From education to employment

Fabulous fourteen are awarded Beacon status

Fourteen high-performing further education providers were awarded prestigious QIA Learning and Skills Beacon status on Monday 7 July.
Representatives of the new Beacons celebrated their achievement, together with special guests, at an awards ceremony hosted in central London by the Quality Improvement Agency (QIA).
David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills, who presented the awards, praised the Beacons for doing a magnificent job in helping learners of all ages to achieve their full potential. “I know how much effort and commitment it takes for colleges and providers to achieve such high levels of leadership, management and performance across the whole range of their activities,” he said. “Beacon status is public recognition of that excellent performance.”
But Beacon status is more than just a badge and the minister added: “As exemplars it will be the responsibility of the new Beacons to promote excellence throughout the sector by sharing their skills and expertise with other colleges and providers to help them raise their performance to that of the very best.”
Kate Anderson, acting chief executive of QIA, said the newest Beacons now had a wonderful opportunity to offer their expertise and advice to the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), the new sector-led organisation that is bringing together the work of QIA and the Centre for Excellence in Leadership.
“LSIS will have a vital role to play in supporting the sector to take forward strategic reform, leadership development and the pursuit of excellence and innovation,” she said. “We hope that new and existing Beacons will play their part in helping us to build LSIS as an organisation dedicated to the development of a world class sector offering excellent provision for the benefit of learners, employers and communities.”
The 14 new Learning and Skills Beacons are:
·        Action Training (Stoke) Ltd
·        Blackburn College, Blackburn
·        Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, Brighton
·        Fircroft College of Adult Education
·        Lite (Stockport) Limited
·        North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Nuneaton and Hinckley
·        NRS Training, Dudley, West Midlands
·        Reigate College
·        Selby College
·        Stockport College
·        Sussex Downs College
·        The Academy (Malton) Ltd
·        The College of West Anglia
·        The Oldham College
There are now 128 Beacons recognising the full range and diversity of organisations in the further education and skills sector, including 28 general FE colleges, 12 tertiary colleges, 36 sixth form colleges, 34 work-based learning providers, 6 adult and community learning providers, 4 agricultural and horticultural colleges, 2 performing arts providers, 6 specialist institutions
The award celebration featured a showcase by performing arts students from the Isle of Wight College which became a Beacon earlier this year.

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