Top marks for Forth Valley College

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Top marks for Forth Valley College

Forth Valley College has been confirmed as one of Scotland’s leading colleges after their latest Education Scotland Review.

The review highlighted a sector leading 19 areas of positive practice and the College achieved the highest score possible across the three key principles assessed, including high quality learning, learning engagement and quality culture.

The report was produced by Her Majesty’s Inspectors, on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council, after an external review team visited the College in mid-March this year.

The report identified the proactive and collaborative work with a wide range of employers, universities and the three local authorities. It highlighted the well-articulated mission statement “Making Learning Work” and how this ensures students have access to high quality provision and services. It also highlighted strong and forward-thinking leadership promoting the College’s commitment to innovation, partnership and new approaches to learning.

In addition, assessors identified examples of excellent practice during the review including a data sharing portal created to enable schools to track real time application information for their pupils, the College’s Creative Learning Action Community and the bi-annual Listening to Learners focus groups.

Some of the other positive highlights from the report include:

  • Success rates for both full-time and part-time Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) programmes are above the sector average.
  • During the 2013-15 period more than 90% of full-time learners gained employment, progressed to another college programme or enrolled with a university.
  • Learner satisfaction with college programmes is very high.
  • The College delivers an extensive range of vocational programmes which align well with the needs of learners, employers and the Forth Valley economy
  • All students receive clear and helpful information on their course and other aspects of college life
  • FVC provides clear direction for the promotion of equality and diversity
  • The College has robust arrangements in place in regards to safeguarding
  • The College works proactively and collaboratively with an extensive range of key partners including employers, universities and local authorities.
  • The College is very committed to learner engagement and offers many opportunities for students to influence their own learning.
  • The College is highly supportive of the Forth Valley Student Association who are pro-active and innovative in their approach
  • Self-evaluation arrangements are comprehensive and robust and the College has a strong quality improvement culture.
  • A wider educational experience is important – in addition to gaining certificated qualifications, students also benefit from work placements, guest speakers, visits to employer premises or places of local interest, mock interviews, live-client briefs, volunteering activities and competition entries
  • There is a strong focus on wider achievement and developing citizenship skills

FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said:

“We are delighted with the judgements from the recent Education Scotland Report and the sector leading number of positive areas of practice identified.  These are an excellent endorsement of our staff and students and our innovative and progressive ‘Making Learning Work’ ethos.  We are ensuring our students have opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work whilst also aligning with key regional and national priorities.  We were also particularly pleased with the feedback provided by our students who spoke positively and enthusiastically about their programmes and wider college experience"

Hugh Hall, Chairman of the Forth Valley College Board of Management, said:

"The results from the Education Scotland review are a great tribute to our staff and students and confirm that Forth Valley College is the best in Scotland and amongst the best in Europe.”

Lorraine Simpson, President of the Forth Valley College Student Association, said:

“Myself and the Student Association team are thrilled with the Education Scotland findings and how they have highlighted the importance of Learner Engagement and how we have approached this in partnership with the college.

"The SA team have worked extremely hard this year to make sure students know about the Association and what we do and this report has confirmed that all that hard work has paid off. To know that our students are progressing so well and that they know how valued they are, means that the Association has met its objectives, which makes me extremely proud of my team and the partnered approach between the SA and the college."

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