This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
We’re in it together
School and college
partnerships are seen
as the way forward for
ensuring consistent and
comprehensive education
provision. We hear from two
college leaders about why
we should work together
Judith Stradling
Deputy principal, City of Bristol College
In 2004, GCSE and A level achievement rates across
Bristol were falling. We needed to improve the number
of qualifications achieved by students in Bristol and its
surrounding areas to ensure that an increasing number If other colleges and partnerships look to form 16 provision. Students have access to specialist teachers and they become more focused in all aspects of their
of young people were equipped with skills relevant similar partnerships, we can see these benefits roll out and resources not available in schools, and as a result learning, and often develop a maturity that will allow for
to employers and the expanding sectors of the local at a national level. Our mission is “Achieving Potential often achieve better results in the college environment. progression to post 16 courses. Encouragement through
economy, such as the creative industries and life and and Creative Prosperity” and we feel our work with Schools also benefit with respect to their contextual regular positive feedback has also helped motivate
biosciences. schools is helping us to meet this challenge. value-added scores – if the college is able to provide students and improve their success rates.
City of Bristol College formed a partnership with six successful results, the outcomes are counted within Our partnership with Stamford’s local secondary
schools in the surrounding Gloucestershire area with an
Ian Collis
the school’s profile. The college also benefits as the schools and education institutions has helped to
aim to raise the levels of qualifications achieved, Manager of the Junior Academy at New College majority of young learners on our 14 to 16 courses view enhance the learning experience for the 14 to 16-year-
and encourage progression into post-16 training and Stamford in Lincolnshire. The academy offers 14 new College Stamford as the “natural progression” at olds. The benefits of the partnership have been apparent
education. to 16-year-olds from partner secondaries in the 16. Around 70 per cent of students progress to post-16 across the learning spectrum, resulting in improved
The Kingswood Partnership originally focused on area the chance to gain qualifications that might courses at the college. behaviour and motivation and an increase in the overall
providing A level resources to secondary school pupils, not be available within their schools. The capacity to re-engage is a key benefit for the progression rates into further education. SecEd
but since 2004 we have pioneered the development of learners themselves, immersing pupils in a very different
vocational pathways for 14 to 19-year-olds. The final years of secondary education can be a teaching and learning culture which offers young
Further information
The college has been a key driver in the new 14 to challenging time for young learners, and it is important le
12399_UNIS SYC 136.5X188_NW_B 16/10/07 09:58 Page 1
arners a “fresh start” with learning. When successful,
19 curriculum, including the new Diplomas, to give to identify why some children have difficulties during the learners’ attendance and attitudes at school improve
students the skills and knowledge they need to progress this time at school.
into higher education and employment. new College Stamford established an extensive
The partnership already delivers the Diplomas in network linking the college with 25 schools across five
construction, creative and media, engineering, IT, and local authorities, three 14 to 19 partnerships and three
society, health and development. And from September, additional further education colleges in order to re-
hair and beauty studies, manufacturing and product engage young learners who may, for whatever reason,
design, hospitality, public services, and environment have become disaffected by their school experience,
and land based studies will follow. and to provide as much support as possible to children
Courses are delivered to learners across the in the Stamford area.
Kingswood area at most of the main college sites. Our Our main aim is to ensure that young people in
staff works closely with teachers at local secondary Stamford enrol on the courses that best meet their needs
schools to develop a curriculum which offers maximum and aspirations in order to encourage an increase in
benefit and engages with pupils. progression rates onto post-16 courses. We looked at
In addition, the development of a partnership the best way to maximise an interest in learning among
“extranet” has been innovative in the field of e- 14 to 19-year-olds and developed a partnership with
learning, linking all members through one online space, schools and local education institutions in accordance
providing a unique shared learning resource. We have with this.
one of the City of Bristol College’s IT staff dedicated to We were awarded the AQA Award for College and
the partnership one day a week to support the extranet’s School Partnerships for our work with local education
development. institutions at this year’s AoC Beacon Awards which
Progress has been good, with a 79 per cent has helped to highlight the work that we have done and
Size and strength are often useful.
achievement rate in 2006/07, and the college’s work provided the blueprint for other schools and colleges
with the partnership saw it named winner of the 2009 across the country.
AoC Beacon Awards Learning and Skills Council By building upon the government’s initiative to give
Award for 14 to 19 collaboration. students the opportunity to study vocational courses
A very high percentage of the pupils on these not available in school, we established a partnership
programmes have also progressed on to further working across four counties which delivers a range
education or into Apprenticeships. These are often of vocational courses both in college and on school
young people who might otherwise have been expected premises. There are now over 500 14 to 16-year-olds
to leave with few GCSEs and so this has significantly learning at new College Stamford.
improved the achievement and progression rates in the For example, the College has set up hair and beauty
Bristol area. salons in schools in Spalding and Holbeach, which
Since the start of the partnership, we have entered allow students to study close to home rather than travel
into another three partnership programmes, joining 20 miles to Stamford. Through the growth of this, 14 to
forces with a further 27 schools, education institutes, 16 provision and closer ties with the schools involved,
and special needs schools across Bristol and the we are now in a very strong position to support the
surrounding areas to provide support on a number of new Diploma qualifications and in 2009, we will be a
qualifications and services. delivery partner in nine of the 10 available Diplomas.
Admittedly, the infrastructure involved to support In addition, a part-funded initiative called Young
the operation of such extensive college and school Apprenticeships was created for students wishing So is friendly and approachable.
partnerships is significant, and it would be more to follow the Apprenticeship route. Courses involve
difficult for smaller colleges to support this kind of taking part in 50 days of work experience over a two-
offering. year period, and so far have achieved a 100 per cent
However, college support can still be offered at a success rate.
lesser level, where the benefits of offering vocational For year 10 and 11 students not currently in school,
courses linked to local colleges have been seen we established “The Alternative Curriculum”. These
to have a positive impact on the success rates of include those excluded or at risk of exclusion, school
pupils less responsive to more traditional curriculum “refusers”, or home-educated pupils. Students study
approaches.Sharing school and college staff and a mix of GCSEs and vocational courses and receive
resources can be used at a lesser scale for smaller intensive support to raise self-esteem and improve
institutions. behaviour. UNISON has over 1.3 million members and is the largest union for school
The Kingswood Partnership and the Bristol Progression onto mainstream courses post-16 is and early years staff. And when we talk we need people to listen. But
partnerships have contributed to improving the around 90 per cent and this has significantly helped to when we’re helping or advising individual members,we prefer the more
number of qualifications achieved in Bristol and the reduce the numbers of those not in training, education
friendly one-to-one how-can-I-help-you approach.
surrounding region, and broadening the curriculum has or employment in Stamford.
Tobecome a member and get the backing of many or the support of one,
seen a significant increase in achievement rates in the There are significant benefits to students, partner
Kingswood area. schools, and the college in expanding the range of 14 to
call 0845 355 0845 or visit UNISON – All for one.
SecEd • May 21 2009 15
Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20
Produced with Yudu -