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Telford college and schools trust link up to boost pupils' prospects

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Education | Published:

Two of Telford’s leading education providers have formed a new partnership which they say has the potential to create exciting new learning and career opportunities for young people.

The link-up between Telford College and Hadley-based Learning Community Trust forges closer links between the college and three local secondary schools, and allows both partner organisations to have a greater impact on the local economy.

As part of the three-year deal, the college and the trust have begun working together to create new curriculum pathways in four key areas – health, engineering, sport and aviation.

The management teams will also be exploring the possibility of developing a framework for the joint delivery of some post-16 education, as well as staging ‘masterclasses’ which give secondary school students a taste of college life.

The Learning Community Trust has three secondary schools under its umbrella – Hadley Learning Community, Charlton School and Ercall Wood Technology College.

Between them, the three sites have around 600 year 11 students every year, who are looking to maximise their post-16 options.

Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to form this partnership, which has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of young people through the sharing of knowledge and good practice.

“Education is about more than just qualifications – it is about preparing people for the world of work. We are constantly looking at innovative ways to engage and inspire young people, preparing them for their careers, and adult life.

“This partnership will give secondary school students a chance to access our state-of-the-art learning facilities, including the new virtual and augmented reality suite, and capitalise on our strong links with the business community.

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“At the same time, it also allows the college to forge even closer links with schools and their staff, ensuring that our post-16 curriculum is meeting their ever-changing needs and aspirations.”

Dr Gill Eatough, executive principal and chief executive of the Learning Community Trust, said: “Given our proximity to the college, we are the college’s natural partner in this part of Telford, and we see this as a win-win situation for everyone.

“A lot of time is spent ensuring that young people have a smooth transition from primary to secondary school, but I have long felt that more should be done to support them when they move from school to college.

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“This partnership is a stepping stone towards that. We have already put foundations in place to access each other’s courses, and give both our staff and students the chance to learn more about what happens at the college.

“We share the same aims – to make sure that we understand what sort of skill-set local businesses need, and make sure we are providing companies with the workforce of tomorrow.”

Dr Eatough added: “We are particularly aware of the excellent recent work Telford College is currently doing in areas such as aviation, sport and health and social care, which is creating real opportunities for our students.

“Raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges on each other’s sites is one of the most important elements of this partnership.

“Even from our initial meetings and discussions, we have developed a far greater understanding of the local business sector, skills issues, and what we all have to do to equip students with the right skills.”

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