Natspec Network: November Highlights

A monthly roundup of stories from the specialist sector

Natspec Network: November Highlights

It’s been an incredibly busy November at Natspec. We co-ordinated the Inclusive Skills Competitions alongside World Skills UK Live, which showcased the talents and skills of young people with SEND alongside their peers from mainstream education. In addition to this, many Natspec colleges have run exciting campaigns, formed new partnerships and positively spotlighted talent in their own organisations. Here’s a contents list of the news items:

  1. Natspec Inclusive Skills Competitions with World Skills UK Live
  2. Five Natspec members are shortlisted for TES FE Specialist Provider of the Year Award 2019.
  3. QAC form a partnership with a local employer for supported internship project and receives a visit from Invictus Games medallist Kelly Ganfield
  4. Derwen college awarded Gold standard from Fair Train in recognition of their employment, supported internship and workforce services.
  5. Orpheus Centre launches new social enterprise: Thessaly Theatre which delivers disability awareness workshops.
  6. National Star secures UK Government contract to deliver training in India and also receive local publicity from the BBC on art student winning a national award.
  7. Natspec Annual Conference | Exhibitor and Sponsorship packages

 


Natspec Inclusive Skills Competitions with World Skills UK Live

On Saturday 17 November, 52 competitors with SEND participated in the final Inclusive Skills Competitions with World Skills UK Live at the NEC. The event showcased competitors demonstrating their talents in 9 different skills and 1 demonstration. The competitors’ skills were recognised during a medal ceremony at the end of the day, where they were awarded medals and certificates for the quality of their work and participation. The Inclusive Skills competitions will be co-ordinated by the World Skills UK Live team next year, succeeding Natspec as the primary organiser.

Read the rest here.

 


Five Natspec colleges are shortlisted for TES FE Specialist Provider of the Year Award 2019

TES FE awards specialist provider of the year category shortlist stamp

We’re pleased to announce that five Natspec members (Derwen College, Foxes Academy, Queen Alexandra College, Coleg Elidyr and National Star College) have all been shortlisted for the 2019 TES FE Awards for the Specialist Provider of the Year category. This is a phenomenal recognition of the organisations’ excellent learning services and outcomes for young people with SEND.

Tes FE editor Stephen Exley said: “Excellent practice exists right across the further education sector, and those shortlisted for the Tes FE Awards are the cream of the crop. Our judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of entries. We had more entries for this year’s categories than ever before, and the standard was higher than ever. To be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement.”

The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 22 March 2019. It promises to be a spectacular event with more than 800 guests expected to attend, including government ministers and other dignitaries from the education sector.

To see the full list of who is in the running for all the categories please visit www.tesfeawards.co.uk.

 


QAC form a partnership with a local employer for supported internship project and receives a visit from Invictus Games medallist Kelly Ganfield

group of learners from QAC standing together for a picture

QAC student George helps local retailer boost online salesIn addition to being shortlisted for the 2019 TES FE awards, QAC has formed a partnership with local employer Thrift House Interiors to offer work experience placement to George, a level 3 IT student who helped the firm with their e-commerce activities. He assisted the business with updating their website with new products and inputting his ideas into the seasonal Christmas decorations. This was a great opportunity for George to boost his confidence, independence and practical IT skills while helping Thrift House Interiors to grow their sales at an integral time of the year.

 

QAC welcomed The Invictus Games Foundation Team UK athlete Kelly Ganfield to the College to meet with students and staff.

Kelly was joined by QAC Patron Mikail Huggins who works with her as a guide runner and coach.

Kelly is an inspirational young woman who lost her sight whilst working in the army and now works closely with Help for Heroes and Blind Veterans. She and Mikail have recently returned from Sydney, Australia where they competed in this year’s Invictus Games, coming home with a silver medal!

Kelly shared some inspiring and personal stories about her life, the difficult times she has faced, and the role sport has played in it. Mikail also shared insight into his experience of working with people with vision impairment and what he has learned about himself along the way. Students from different programme areas listened, engaged and asked some great questions.

Learn about health and fitness in SEND FE here.

 


Derwen college awarded Gold standard from Fair Train in recognition of their employment, supported internship and workforce services

3 learners doing work placement at the premier inn derwen placement

Derwen College has also received a top Gold standard award in recognition of its work experience opportunities and vocational programmes for young people. The college received a Gold certificate and trophy from Fair Train – an organisation which champions high-quality work-based learning in the UK.

Derwen College provides vocational learning and work experience for 16-25-year old students with learning difficulties and disabilities. The college offers internal work experience on site in commercial areas which are open to the public including the Orangery Restaurant, Karten Print Shop, Garden Centre and Garden Café. Derwen College has also built strong external links with local and national businesses, offering valuable work experience.

Derwen College’s Work Experience and Transition Team are pleased to have received the nationally respected Work Experience Quality Standard at the highest Gold level for the third consecutive time.

Abi Baker, Work Experience Co-ordinator, said she was delighted that the hard work of staff and students at Derwen College had been recognised for a third time.

“We are really pleased to have received the Fair Train gold quality standard award which shows we are achieving Fair Train’s exacting standards of practice at the highest Gold level.”

Read more about providing supported internships in your FE organisation here.

 


Orpheus Centre launches new social enterprise: Thessaly Theatre which delivers disability awareness workshops.

Thessaly Theatre is a new social enterprise group made up of Orpheus alumni that delivers disability awareness workshops.

Thessaly Theatre uses interactive theatre and live performance to deliver disability awareness in a new and unique way. It also gives your colleagues, pupils or clients the opportunity to ask questions or have conversations they maybe wouldn’t have in day to day life. This initiative is about celebrating ability, alongside talking about disability. Find out more about Thessaly Theatre and how you can get involved here.

If you’d like to arrange a disability awareness workshop or like to find out more, please contact Rachel (Thessaly Theatre director) at RachelPeck@orpheus.org.uk or Jack (corporate partnerships) at JackBetteridge@orpheus.org.uk.

 


National Star secures UK Government contract to deliver training in India and also receive local publicity from the BBC on student receiving national art award.

National Star has secured a contract with UK Government Department for International Development to deliver disability awareness training for trainers and master trainers in New Delhi and Hyderabad.

National star delivering workshop training in India

The college is delivering training on 26 November to 7 December and then again in March 2019.

As part of the training, Star will also be delivering sessions on assistive technology to Non-Government Organisations in India.

Training in March 2019 will extend the range of training delivered by including health and care training to caregivers.

Roundtable discussion at the national star workshop in india

Supporting Inclusive Practice is four days of disability training for vocational trainers working in retail, administration, IT, hospitality and dressmaking in Hyderabad in India. This is a pilot project funded by the UK Government and DFID with Skill India and the Skills Council of People with Disabilities. Read more about this project here.

In other good news from National Star, art student Michael Baiilon was featured by BBC Gloucestershire for his impressive skillset after winning a national art award. Watch the video on the BBC’s Facebook page for the full story here.

Michael Baiilon
Staff and Student photography, The National Star, Gloucestershire, UK.

Natspec Annual Conference | Exhibitor and Sponsorship packages

In anticipation of the Natspec annual conference, we have a range of sponsorship and headline packages available for organisations to get in front of key stakeholders in specialist and general Further Education.

Contact info@natspec.org.uk to get more information and book your package – now limited.