Our News

28 September 2012

Cardiff and Vale College shortlisted for prestigious Beacon Award

Cardiff and Vale College has made it on to the shortlist for a prestigious Beacon Award for its innovative and inclusive approach to 14-19-year-olds.

The Association of College’s (AoC) AQA Beacon Award for College/School Partnerships is open to all further education colleges (FE) in the UK who have forged successful and sustainable partnerships with local schools.

The College has spent the last eight years developing and improving specific programmes for pre-16 learners. Working with schools, councils and training providers across the region under the Welsh Government’s Learning Pathways agenda, the number of pupils on vocational courses has rocketed from 150 to more than 700. Partnerships have grown since the College was last nominated for its Learning Pathways work in 2011 and opportunities for new collaborators continue to develop.

The College’s Pathways courses allow school pupils to choose vocational courses with strong progression routes to work and study. A range of college and school based courses are on offer, for example in Engineering, Hospitality, Construction and Hair & Beauty, that give pupils the benefit of specialist teaching at College and continuity within school.

This year sees Pathways move in to the College’s newest site, Dumballs Road 2 in Cardiff Bay. Just up the road from the College’s Cardiff Construction Training Centre, Dumballs Road 2 offers courses in construction and engineering. The College’s Fast Forward and Entry to Vocational Studies courses also offer training opportunities for young people Neither in Education, Employment or Training (NEETs) that start at various times throughout the academic year.

“We aim to integrate the learners into College life, and the vocational pathways on offer link with the College FE curriculum so that learners can progress to full or part time study or related employment,” College 14-19 Co-ordinator Stacey Long said. “We are the largest and most awarded 14-19 provider in the sector.”

A team of two AoC judges will visit the College’s Colcot Road site in Barry shortly to assess provision for 14 to 19-year-olds. They will meet strategic stakeholders and head teachers from local schools.

Beacon Award winners are set to be announced in later this year.