Myerscough College Foundation Learning shortlisted in Lancashire Red Rose Awards

Monday 30 Jan 2017

Myerscough College is delighted to announce that we’ve been nominated in the 2017 Red Rose Awards.

The prestigious awards recognise and celebrate the very best that Lancashire has to offer in terms of business, commerce and industry. Myerscough College has been shortlisted in the category of Skills Provider of the Year, for the outstanding work undertaken by the College’s Foundation Learning department.

Myerscough is now looking forward to celebrating with the other finalists across all categories at the main ceremony, which is held in the magnificent Empress Ballroom at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, in March.

The last 12 months has been a phenomenal success for Myerscough College Foundation Learning, helping many students, predominantly with learning difficulties, undertake courses at entry level to improve employability and life skills. It’s a vital part of the Myerscough College family, with recent significant capital investment in its staff and buildings. This includes a state-of-the-art, dedicated centre at the heart of our Preston campus, and a teaching and support cohort of sixteen staff, supported by a Head of Area, overseeing an increasing number of students.

Each course offered to learners has a ‘named’ tutor for their main qualification, who teaches most of their guided learning hours, supported by specialist maths & English tutors and a vocational specialist to deliver work-experience and enrichment.

Learners work at their own pace on personalised programmes all geared around individual needs, so they get the most out of their course. The learning environment is designed to keep them interested, motivated and inspired and they leave with a new love of learning and social skills. We’re proud to be a Centre of Excellence for Foundation Learning for Lancashire. The team’s built up an excellent reputation for successfully working with students with a wide range of additional learning needs, from organisations and special schools across the county.

Being a land-based college, the focus is on Horticulture, Animal Care & Agriculture, and new courses in Motor Vehicle Studies and Sport & Leisure, linking to a qualification in Life Skills, Skills for Working Life or Personal Progress, giving learners the opportunity to succeed with life’s daily challenges.

The ongoing success and ever-growing reputation of the department means we are the ‘go-to’ provider for this sort of learning provision and we are a sector leader thanks to our innovative teaching methods. Examples of this include the department being very proactive about the development of a coordinated Work Experience & Enrichment programme to ensure the best possible outcomes for students with LDD (learning difficulties). This initiative links closely with Supported Internships, a scheme initiated during the current academic year. A great deal of time has also been invested in the ‘transition’ of learners on to full time mainstream courses.

The department has had a very successful year in hosting two ‘learner-led’ conferences on ‘Respect’ and ‘Hate Crime’, both linked to the Government’s Prevent agenda and delivered by an external consultant, plus a very comprehensive IAG (Information, Advice & Guidance) Conference on ‘Supported Employment’ opportunities that was attended by ten high profile agencies, with all students attending.

Also in 2016 a successful bid was submitted to the European Erasmus+ Project that will see eight students participating on a two-week work experience project in the current academic year.

Head of Foundation Learning at Myerscough College, Barry Sherriff, said: ‘’The department is strong, facilitating constructive learning for those not fortunate enough to be able to enjoy education in a mainstream environment, providing opportunities for both high needs learners, and those who may not have achieved previously for a variety of reasons, to gain work experience, life skills and qualifications.

‘’We’ve had an amazing year, and one that we’re incredibly proud of. It’s satisfying to see so many of our foundation learners go on to mainstream jobs, further education, or simply have the ability and confidence to live more independently thanks to the skills they acquire with us. We change lives of people, many of whom come to us with little hope for the future.’’

Myerscough College was announced as a nominee after a day of rigorous pre-scoring at Northcote at the Rovers whittling down the entries to just six finalists.

The award ceremony takes place on March 9th.

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by Dave Salmon

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