From education to employment

Oldham College chosen as a national Centre for Excellence in SEND

Oldham College

OLDHAM College has been appointed as a Centre for Excellence in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

The FE institution is one of two new national centres announced by the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) today (April 17).

Its’ work in this partnership will focus on the key theme of careers – helping to ensure that more SEND learners are able to secure meaningful employment as a key part of preparation for adulthood.

Oldham College becomes a Centre of Excellence after two successful years as a SEND Employer Spoke when it has showcased its partnerships with local employers to a national audience and delivered events highlighting attention to effective practice for employing learners with SEND.

This work has included highlighting how digital CVs can help to break down some of the barriers in the traditional recruitment process, and the benefits to business of diversifying their workforce.

Alun Francis, Oldham College Principal and Chief Executive, said:

“We’re excited to be working with the ETF on tackling the real challenges that learners with SEND can face in finding and sustaining employment.”

“We have strong relationships with a wide range of employers and are looking forward to offering support to providers across the sector as part of our wider mission to opening new doors and opportunities for people from every socio-economic background.”

Alan Benvie, Oldham College Vice Principal added:

“To be chosen as a Centre for Excellence in SEND is a huge honour.“

“We have been working with the ETF on a regional basis for some time and take great pride in the quality of our SEND provision and expertise of our staff.

“Becoming a national hub within the sector is a new challenge that we will relish. Our theme –careers – runs across everything that we do at Oldham College, and it will give us the opportunity to deliver the ETF programme supporting and learning from other providers in a collective drive to increase career opportunities for all SEND learners.

“What this means for learners and their families who come to Oldham College is that they can be confident their learning experience will be as good as any in the country – and we are very proud to be able to deliver this for them.”

The other new Centre of Excellence announced today will be delivered by Natspec, the association for organisations offering specialist further education and training for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities aged 16 to 25.

Teresa Carroll, National Head for Inclusion at ETF, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Natspec and Oldham College as our new Centres for Excellence in SEND.”

“We know that by bringing people together to harness and share knowledge and skills, we make the SEND system work for our learners.

“The themes on which Natspec and Oldham College will focus will build on recent CfESEND activity – illustrated by publications including Putting learners with SEND at the centre of FE provision – and we look forward to working with them to drive the inclusion agenda forward.”

Oldham College and Natspec join Weston College and City College Norwich, who are continuing as CfESENDs focussing on the themes of people and community respectively.

Related Articles