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'Keeping students warm' reaps rewards at New College Nottingham

New College Nottingham (ncn) is celebrating after receiving an Association of Colleges’ Beacon Award at a presentation ceremony in Westminster, London, for its ‘Keeping Warm’ initiative which improves student retention.

ncn was presented with the Learning and Skills Improvement Service Award for the Leadership of Innovation in Curriculum Development by Kevin Brennan MP, Minister of State for Further Education. The Award recognises the role of leadership in curriculum development activities.

The College has won the Award for the development of its ‘Keeping Warm’ initiative which reduces the number of students who change their mind about accepting a place at College between the course offer and actual enrolment. ncn runs a two-day pre-enrolment programme which aims to make the transition from school to College more effective for young people by increasing their confidence and self-esteem.

The programme involves team working tasks such as designing a construction project, opening a nail bar or launching a local business, which allow participants to gain a qualification in enterprise. Existing students act as ‘buddies’, or mentors. The scheme has led to improved recruitment, retention and progression of students.

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.”

ncn Principal, Geoff Hall, said: “Keeping Warm is an original and personalised programme that pays dividends both to our learners and staff. I am proud and delighted that the innovation and commitment of our staff has been recognised and rewarded by this prestigious award. "

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.”


Photo attached: Natalie Lafond, ncn Buddy; Kieron Parry, ncn Buddy, and Kevin Brennan MP, Minister of State for FE

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