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Learning and Skills Beacons recognised for high standards.

The Quality Improvement Agency (QIA) hailed seven further education providers as the winners of Learning and Skills Beacon status at a star-studded ceremony in central London, last Monday.

The Learning and Skills Beacon status was bestowed upon- Foxes Academy, Somerset; Intuitions Ltd, Harrogate The Isle of Wight College; Palmer’s College, Essex; Protocol Consultancy Services, Birmingham; South Leicestershire College and TTE Training Ltd, Chester- as a public recognition of their excellence and innovation in relation to their further education system.

Bill Rammell MP, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, who met the Beacons at the event, said: “Beacons represent the very best Learning and Skills providers throughout the whole further education sector and I applaud them on their significant achievement.

“Beacon status rightly acknowledges the high standards they have attained, not only in excellent teaching and in results for their learners but also in their outstanding management and leadership.

“I”m delighted that the wealth of experience and knowledge they have gained is going to be shared with the communities and sectors in which they operate. They now join an established network of Beacons who work closely with QIA to drive through improvements, reforms and change in the sector.”

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Talking highly of the beacons, Andrew Thomson, chief executive of QIA, pointed out: “To fulfil our mission we want to work closely with the best colleges and providers in the further education system. Our achievements depend greatly on their expertise and our need to spread their effectiveness across the system efficiently and rapidly.”

He also explained that the present beacons stand for “world-class” education and are perfectly equipped to help other further education organisations achieve this level of performance.

There are now 115 Beacons recognizing the full range and diversity of organizations in the further education system, including 25 general further education colleges, 32 sixth form colleges, 12 tertiary colleges, 3 adult and community learning providers, 32 work-based learning providers, 4 land-based colleges, 5 specialist providers and 2 drama and dance providers

Rinku Chatterjee

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