12 February 2016

emfec member colleges from across the East Midlands have been shortlisted in a range of categories for this year’s TES FE Awards.

The prestigious awards, in association with the Education and Training Foundation, celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who significantly contribute to improving the learning experience for their students.

emfec members Lincoln College, Loughborough College, New College Nottingham, Central College Nottingham and Leicester College have all been shortlisted in categories ranging from apprenticeship programme of the year to FE leader of the year.

Both Loughborough College and Lincoln College have been shortlisted for outstanding use of technology for improving teaching and learning, and will find out who among the eight shortlisted has won this topical award at a gala dinner in April.

Lincoln College is one of 11 colleges in the East Midlands who have been supported by emfec and the Education and Training Foundation over the past year to take part in the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment project.

This provider-led project has given Lincoln College the opportunity to identify information and learning technology skills among teaching staff and to look at ways to improve confidence and use of these skills both in and out of the classroom.

Meanwhile Loughborough College has been nominated for the second year in a row in this category for their new digital innovation, Your Passport.

Developed by the college’s in-house e-learning team, this bespoke online programme offers relevant and real-life content to students, giving them the skills and awareness to operate safely in a digital world.

Also celebrating their shortlisted nomination today is Leicester College, whose extensive apprenticeship programme has been shortlisted in the category for apprenticeship programme of the year.

The college has a team of apprenticeship experts and an independent careers advice team to support students to find the right apprenticeship programme. The college also hosts a regular Apprenticeship Careers Fair for would-be apprentices to directly meet employers to find out about their businesses and apprenticeship positions.

In the contribution to the local community category, Central College Nottingham has been nominated for their adult education team’s work with the Recovery College, part of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The team has been working with the Recovery College since 2006, offering a wide range of recovery focused courses aimed at supporting people to deal with mental health challenges and to achieve the things they want in life. The programme’s success is demonstrated by the 100% student success rate – above the national average of 94% this year.

Central College Principal Malcolm Cowgill said:

“I’m extremely proud that our outstanding work with the Recovery College is being recognised for a national award. A big congratulations to all the students and staff who participate in the programme which again emphasises the vital role Central College plays in helping to transform people’s lives.”

Malcolm is certainly not the only Principal to be celebrating his college’s nomination, as Principal and CEO of New College Nottingham, Dawn Whitemore, has received an individual nomination for FE leader of the year.

When Dawn became Principal in August 2014, the college faced a budget deficit of £3 million and had already been graded twice by Ofsted as “requires improvement”.

Pre-empting the Skills Funding Agency’s notice of concern, Dawn invited the FE Commissioner to visit New College Nottingham in February 2015, by which time the college’s recovery plan was well underway.

Following a surplus of more than half a million pounds in the 2014/15 academic year, New College Nottingham are now on track to achieve a planned surplus this year of £1 million and started this year with a Grade 2 “good” inspection from Ofsted.

Over the past year, the college has also successfully built its new £27 million Basford Hall campus, delivered on time, on plan and on budget, and has increased student success rates across the board to place NCN above the national average.

To find out more about the challenges the college has overcome under Dawn’s leadership, read her FE Expert piece here.

The winners of the TES FE 2016 Awards will be revealed at a gala awards ceremony at The Grosvenor Hotel in London on Friday 22 April. To view the full shortlisting, please visit the TES FE website.