Learning Matters

Spring Term Edition of all things Quality and TLA

Changes to Staff - Enhanced Student Experience!

You will have heard that there have been a few changes in the Student Experience Directorate:

1. Learning Resource Centres - we have appointed two Learning Resource Centre Managers, Brenda Desmond and Sarah Bristow, to work with our Director of Learning Innovation, Graeme Hathaway and build on the very good service currently offered by the Learning Resource Centres and ensure that they develop further. The intention is ensure our learning spaces are better able to meet the digital information and learning needs that teaching, learning and assessment increasingly require.

2. Learner Recruitment Team - The re-shape of the Learner Recruitment Team allows a more focused approach to school engagement, learner recruitment and transition activity. The Learner Recruitment Co-ordinator role changed to Learner Recruitment and School Engagement Co-ordinator to reflect this. The team is managed by Rebecca Sharp, our School Engagement and Learner Recruitment Manager

3. Additional Support - As well as being reshaped to better meet the new Special Educational Needs and Disability Agenda, the Additional Support and Student Support Managers are now in new roles of Deputy Head of Service for Student Support and SEND Services and will be reporting to the Assistant Principal Student Services and Support, with the aim of providing a more consistent, cross-College range of support services.

Although change can be challenging to deal with, this reshaping has been designed to ensure the College is as well equipped as possible to deal with the unprecedented change in the sector.

Other changes to note:

The Quality Unit - Alison Tate, the College's Teaching Learning and Assessment Manager, left for a new role at West Notts College. Professional Development and learning enhancement is critical to the College's success moving forward and we have interim arrangements in place before we look to replace this crucial cross-College staff development role.

Farewell! - You will also have heard that I am moving on. I will start my new role at Leeds City College as Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning in April. I will, of course, be working tirelessly until that point to ensure that the experience of our current students is first class and that our quality improvement strategies continue apace.

Bill Jones, January 2015

Staff Development

  • The Professional Development Operational Group has restructured and is now the Staff Development Implementation Group. The group has representatives from a wide range of areas within the College. Anyone interested in joining the group or attending a meeting should contact Lesley Shepperson (lesley.shepperson@sheffcol.ac.uk).
  • Ideas given on the College Values during the cross College Involvement Days have been collated by the above group and will be shared with Senior Managers shortly.
  • The Staff Development team continue to support staff and managers to book and organise CPD events internally and externally. Please contact Staff Development staffdevelopment@sheffcol.ac.uk with your requests and applications.

Update on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

  • A Teaching, Learning and Assessment Moodle page has been set up to support delivery staff. This is accessible to all staff.
  • A schedule of staff development events has been implemented (TLA Moodle page section 14). These are mostly short and snappy sessions that will provide ideas and give strategies to meet national and college priorities. Please book through Staff Development staffdevelopment@sheffcol.ac.uk.
  • Ideas for events and how to share good practice (including volunteering to share) can be send to Lesley Shepperson (lesley.shepperson@sheffcol.ac.uk).
  • The new Session Plans and Schemes of Work that support staff in planning to meet group and individual needs are also available on the Moodle site. There is also a suggested Group Profile Sheet that will further support and record how individual and group needs are met.
  • Ideas and good practice will continue to be shared through all staff e-mails and pop ups. Your feedback on these is welcomed.

Qualification Success Rate Report

This is the analysis available to Ofsted and the funding agencies to make judgements about the College’s quality and possible intervention.

Our overall success has dropped slightly (in 2013/14 compared with the previous year) and this is largely because:

  • 16-18 year old students undertook fewer ‘additionality’ qualifications, which tend to have higher than average success rates;
  • The retention of all students declined;
  • There were many more adult learning aims than previous years due to a changing curriculum (many more students on employability programmes for example) and success rates are lower on these new courses;
  • Too many of our students are on courses where the success rate is below the minimum standards set by the Skills Funding Agency, particularly on substantial qualifications (such as Extended Diplomas and Certificates) for adults.

Apprenticeship provision improved with timely framework success rates now considerably above the national rate.

Although some of these outcomes are disappointing and need to improve this year, the success rates are broadly in line with national rates and an earlier than expected Ofsted inspection is unlikely (although we should never be complacent!).

The Sheffield College Self Assessment Report for 2013/14 Provision

The College's SAR was produced towards the end of last term and have judged our provision to still be Good, although our Outcomes for Learners remains Requires Improvement. We did improve our two biggest weaknesses (Level 3 success and apprenticeship timely success rates) but overall rates remain too low.

We have judged our main strengths to be:

  • Teaching and Learning are mostly good;
  • An excellent range of external partnerships develop the curriculum, raise aspirations and improve employability;
  • A good range of provision;
  • Wider outcomes for students are good;
  • Equality gaps have largely been addressed;
  • students' well-being is enhanced and there are extremely robust safeguarding arrangements.

The College needs to improve, however:

  • Success rates and particular the variation in outcomes between courses and Departments;
  • Teaching and learning in a few curriculum areas;
  • Some lessons that do not sufficiently challenge, stretch or inspire students sufficiently;
  • English and maths skills need to be routinely developed in all lessons.

A link to the SAR and the associated quality improvement plan (QIP) will be posted in the next edition of this newsletter.

Read more....

Check out this far superior newsletter from Graeme Hathaway, our Director of Learning Innovation, on all things technology and e-learning.