From education to employment

Royal Seal of Approval for Oldham College’s Flagship Teaching Offer

Oldham College has won a prestigious Princess Royal Training Award (PRTA) for its flagship Teaching for Distinction programme.

The accolade – the first ever for a college in the Greater Manchester City Region – recognises our clear commitment to making this “the best place to learn and work” in the borough.

HRH Princess Anne, as President of the City & Guilds Group, established these awards in 2016 to recognise employers with outstanding training and development programmes that have a direct impact on business performance.

Teaching for Distinction (TfD) is Oldham College’s exemplary approach to improving learning standards and student achievement. Co-developed by our Quality Team and Tom Sherrington, educationalist, it is a comprehensive programme drawing on leading work in the field to apply best practices in teaching, learning, curriculum planning and assessment.  

TfD’s implementation has led to learners’ attainment improving year on year across Oldham College. It has empowered tutors to set more effective targets with students, lead them towards excellence, give more effective feedback, and benefit from streamlined systems to maximise the time spent focusing on improving teaching and learning.

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

“This PRTA award is fantastic news – it places Oldham College’s practice alongside leading global firms like IBM and BAE Systems, and exemplary smaller businesses and public sector bodies.”

“We firmly believe here that people are our greatest asset and –  if you invest, evaluate and work together – you will create and retain top talent.

“These awards assess how committed your company is to personal development and continuous improvement, so to be the first college in Greater Manchester recognised like this shows how serious we are about that for our staff and students, both now and in the future.

“I’m extremely proud of the ongoing work by staff and learners in embracing Teaching for Distinction and making it such a success. We continue to embed this approach even further and hosted a Conference earlier this year showcasing it to other institutions as interest in it continues to grow nationwide.”

Following the introduction of TfD a positive Ofsted positive inspection report in January 2019 highlighted Oldham College’s improvement journey to be a “good” college, stating that: “The quality of teaching is consistently good, with tutors praised for their good knowledge; relevant qualifications and professional experience; effective use of industry-related learning strategies to engage and motivate learners to develop their skills and make good progress.”

All PRTA winners were subject to a rigorous assessment process.

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said:

“We were thrilled with the quality and variety of entries this year.”

“It is hugely encouraging to see businesses prioritising skills development in areas where we are seeing the most pressing skills gaps – such as leadership. In a period of increasing uncertainty, we need organisations who are willing to go the extra mile in developing talent fit for the future. We look forward to celebrating and sharing the inspirational work of all the PRTA winners who have so unequivocally demonstrated measurable results from their training.”

Previous PRTA winners have reported a number of benefits arising from the awards, including increased investment into training programmes, improved recruitment and retention, and greater recognition of the importance of learning and development when it comes to setting business strategy.

HRH Princess Anne will present Oldham College with the award on October 30th, at an event at St James Palace to be attended by the 43 other recipients: all described as exemplars of training and learning best-practice and including IBM, Veolia, BAE Systems and RBS.

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