Hereward College receives award for its commitment to students from a care background

Hereward College has been awarded the prestigious Buttle UK Quality Mark in recognition of its commitment to young people in and leaving care.
Created by Buttle UK – the largest grant-giving organisation in the country directly supporting children and families living in poverty – the charity awards the Quality Mark to colleges and universities which commit to support a young person who has been in care, to access further and higher education and successfully complete their studies and achieve their ambitions.    
The challenges facing young people leaving care are enormous.  They are one of the most under-represented groups in education in the UK.  Often lacking family support, suffering financial disadvantage and struggling to find somewhere to live, applying for and being accepted for further and higher education is a real achievement.
To receive its Quality Mark Hereward College had to demonstrate that it has a robust strategy in place to ensure that students from a care background can access a package of support – financial, pastoral and educational.
To date, more than half the universities in the UK hold the Buttle UK Quality Mark, together with a rising number of colleges.
Susan Mueller, Buttle UK Quality Mark Manager, says: “We are very pleased with the success of this award and are delighted to extend it to Hereward College.
The college has amply displayed its dedication and initiative to helping young people leaving care to receive an education and have the opportunity to succeed and move on to the next stage of their lives.
“Our Quality Mark is also a clear way for Hereward College to demonstrate its credentials to partners, funders, inspectorates and the wider community – and importantly to the young people from care themselves.”
To find out more about the Buttle UK Quality Mark for Care Leavers visit

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South Staffordshire College’s Armoris Media wins top podcasting work

Armoris provides high quality video and film production servicesArmoris Media, the independent film and media business embedded on South Staffordshire College’s Lichfield Campus, has won the podcast business for a top international consultancy serving the likes of Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook.
The work is proving so successful that the first episode of the podcast went to number one in the iTunes chart in the Management and Marketing category.
Armoris provides high quality video and film production services to a range of businesses from its base on the College campus and offers many of the students a practical grounding in the skills required for their courses, in addition to valuable project experience that employers value.
The business also delivers an ‘in-house’ service to South Staffordshire College with work on major developments such as the recent redevelopment of the Cannock Campus, helping the College to establish itself as one of the UK’s leading exponents of digitally-based learning techniques.
Coincidentally the podcast business also deals with the new technologies, in this case a service which scientifically optimises the profitability of companies’ online trading through what is known as Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
In 2012 the founder of the client business, having been impressed by the quality of an Armoris video, offered a limited project as a test.  The results were so impressive he immediately moved all the business into the organisation.
The work entails setting up podcasts on the client’s website, establishing a presence in the appropriate directories, such as iTunes, Pocket Casts and Double Twist and editing the podcasts to the final content.
Project Manager Eoin Edwards says that business success for Armoris is good news for South Staffordshire College students too.
“Many of the courses run here on the Lichfield Campus use the Armoris set up as a fundamental element of the learning process.  We’re able to give students practical experience not just of the techniques, planning and equipment but also the invaluable lessons in dealing with customers, meeting deadlines and working as part of a team.
Our success on the podcasts shows that we are more than capable of working in a competitive commercial environment.  For a prospective employer that’s a very persuasive element on a CV.”

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Sign up for courses at college enrolment days

People wanting to sign-up for courses at City of Wolverhampton College can do so at dedicated enrolment sessions starting on September 1. 

The college’s sites at Paget Road in Compton, Wellington Road in Bilston, and Metro One in the city centre, will be open from Monday 1 September to Saturday 6 September for people to register for both full and part-time courses starting later in the month.

The college offers over 300 qualifications in a range of subjects including beauty therapy, business and administration, computing and IT, counselling, early years, engineering, hairdressing, health and social care, hospitality and catering, motor vehicle, science, sport and fitness, teaching and education, travel and tourism and uniformed public services.

People can also study for trade qualifications in brickwork, carpentry, electrical, ground works, painting and decorating, and plumbing; creative courses in art and design, journalism, media,music technology and performing arts; and higher education qualifications including HNCs, HNDs and foundation degrees.

Also on offer are A Levels in a range of subjects, apprenticeships which enable people to earn while they learn, courses for people who want to brush up their English and maths skills, a Prince’s Trust programme for unemployed young people and access courses for people who want to move onto higher education but lack formal qualifications. 

Enrolment will be open on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 September, 10am-4pm, Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 September, 10am-8pm, and Friday 5 and Saturday 6 September, 10am-3pm.  
For more details visit or call 01902 836000.

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Adults invited to enrolment and advice event

Local adults who are thinking of returning to education are being invited to an advice and enrolment event at Newcastle-under-Lyme College.

Prospective students are being advised to visit the College’s main campus on Knutton Lane on Thursday August 28th between 2pm and 8pm to talk to expert careers staff and tutors about the options available.

The College is offering a wide range of courses from September at its main campus and offers a 24+ loan to provide financial help for those who are considering returning to study.

From August 2013 anyone studying a Level 3 course or above is entitled to apply for a loan to help cover costs.

The loans are not subject to household income and applicants are not credit checked. Applicants only start to make repayments on the loan if they earn £21,000 per year after gaining employment once the course has been completed.

Carol Thomas, Director of Curriculum and Performance, said: “Returning to education for many adults can seem like a daunting thing to do, especially if they have not enjoyed education the first time around.

“We want to give adults the opportunity to come and informally experience the College, get a feel for our welcoming environment and talk to tutors directly to get more information about courses they are interested in and also so that they can see how welcoming we are.

“The state-of-the-art campus has a wide range of facilities especially designed for adults including a new University Centre and areas to relax in including a Starbucks coffee shop and Transform Hair and Beauty Salon.

“Regardless of your academic level, there is a course for you here at the College and the open event will hopefully help people see that education is for everyone regardless of age.”

Courses are available in areas such as accounting, art and design, hairdressing, beauty and holistic therapies, computing, teaching, first aid, construction, sport and fitness, electrical installation, languages, music, maths, English and management plus many more.

Adults who are already in employment who may want to gain qualifications in their chosen careers can also consider our apprenticeship schemes including subjects such as business, retail, health and social care and warehousing.

The College also runs a highly successful Access to Higher Education course which provides a pathway for adults who wish to study a university-level qualification but don’t have the necessary entry requirements.

Anyone who applies for a 24+ loan is to cover the cost of an Access to Higher Education course and continues onto a degree programme and completes it, will not be required to repay the loan.

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Spanish study trip serves up success for students

A study trip to Spain for hospitality and catering students at City of Wolverhampton College has been hailed as a great success by their tutor. 

Nine students, who studied for Level 3 qualifications in professional cookery and bakery at the college’s Metro One campus in the city centre, spent two weeks gaining work experience in a range of restaurants and bakeries in the Spanish town of Martos in Andalusia. 

Heath Arnfield, curriculum manager for catering and hospitality at the college, said: “The study trip was an outstanding success with nervous teenagers turning into confident chefs and bakers over the two week period.
“The experience and confidence they gained from the trip enhanced the skills they had already learnt on their course and the fact that they can put that they have had international experience on their CVs will certainly impress employers when they are applying for jobs in the future.”

Catering student Sam Cartwright who took part in the trip said: “It was a great experience to be working in a Spanish kitchen with Spanish chefs. My understanding of local cuisine grew with each day. I started very excited and by the end of the program was very proud of my achievement.

“I would definitely recommend this program to future catering students at the college.”

The project was funded by the Leonardo da Vinci programme, part of the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme,which supports UK vocational education and training organisations, staff and learners, to work together with European partners to improve learning, training, skills and employability, as well as widen participants’ experience of other cultures and languages.

Mark Robertson, principal of the college,said: “The Leonardo da Vinci project gives young people a fantastic opportunity to develop both their awareness of the world and their confidence to perform well in different environments and with people from different cultures.

“This is a wonderful project which offers life changing opportunities to many young people and we will continue to develop our close links with the programme as we want to offer as many local people as possible the chance to participate as part of their learning through the college.”

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Molly achieves her dream!

Molly Webb (21) outside her salon, Molly’s Hair & Beauty, on Bearwood Hill Road in Winshill.

Molly Webb (21) outside her salon, Molly’s Hair & Beauty, on Bearwood Hill Road in Winshill.

A former Burton and South Derbyshire College Hairdressing Apprentice is set to achieve her dream by opening her own salon.

Molly Webb (21), who completed an Advanced Apprenticeship in 2013 at Polly Hodge Hair Design, will be launching Molly’s Hair & Beauty in Winshill, Burton on Trent, offering a full range of hairdressing and beauty treatments.

Molly will be celebrating the launch with an open day on Monday 25th August, 10am – 4pm, giving new customers the opportunity to visit the salon and meet the staff. In addition to a champagne reception, visitors to the opening event will also benefit from a 10% discount on all bookings made on the day.

Molly is committed to promoting Apprenticeships and is set to employ her own apprentice in the coming months with Burton and South Derbyshire College.

Molly said: “I’m very excited to be opening my own salon. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so I just decided to go for it!  Studying an Apprenticeship set me up to succeed in the hair and beauty industry as it allowed me to watch and learn from experienced stylists.

“I’m delighted to be taking on an apprentice in my own business. I’m passionate about Apprenticeships and giving people the chance to learn on the job.

“The open day will be a great opportunity for people to come along and see what the salon has to offer. We’re looking forward to meeting everybody on the day!”

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Farmers reunited after Sweden visit

Participants at the Red Lion pub in Market Drayton

Participants at the Red Lion pub in Market Drayton

Thirteen farmers who went out to Sweden under the Lifelong Learning Programme Produce Plus Project organised by the Enterprise and Development Department of  Walford and North Shropshire College (WNSC) in April and May have recently held a reunion, during the reunion the participants were presented with certificates and Europass Mobility Document which outlines their time learning in Sweden.

The farmers visit to Sweden lasted a fortnight, during the visit, the participants visited many businesses, including: the largest sugar producer in Europe; an arable farm; an organic egg producer; a small scale biogas producer; an organic dairy; a brewery producing beer and cider and a producer of apple juice. The participants spent time with Swedish producers learning how to add value to their products, transferable techniques and potential diversification opportunities ensuring the future of farming in Europe.

One of the participants, Helen Vernon, a local dairy farmer, said ‘it has given me a broader outlook with regards to the future and farming at home.’ The Lifelong Learning Programme at WNSC has secured funding for two more visits, one to Italy and one to Sweden.

For more information on the Lifelong Learning Programme, please contact Enterprise and Development Assistant Manager Liz Wilcox on 01939 262154 or by email at For more information on courses at WNSC, please contact Admissions on 01691 688080 or visit

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