Cardiff and Vale College’s Support for learners crowned the best in the UK at the Tes FE Awards

7 Jun 2021

Cardiff and Vale College has been awarded the top prize at the TES FE Awards 2021 for the support it provides to its learners.

Celebrating the best of the best in FE across the UK, the awards saw CAVC shortlisted in five categories – FE College of the Year, Best teaching and learning initiative, WorldSkills Hero, Employer engagement and Support for learners.

Hailed for ‘pulling out all the stops to protect and look after their learners’ wellbeing’, CAVC’s robust strategy to create an excellent understanding of current issues and to provide essential check-ins with learners who were unsafe in their homes during lockdown are just two examples of what saw CAVC win the coveted prize in the Support for learners category.

Lead judge for the TES FE Awards, Vicky Duckworth, said: “The submissions were outstanding, and I was very impressed and moved by such dedication to supporting learners in and out of the classroom.

“Cardiff and Vale College showed a real commitment to supporting learners and listening to the voices of their learners and their community.”

The Wellbeing and Safeguarding team at CAVC includes a range of roles designed to best support learners’ mental health, emotional wellbeing and to keep them safe. Working closely with counsellors, colleagues across the college and external organisations to provide timely and effective support, CAVC uses a ‘triple lock’ system to ensure effective identification, intervention and monitoring of wellbeing and safeguarding concerns, and to put in place effective strategies to help its learners.

This includes the creation of on-campus hubs to provide a safe space for learners during periods of campus closures; a partnership with Here We Flo to ensure learners are still provided with free sanitary products delivered straight to their homes; and Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence training to raise awareness to staff and help them identify possible issues and provide any necessary support.

Cardiff and Vale College Principal, Kay Martin, said: “As a college the safety and wellbeing of our learners is at the very heart of what we do, and to win this Support for learners award after the year that we have all had really does mean a lot.

“I’m incredibly proud of the way staff across CAVC have stepped up during the pandemic, quickly identifying potential issues and bolstering the already strong strategy in place to implement new initiatives and support systems to ensure we’re doing all we can for our learners.”