Bradford College is celebrating after receiving an Association of Colleges’ Beacon Award at a presentation ceremony held in Westminster, London, on the 10th February, for its innovative approach to developing and embedding Functional Skills in the curriculum alongside the introduction of the Foundation Learning Diploma.
Bradford College was presented with the OCR Award for Functional Skills by Kevin Brennan MP, Minister of State for Further Education. 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 has 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.
Further Education Minister Kevin Brennan said: “The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the greatest successes of the Further Education sector in responding to the needs of students, local businesses and the communities they serve. Colleges are vital to giving people the skills and qualifications they need and play an important role in creating partnerships with employers. It is right that these institutions are recognised for their hard work.”
Michele Sutton, 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.”
OCR, the Award sponsor, said it was delighted to have sponsored and supported assessment of the Award for Functional Skills again this year.
John Plunkett, Stakeholder Relations Manager at OCR, commented: “Bradford College demonstrated its use of embedded learning and the range of the College curriculum to provide good progression opportunities for a diverse student population. We viewed the commitment, enthusiasm, strong leadership and capability of the teaching team dedicated to Functional Skills development as a key strength.
“On the day OCR visited the College an obvious rapport was present between students and staff, who are experienced and respected tutors. The students were extremely articulate and positive about what they did at the College and about the value of learning about Functional Skills that they can use in their work and life situations.”
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, which is 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.”