Making Learning Work continues to progress at FVC

Principal Dr Ken Thomson was delighted with the report

Making Learning Work continues to progress at FVC

Forth Valley College has been Making Learning Work extremely well locally, nationally and internationally for the last five years – and that’s official.

Forth Valley has always punched above its weight, but ever since the Making Learning Work ethos – which has been embedded into all aspects of the college - was launched in 2013, it has gone from strength to strength.

The latest Evaluative Report & Enhancement Plan released by Education Scotland (for 2017/18) - which recorded an Excellent grade for Leadership and Quality and two Very Good grades for Outcomes and Impact and for Delivery of Service - certainly backed this up.

But it is fair to say that FVC has achieved this sort of endorsement of its practices for the last five years, regularly cementing its place as one of the strongest performing sector leading colleges, not only in Scotland, but across the UK.

There has been significant work undertaken by the College in relation to ensuring students achieve under all circumstances. Many young people in Forth Valley have already benefited from ‘Time 4 Me’ a new £143,000 mentoring support scheme funded by The Robertson Trust and run through Forth Valley College’s Student Services Department. A new Carers Charter has been created at the College and they have officially been accredited as becoming an Engaged Carer Positive Employer in Scotland to ‘exemplary’ standard.

The quality of provision is also recognised throughout the country with an innovative back warm-up learning programme – called ‘I am the Machine’ being short-listed as ‘Best Teaching & Learning Initiative’ at the TES UK Further Education Awards 2018. Support services at the College are also highly regarded - FVC won the main Grand Prix Award, two golds and one bronze at the CDN Marketing Awards 2018. It was also revealed that the College’s exam pass rates had increased for the third year in a row with a total of 88% of SQA National Qualification students successfully passing their course.

The College also continues to be sector leading and driving forward new and exciting partnerships. FVC is one of the first four colleges in Scotland to have been granted full validation and registration from the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) to enable onward recording of Continual Personal Development (CPD). An innovative partnership was also announced in 2018 with South Eastern Regional College (SERC) which is already bearing fruit and also in partnership with WGM Engineering – FVC won a Scottish Training Federation (STF) Success in Partnership award.

The high standard of quality further education on offer will also find a home in some of Scotland’s best learning facilities as the state-of-the-art new £78 million Falkirk Campus - earmarked for completion in November 2019 – brings to an end the ambitious estates programme which saw a new Alloa Campus opened in 2011 and a Stirling Campus opened in 2012.

The College also plays a key role in driving forward economic development and inclusive growth in each of the local communities it serves through its membership of the Falkirk Economic Partnership and the City Commission which supports the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Deal.

Dr Ken Thomson, said: “The fact that we have managed to maintain and exceed our expectations on our performance over the last few years, while striving to complete our new Falkirk Campus Headquarters, has been very impressive and we will now look to build even stronger educational opportunities for the Forth Valley area in the years to come.

“The latest feedback from Education Scotland is great recognition of the high standards we have been achieving regularly over the last few years. Our latest grades from Education Scotland are the highest in the country and achieved only by three other colleges. I have no doubt there is more to come from our talented staff who are Making Learning Work day in and day out.”

Professor Martin Doel, Professor of Leadership, Further Education and Skills at University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE) – rated number one for education research worldwide for the last seven years - said:

“I am not surprised by Forth Valley College’s recent Education Scotland grades, of two very goods and an excellent, but I think what is more admirable is that the college seems to me to have its own view of what is excellence and is striving towards that, rather than just trying to satisfy inspectors. That is a much more long lasting measure of excellence, rather than just trying to get an inspection grade. It is about being excellent and recognising what this means in your own circumstances.

“My advice to Forth Valley College would be to carry on learning and continue to challenge themselves.”

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said:

“I’m pleased that Forth Valley College have received such a positive Education Scotland Report.

“We are delighted to offer a range of innovative courses, through our partnership with Forth Valley College, across a number of important subject areas, including biological sciences, computing, digital media and heritage and tourism.

“The high-calibre graduates from our integrated programmes are equipped with the technical skills, knowledge and work experience demanded by employers.”



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