Engineering Apprentice Michal Halamicek, who is employed at
acdc as Quality Controller, won the North West Intermediate Apprentice of the
Year at the National Apprenticeship Awards Regional Final. A richly deserved
award for the amazing impact he has made at the company. Our ‘Class of 2019’
University Centre graduates also received their honours at a glittering
graduation ceremony in subject areas including Business, Biology, Computing,
Engineering and Teaching.
We launched a new Nelson and Colne College Group brand
following our successful merger with Accrington and Rossendale College, also to
incorporate Lancashire Adult Learning. Lancashire Adult Learning launched its
participation in social prescribing, connecting people to non-medical support
in the community – an example being where education is prescribed as an
alternative to medication, empowering people with the right tools to become
self-managing and resilient.
A busy month, including the celebration of everything that
is great about the Red Rose County at Northlight with our wonderful Lancashire
Adult Learning team. At College, we hosted our hugely successful Engineering
Because event at College, attracting schools from across a wider footprint than
ever before to take part in the competition and encourage them to consider a
career in Engineering. Students already studying A Levels or vocational courses
at College were also inspired, with Conference Day and Industry Careers Days
respectively. Career focused sessions were delivered by a mix of business
people, leaders, academics, our much-valued alumni network and our own
fantastic teaching team here at College.
The end of a breathless year, in which so much has been
achieved. Our popular Lancashire Adult Learning Festive Market was held at
Nelson and Colne College, and it is also the time of year to give something
back. LAL has once again taken up a lovely opportunity to become involved in
the Cards for Kindness initiative, which sees greeting cards delivered to
elderly residents in care homes across Lancashire, as a way to try and reduce
With that, I wish you a happy festive period and best wishes
for 2020. Amanda.