Myerscough College has been recognised for its contribution to further education with two nominations in the 2021 Tes FE Awards.
The Tes FE Awards celebrate the very best of the sector, with the winners to be unveiled at an online ceremony at the end of May.
Myerscough has been shortlisted in the category of Further Education College of the Year.
This award seeks to reward the colleges whose imagination and passion have led to stellar provision in all areas, with judges looking for evidence of excellence in providing a high-quality curriculum with excellent student outcomes, reflected in strong recruitment and success rates.
Myerscough nomination recognises the College’s position as one of the UK’s leading land-based, STEM and sports-specialist providers, dedicated to inspiring excellence through exceptional standards of teaching and learning.
Our outstanding delivery of 16–18 education in the 2019/20 academic year is best measured in the 2020 National Achievement Rates Tables (NARTs), where the College’s overall pass rate in Further Education is 92% across more than 4,000 students. Myerscough is also in the top 3 land-based colleges in the country when it comes to pass rates on ‘All Level’ diploma programmes among 16-18 year-olds (at 94%), and in the top 3 in the country for achievement rates for Level 3 diploma programmes studied by learners of all ages.
Focusing on STEM, Myerscough College students have a 99% pass rate across all our engineering courses. Other sectors include leisure, with a 94% pass rate and a pass rate of 91% across agriculture, horticulture and animal study programmes. Across all of Myerscough College’s Level 2 diploma programmes, students achieved a pass rate of 99% pass rate, again the second best in the land-based sector in the country. Myerscough College Croxteth Park Centre is the number one college in the Liverpool City Region, while the cricket studies programme at Emirates Old Trafford is the top performing in the area. Myerscough’s centre at Witton Park in Blackburn returned an impressive overall pass rate of 93%.
Myerscough is a Leader in Diversity, Disability Confident, and offer amazing careers prospects and advice – holding all eight Gatsby Benchmarks. Our extensive marketing and school’s liaison network means we’re constantly in the public eye via our comprehensive website, numerous social media feeds, paid for advertising and attending hundreds of careers events. We saw a 15% increase in events covered, pre-pandemic, and during lockdown, our digital traffic has trebled, all while enjoying a record year for recruitment.
Myerscough’s Merseyside campus at Croxteth Park has been nominated in the Contribution to the local community category.
This award recognises the provider that has made the most impact in supporting their community socially, culturally or economically. Myerscough’s entry is focussed on food security and sustainability.
The Myerscough College Liverpool Campus is located in Croxteth Park, one of the most socially deprived areas in the country. The College uses an Adult Education Budget (AEB) to deliver education programmes to adult learners, and has been proactive in establishing horticulture programmes locally, with engagement and community benefit increasing substantially since lockdown.
The challenge in establishing a horticulture curriculum locally has been extreme. There are a high proportion of adult learners enrolled on programmes who have no previous experience of education, with many not completing compulsory education. The College has promoted the curriculum offer in partnership with community groups and in familiar locations to gain learner trust and build confidence. A further challenge was presented as many learners did not have their own gardens or access to garden facilities. By using Croxteth Park and community locations learners are working in their ‘own space’; developing and nurturing an area that is already familiar to them and in which they can take pride.
The use of foodbanks locally has increased significantly since the first lockdown in Spring 2020. Although the College were donating some fresh produce from learner horticultural activities to foodbanks prior to this, this activity has increased considerably. The College have been proactive in supporting local residents in developing growing areas and allotment sites, learning basic horticultural skills that lead to qualifications and supplying produce on a greater scale to supply local foodbanks and community pantries.
The impact of the initiative has been incredible, where what started off as a good community project to support adults in learning new horticultural skills has developed into a valuable resource that benefits the whole community. The fresh food produced supplements the donations to foodbanks that are often tinned or dried; providing families with fresh food alternatives whilst promoting the economic value and well-being benefits of growing your own. The work that the College has done in this area has led to the ‘Grow West Derby’ initiative that is supported by the local MP and has contributed to Liverpool being the first city in England to become a ‘Right to Food City’. Local leaders are using this as the vehicle to end food poverty in the area.
The College is instrumental in supporting the sustainability of the Right to Food initiative as this can only be achieved if members of the community have the right horticultural skills and resources to support this. Students and their families are an integral part of the project, who have benefited from this at the same time as supporting others in their community.
Tes head of FE Julia Belgutay said: “Further education providers have excelled in what has been a truly challenging year, and the amazing individuals, teams and institutions on our Tes FE Awards shortlist showcase that.
‘’Our judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries and I want to congratulate everyone who has made the shortlist – it is a brilliant achievement."
by Dave Salmon