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Lambeth – based College Praised by Adult Learning Inspectorate

The Marine Society College of the Sea (MSCoS) has become the first college in the UK to be awarded a grade 2 for its overall effectiveness by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI).

The college, which has received funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), is a specialist institution that provides tailored training to professional seafarers who serve with the Royal Navy or the British Merchant Navy. The College, based in Lambeth, London, caters to the needs of more than 350 distance learners aged between 16-60. They have the opportunity to study a range of subjects from GCSE and A-level, right through to post graduate level.

Success in Making Sure Learners Are Not All At Sea

Chris Wright, Head of Further Education, LSC London Central said: “I am delighted that the Marine Society College received a good grade for its provision. This result reflects the college’s high level of success in supporting learners at sea and their achievements.”

The Maritime Society and Sea Cadets is the largest maritime charity and have been providing distance learning to seafarers since the 1930s. Seaman Danny Wilson, of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service reflects on his learning experience. “I was no good at school, but when I enrolled for GCSE English and Maths with the Marine Society, I found studying really interesting and my tutors were great. They were really helpful, friendly and patient.” He now has the right qualifications to move towards officer level.

The college also enjoys an exclusive allowance from awarding bodies such as AQA and The Open University to run their examinations on board warships and even commercial vessels through out the world. In recent years, many learners have had the privilege to study and successfully sit examinations even when studying from within a war zone.

Royal Navy Chief Petty Officers Lee Burrows studied and sat his GCSE exam on board HMS Edinburgh during the Iraq War. “Finding a comfortable place to study was sometimes a struggle, especially as the threat from the mines meant everywhere below the waterline was out of bounds,” he said.

Inspirational and Practical Help

Mike Ormston, Life Support Supervisor in the offshore diving industry said: “With the encouragement of the Marine Society I tackled an Open University “taster” course. Now, halfway towards getting my degree; I feel tremendously indebted to the inspiration and sustained practical help the society has offered me.”

Chief Inspector of Adult Learning for the ALI, David Sherlock, also commented on the success of achieving a top grade and how fortunate learners are through being given the opportunity to broaden their horizons that benefiting from the college’s high quality services offers.

Kavita Trivedi

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