Bradford College is celebrating after being named as an Association of Colleges Beacon Award winner. The Awards, which this year celebrate 16 years of rewarding outstanding teaching and learning in further education Colleges, were announced at a ceremony hosted by comedienne and author Shappi Khorsandi at the AoC’s Annual Conference in Birmingham on November 17.
Bradford College won the OCR Award for Functional Skills for its innovative approach to developing and embedding these core skills in the curriculum alongside the introduction of the Foundation Learning Diploma. The Award recognises best practice in the delivery of Functional Skills in English, Mathematics and IT.
The College has worked with a consortium of schools on the development of Functional Skills as part of the Creative and Media Diploma and also focused on staff training and development. The students clearly benefit from this approach to embedding these skills across the curriculum. The AoC Beacon Award assessors commented on the students’ enthusiasm and their enjoyment of the Diploma and Functional Skills programme.
The UK-wide Beacon Awards provide national recognition for excellence and innovation as well as acknowledging the talents of staff at all levels. They highlight the breadth and quality of education in the College sector.
Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Patricia Morgan-Webb said: “Beacon winners blaze a trail in finding new ways of doing things; they contribute to social justice and are instrumental in local economic and social re-generation, essential during these turbulent times. Whilst the winners this year are located all across the UK, what they all share are the key traits of innovation, creativity, responsiveness and a collaborative approach. I am delighted on behalf of the AoC Charitable Trust to reward the contribution that these Colleges make; they are the pillars of our communities.”
Michele Sutton, OBE, Bradford College Principal and Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that this is the second year running that Bradford College has won an AoC Beacon Award. This award is a testimony to the team in the College that has led the development of Functional Skills for students over the age of 16 across the City's schools and colleges. I am very proud of our staff and students who convinced the assessors that we were the best in the country in this area of work.”
Eddie Brittain, AoC Beacon Awards Lead Assessor said: “Having seen the Awards programme expand in the past 16 years, I am heartened, not only by the number of nominations and the engagement of the sector, but also by the degree of excellence that my fellow assessors and I witnessed when we spent time in these centres of learning. By presenting these Awards, the AoC showcases best practice, innovative development and continuous improvement, creating beacons that other Colleges can look to for help, inspiration and encouragement.”
Bradford College will host a local celebration event in the New Year and will be presented with their Award by the Rt. Hon. Kevin Brennan MP, Minister of State for Further Education, at a national presentation ceremony due to be held at Westminster in February 2010.