Trafford College Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Trafford College Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Trafford College Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

stockport.ac.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
44 | VAN MILDERT COLLEGE
college’s Feather Theatre Company.
Collaboration between staff and
students is vital to ensuring the success
of college life. Staff see themselves
as facilitators to ensure students can
realise their aims, which might include
setting up a new society, putting on
an event or developing a long-term
project. It is the role of staff to ensure
that students have genuine leadership
opportunities from which vital skills
can be gained and reflected upon.
New “Dimensions” in student
development
Dimensions brings together some of
our most illustrious alumnae together
with friends and supporters of the
college to present a series of clinics,
lectures and workshops across three
broad themes: Engage and Inspire,
Find your Future and Wellbeing and
Community. These themes reflect
and align with our aim of promoting
intellectual curiosity, a sense of
belonging and responsibility and
building personal effectiveness within
the student community.
There is also a more scholarly aspect
to college provided by lectures
from visiting academics, talks and
discussions in the SCR and by our
College Fellows. These provide
opportunities for interdisciplinary
discussion and debate with students
and staffatallstagesoftheir careers.
Thereare also spaces for student
presentations within a supportive yet
intellectually challenging community.
All of these activities along with
those included within the Dimensions
programme also contribute to the closely
aligned and very recently launched
Durham Inspired Award through which
students can gain valuable recognition
for their extracurricular activities and
the many contributions made to
college life at Van Mildert.
Completing the circle
The Van Mildert community is, we
hope, a community for life. Every
encouragement is afforded to students
to join the Van Mildert Association:
the alumni association of Van Mildert
College. There are some 11,000
alumnae dispersed worldwide and it is
a unique network of Mildertians willing
to help with mentoring, through the
college’s platform, The Mildert Link.
Our large but intimate college
community is inclusive, innovative and
supportive, rich in diversity, energy and
opportunity. Its community is based
on a strong ethos, derived from the
words of the Roman poet Virgil,
sic vos
non vobis
.
In our view, the community
is a resilient and sustainable one,
providing a transformative experience
for ourstudents.
The Van
Mildert
community is,
we hope, a
community
forlife
Students receive their degrees from
Chancellor Sir Thomas Allen
During an intensive induction week, arriving
students are introduced to the college
45TRAFFORD COLLEGE GROUP |
EDUCATION SERVICES
Stockport College Campus
Principal James Scott
College students celebrate
WorldSkills UK finalists
Unlocking potential, fostering success” was the motto of
Stockport College, reflecting its attempt to significantly
improve the quality of education and life chances of its
students. It also mirrors the college’s journey so far, namely
its partnership with Trafford College, which led it to form
the Trafford College Group in April 2018. The college faces
challenges on a wide scale, with a disproportionate number of
students experiencing special educational needs and deprivation
as well as other barriers to education. Principal and Chief
Executive Lesley Davies OBE and Stockport College Campus
Principal James Scott tell
The Parliamentary Review
that a focus
on mental health and wellbeing is helping to ensure that the
community of Stockport has the college itdeserves.
The context of a college and its wider community is unique. At Stockport College,
around half of our students join without having achieved a grade 4 or above in
both maths and English, compared to around a third in general further education
colleges nationally, and a quarter at Trafford College. More than half come from
disadvantaged postcode areas and demonstrate high levels of deprivation.
Further to this, almost one in three young people at the college have a special
educational need or disability, there are more than one in ten with an education,
health and care plan and more than one in ten students declare a mental health
need at enrolment. The volume of need in this area is much higher, however, as
many students do not declare this at the outset, presenting issues later in the year.
FACTS ABOUT
TRAFFORD COLLEGE GROUP
»Principal and Chief Executive:
Lesley Davies OBE
»Stockport College Campus
Principal: James Scott
»Founded in 2018
»Located in Trafford, Greater
Manchester
»Services: Further education
»No. of employees: 600
Trafford College Group
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | TRAFFORD COLLEGE GROUP
Offering more than a specific
qualification
Given the student context, a major aim
of our project has been to identify and
address the barriers to learning that
have prevented some students from
successfully participating in education.
Given the high levels of disadvantage,
addressing hygiene factors is essential
to enabling students to reach their
potential. This is not easy when many
students are grappling with the stark
impact of austerity, the complexity
of daily life, and, in some cases, the
absence of hope for the future. Our
belief is that curriculum encompasses
more than just a specific qualification,
and the effective integration of
pastoral and learning support
intervention is an essential component
of the educational experience,
enabling students to overcome
significantbarriers.
Aside from addressing these barriers
to participation, our curriculum now
provides the opportunity for clear
aspirations and an education that
equips students to better cope with life
in general. Careers education is a vital
component of the curriculum rather
than simply an add-on, providing a
sense of purpose, direction and hope
alongside a clear link from a course
of study into the many progression
options. Equally, our belief is that
the role of a curriculum extends
further than preparing students for
employment and should provide
tools and strategies to cope with the
challenges and complexities of life.
A curriculum that
incorporates mental health
and wellbeing
Mental health and emotional wellbeing
need to be fully integrated within
the curriculum to provide all students
with better mechanisms to deal with
what life throws at them, including
the development of self-efficacy. The
narrowing of the curriculum in recent
times is a big concern, and our offer
has started to include a broader and
enriched education that provides
students with opportunities to access
cultural experiences, the arts and
physical activities.
A curriculum also needs to be much
more flexible and tailored, responding
to existing students who are at risk of
disengaging with education as well as
those who are not currently engaged
at all. Furthermore, we identified a
need for more effective interventions
with students before they start at
college, where there is an identified
need, risk or vulnerability that may
prevent that individual from effectively
participating in education.
Since reviewing what we deliver, we
have also considered
how
we deliver.
First and foremost, this involves a
values-based approach that sets
standards high, raises aspirations and
enables students to cultivate the skills,
attitudes and behaviours necessary for
success in life and work. Moreover,
Joely McGahey (left)
won silver and Stephanie
Kelly (right) won gold in
nail technology at the
WorldSkills UK finals
Around half of
our students
join without
having
achieved a
grade 4 or
above in both
maths and
English
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | TRAFFORD COLLEGE GROUP
Offering more than a specific
qualification
Given the student context, a major aim
of our project has been to identify and
address the barriers to learning that
have prevented some students from
successfully participating in education.
Given the high levels of disadvantage,
addressing hygiene factors is essential
to enabling students to reach their
potential. This is not easy when many
students are grappling with the stark
impact of austerity, the complexity
of daily life, and, in some cases, the
absence of hope for the future. Our
belief is that curriculum encompasses
more than just a specific qualification,
and the effective integration of
pastoral and learning support
intervention is an essential component
of the educational experience,
enabling students to overcome
significantbarriers.
Aside from addressing these barriers
to participation, our curriculum now
provides the opportunity for clear
aspirations and an education that
equips students to better cope with life
in general. Careers education is a vital
component of the curriculum rather
than simply an add-on, providing a
sense of purpose, direction and hope
alongside a clear link from a course
of study into the many progression
options. Equally, our belief is that
the role of a curriculum extends
further than preparing students for
employment and should provide
tools and strategies to cope with the
challenges and complexities of life.
A curriculum that
incorporates mental health
and wellbeing
Mental health and emotional wellbeing
need to be fully integrated within
the curriculum to provide all students
with better mechanisms to deal with
what life throws at them, including
the development of self-efficacy. The
narrowing of the curriculum in recent
times is a big concern, and our offer
has started to include a broader and
enriched education that provides
students with opportunities to access
cultural experiences, the arts and
physical activities.
A curriculum also needs to be much
more flexible and tailored, responding
to existing students who are at risk of
disengaging with education as well as
those who are not currently engaged
at all. Furthermore, we identified a
need for more effective interventions
with students before they start at
college, where there is an identified
need, risk or vulnerability that may
prevent that individual from effectively
participating in education.
Since reviewing what we deliver, we
have also considered
how
we deliver.
First and foremost, this involves a
values-based approach that sets
standards high, raises aspirations and
enables students to cultivate the skills,
attitudes and behaviours necessary for
success in life and work. Moreover,
Joely McGahey (left)
won silver and Stephanie
Kelly (right) won gold in
nail technology at the
WorldSkills UK finals
Around half of
our students
join without
having
achieved a
grade 4 or
above in both
maths and
English
47TRAFFORD COLLEGE GROUP |
EDUCATION SERVICES
an empathetic approach that balances
understanding of individual challenges
with high expectations is a necessary
skill developed throughout our
teaching and learning. Improving
pedagogical approaches that
effectively address individual needs,
including strategies to enable students
to overcome their barriers and any
negative educational experiences
they may have had previously, is an
important aspect of our offering.
Providing Stockport with the
college it deserves
Finally, no college is an island,
and our project relies on effective
partnership working with key
stakeholders. In recent years, the
reputation of Stockport College
locally, regionally and nationally has
been far from good. We have started,
however, to significantly reverse this
position and to work closely with
our partners to give Stockport the
excellent further education college the
boroughdeserves.
This has involved engaging more
effectively with parents and carers
over the quality of education provision
to ensure that it meets the needs
and interests of their children.
Wearedeveloping highly effective links
with employers strategically, and at
curriculum area level in the design and
delivery of our offer, so that it more
clearly aligns with local and regional
employment opportunities.
Alongside this, we are piloting
innovative partnership solutions
to post-16 education for the most
vulnerable in the borough and we
have increased the involvement of
local community agencies in the
college environment through the
groundbreaking Stockport College
Community Partnership, to ensure a
cohesive and borough-wide approach
to student support, guidance
andsafeguarding.
Our journey is far from complete, yet
the impact of our project has already
been significant. In the 18 months
since the merger, the outcomes for our
students have increased at a rapid rate.
Students and staff take pride in their
work and the college is starting to get
the recognition that it has been lacking
for far too long. We have learnt that
focusing on our unique college and its
distinctive role within our community
provides the opportunity to achieve
something truly transformational.
Remember that
your [college]
and its
community is
unique. Simply
repeating a
formula used
elsewhere
denies all
involved the
chance to create
something
special…
Independent Thinking
Greater Manchester
Mayor Andy Burnham
presents a cheque
of money raised by
Stockport Equalities
Council to the Sophie
Lancaster Foundation to
tackle street crime

stockport.ac.uk

This article was sponsored by Trafford College Group. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development