Southern colleges partner up to stave off cuts
Kingston College in south-west London and Carshalton College in Surrey have announced plans to merge in an effort to cope with reduced public funding for FE. A 12-month consultation will be held before the merger is scheduled to take place in 2012, if the Government agrees. The new college will cater for 11,000 students from Kingston's six campuses and 7,000 from Carshalton. A combination of funding cuts, overspending and missed income targets has left Kingston with a deficit of more than pound;2 million, prompting fears of job cuts.
Federation gets the thumbs-up from Wolf
Barnfield College and its two 11-16 academies were visited by Professor Alison Wolf (pictured) as part of her independent review of vocational education. She also saw its new Enterprise Studio, a school for 14- to 19- year-olds aimed at developing future business entrepreneurs and part of the past government's Studio Schools initiative. Professor Wolf said: "I am really pleased I was able to visit Barnfield as part of my research. It was also great to meet students and staff and learn about the success of the federation and the way it shares its services between the college, academies and the enterprise academy."
Niace leader stands down after two decades
Alan Tuckett, director and chief executive of the adult education body Niace since 1987, has announced his retirement next year. Mr Tuckett will stand down in August 2011 as the organisation celebrates 90 years of campaigns, research and involvement in lifelong learning policy-making. He joined the organisation after working in adult literacy in Brighton before becoming principal of the Clapham-Battersea Adult Education Institute. "I have been running Niace for 23 years, which is a long time," he said. "It has been a fascinating, wonderful job and a privilege to work across the piece."
Film student heads to Monaco for silver-screen debut
A documentary created by a film student at Tower Hamlets College is set to open the Monaco International Film Festival.
Clare O Hagan (pictured), who completed a course in access to documentary and digital video this year, made the film First Darkness, about an artist struggling to cope with the death of a young friend, as part of her coursework with her artist partner, Denise Wyllie. It helped her earn the college's award for Adult Learner of the Year. Alejandra Jiminez, her tutor, said: "It is great to know that Clare's work is going to be appreciated in the international film festival scene. We all knew she was really talented, and this is just a great thing for all of us, especially Clare. We are so pleased her work has been recognised in this way."
New classroom course to fuel FE teachers' skills
Gateshead College has become the first FE institution to offer a new qualification aimed at helping teachers improve their classroom skills. The college, which has Beacon status for teaching and learning, is running the five-day Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme (TEEP) with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, as part of continuing professional development for FE teachers. Gillian Forrester, head of teaching and learning development, said: "We look forward to sharing our experience with others in the sector and welcoming people from all over the UK for TEEP training to improve their teaching skills and practice. They will then be able to provide a better learning experience for students."