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The Sheffield College is a double finalist in the Educate North Awards

The Sheffield College (@sheffcol) is a double finalist in an awards scheme that celebrates top educational institutions in the North of England.

The college has been shortlisted for two Educate North Awards 2024 with the winners set to be announced this week.

The awards recognise excellence and good practice at Northern-based colleges, sixth forms and universities.

The college’s shortlisting covers the diversity, equality and inclusion category and the student experience higher education/ further education sector category.

Angela Foulkes CBE, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said:

“It is an honour to be shortlisted for two Educate North Awards. I feel so proud of our students and staff.

“As an inclusive college serving diverse communities, we are committed to providing equal opportunities to all of our students to enhance their career prospects. This awards recognition is testament to that.”

Being a finalist in the diversity, equality and inclusion category recognises the progress that the college has made on inclusivity during the last five years.

Its partnership with the National Centre for Diversity has helped the college to become one of the leading organisations nationally.

Currently, the college is ranked 8th in The National Centre for Diversity’s 2023 Top 100 Most Inclusive UK Employers list.

This follows the college committing to a new values and behaviours framework focussed on improving social mobility and equality, diversity and inclusion.

The college’s culture has also been guided by the values of fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement.

As a result, there is greater awareness of equality, diversity and inclusion and positive impacts on the achievements of those from under-represented backgrounds.

In a 2023/24 survey, 98% of all students who responded agreed that the college is a welcoming place for people of all backgrounds.

Leo Wilcox, President, The Sheffield College Students’ Union, said:

“As the Equality and Diversity Youth Champion of Sheffield youth and the Students’ Union President I believe that we, as a college, are very inclusive and diverse. I am extremely proud to support The Sheffield College in everything it does.”

The college’s additional shortlisting in the student experience higher education/ further education sector is in recognition of its work with elite athletes.

The college’s Elite Sports Academy is enabling students from a wide range of disciplines, including basketball, boxing, football, ice hockey, kickboxing and swimming, to excel in their sport as well as their studies.

Alongside studying academic or technical qualifications at the college, the student athletes also benefit from the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).

This provides students with a flexible teaching timetable that accommodates their training and competition commitments. Other opportunities include coaching, fitness and nutrition sessions.

The academy has attracted students from diverse backgrounds and locations including basketball talent from across the UK, Scotland and Hungary. Some former students are now playing professionally in the UK and overseas.

Many of the student athletes compete regionally, nationally or internationally alongside whilst successfully completing their studies and educational qualifications.

Student boxer Alfie Thomas said:

“I wasn’t really into school but the college course has been great. I am studying a sports qualification.

“Being able to study and train has helped me to concentrate on my boxing every day and I have been fighting for regional titles.”

The Elite Sports Academy is part of the award-winning employer skills academies programme, which supports college students to go further in their sporting careers.

The Educate North Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony at The Hilton Hotel, Manchester, on 18th April 2024.

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