From education to employment


Picture of NWSLC Creative Arts team outside Hinckley Campus

Staff at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have been honoured as part of a prestigious national awards scheme as the college celebrated ‘Thank a Teacher Day’. The Foundation Learning and Creative Arts teams both won a Bronze award in the FE Team of the Year category of the Pearson National Teaching Awards while creative arts lecturer Fiona Rollings won a Bronze award for FE Lecturer of the Year, and beauty therapy lecturer Leanne Newitt was Highly Commended in the same category. In addition, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, the college’s principal and chief executive was Highly Commended for Lifetime Achievement.

The Foundation Learning team currently support over 100 students, including those with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). The team operates the Lifeworks Hub where students gain skills for independent living and work. Last year the team was proud to launch its own bespoke Supported Internships programme for Warwickshire providing work placements for students that aim to see them move into paid employment. Students on the foundation learning programme benefit from a wide range of enrichment activities within the local community including training sessions with Leicester Riders Basketball team and visits to Leicester Tigers Rugby Club and Leicester City Football Club.

The team works to ensure that special educational needs and disabilities represent no barrier to development and achievement for their students. They have worked with dedication to broaden understanding of SEND throughout the college, helping students to take their next steps and progress with their education.

The Creative Arts team supports a range of disciplines including performing arts, media, design, music, fashion, and photography. In 2021, students successfully won seven of the college’s 16 medals in the finals of the national WorldSkills UK competitions placing the college at the top of the medals table in England and 4th overall in the UK. The team has set up a competitions club at the Hinckley Campus which provides opportunities for students to get practice skills challenges on their journey towards WorldSkills. Eleven members of the team are working with Fiona Rollings, a peer coach who has benefited from the WorldSkills Centre of Excellence programme.

Creative arts lecturer Fiona Rollings teaches further education programmes across a range of disciplines. She joined the college following a successful career in the interior design industry. Fiona strongly believes in the power of skills competitions and her students secured the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals in the visual merchandising category in WorldSkills UK in 2021. Fiona believes in the importance of exposure to live work experience and supported students to take part in the Rocket Round Leicester public art project to help reenergise Leicester.

Beauty therapy lecturer Leanne Newitt is a former student of the college who returned around 20 years ago to pass on what she had learned after a career in industry. Leanne makes a valuable contribution as staff governor as part of the college’s Corporation. She works hard to raise funds for charity and makes a significant contribution to the departmental Macmillan Coffee morning.

Leanne has consistently achieved incredible results in skills competitions and many of her students have progressed into higher education, and secured roles in modelling for industry and working for prestigious brands including as Dior and Kryolan. Earlier this year, Leanne, who specialises in make-up artistry, was shortlisted as a champion of diversity and inclusion in technical education as part of the WorldSkills UK Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Heroes Awards.

Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive at NWSLC said, “We were delighted with the news that two of our teams, and two lecturers, have been honoured as part of this national awards scheme. They are all completely committed to the college and consistently work well together to deliver the best possible experience for their students. We have enjoyed celebrating with them on Thank a Teacher Day.”

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