Natspec Network: July Highlights

A monthly roundup of July’s FE stories

Natspec Network: July Highlights

26th July 2018

We’d like to end the term and start the summer break with our last Natspec Network until term resumes in September. We’re pleased to be ending the academic year on a high and have several great news stories collected from the sector and Natspec colleges.

In today’s article, you’ll find:

  • Natspec Student Stories | Leaver Success and Accomplishments
  • Ofsted Reports | Foxes Academy and Heart of Birmingham Vocational College
  • Ruskin Mill Trust | Run of the mill magazine
  • Recode London | Orchard Hill College
  • Events

Natspec Student Stories and Accomplishments

In our latest Natspec News email, we highlighted several student accomplishments from Natspec colleges over the last year. We’re pleased to hear about the significant milestones and achievements learners are making throughout their time at Natspec colleges and the impact it’s having on their lives post-FE.

We’ve spotlighted learners in our student success stories section and encourage all to celebrate these fantastic accomplishments.

Ofsted Reports | Foxes Academy and Heart of Birmingham Vocational College

Students with SEND in an art lesson at Heart of Birmingham Vocational College
Students in an art lesson

We’re pleased to hear that Heart of Birmingham Vocational College has received a ‘Good’ from Ofsted. The news comes as a great close to the academic year and shines a light on the hard work that Heart of Birmingham Vocational College employees, tutors, support workers and more have put in to create excellent outcomes for learners.

Students from Foxes Academy
Foxes academy have had a fantastic year!

In addition, Foxes Academy has ended the term on several highs as they achieve a third consecutive ‘outstanding’ grade in all areas of college life from Ofsted. They are also 2018 winners of the TES Overall FE provider of the year and Specialist provider of the Year awards, spotlighting the incredible work that staff, employers, learners have made to the college. Read more.

Congratulations to both Heart of Birmingham Vocational College and Foxes Academy!

Ruskin Mill Trust | Run of the Mill Magazine

Ruskin Mill Trust has announced the launch of their latest project: Run of the Mill Magazine. The idea was created and named by students from Ruskin Mill Trust colleges and will encompass extraordinary stories that showcase student’s journeys through college and life.

Run of the Mill Magazine by Ruskin Mill Trust

The magazine will feature stories that spotlight the remarkable in the seemingly ordinary and highlights accomplishments in a memorable way.

Read more.

Recode London | Orchard Hill College

Orchard Hill College students
Students from Orchard Hill College

Students from Orchard Hill College took part in Recode London at The Workshop in Lambeth. The initiative is run by the Mayor of London, the LEGO® Group and Institute of Imagination.

Students rose to the challenge set by Recode London to build eco-friendly vehicles to tackle the capital’s air pollution. They put their coding and building skills into practice and created a range of vehicles out of Lego and that were activated via ipads. Students then got to parade their pollution busting automobiles along a specially designed street built entirely out of Lego.

This is the first time that students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have taken part in the sessions and The Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder said: “Recode London is a wonderful way for young Londoners to put their imaginations to the test, have fun and solve some of the capital’s problems through coding. All students deserve the opportunity to develop these skills, and we had some great ideas coming out of the session which were then translated into coded Lego constructions – excellent work all round!”

David Pallash from Lego Education was in attendance and students were excited to show him how well their designs had come together and how fast their vehicles could go!

John Prior, Executive Head at Orchard Hill College and Academy Trust, commented: “What an incredible initiative. Students were really engaged and have come up with some very creative designs. I have also been very impressed by their coding skills, we have seen everything from voice-activated cars to vehicles with touch sensors. Great teamwork from all involved.”


Post-16 specialist education: essential information for new providers

Have you recently opened a new education provision for post-16 or post-19 students with SEND? Or are you thinking of opening a new specialist post-16 institution, funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency?

Entering the FE sector is not straightforward: attend this event to find out common pitfalls and hear what others have learnt about an effective transition, curriculum planning, costings, staffing, reporting, contracts, partnerships and more

“I never realised how much I didn’t know about specialist FE provision – I’ve learnt so much” – Sarah Jones, Willow Tree Centre

“Becoming a college changed our whole perspective and culture.” – Therese Timberlake, ROC College; Part of United Response, Devon

26 September | Manchester | Book here 

29 November | London | Book here.

TechAbility conference 2018

TechAbility presents a conference for all who wish to improve and expand Assistive Technology provision for their learners. This one-day conference is focussed on increasing skills and knowledge in assessment and AT practice across the FE sector.  Designed to enable leaders, managers and practitioners to choose the right solutions for learners, helping them to access the curriculum or workplace to deliver positive education and training outcomes.

16 October | Birmingham | Learn more and book your place