A beacon for the community
Posted 19th February 2013
HCC has now been formally presented with its award parchment and prize cheque for its Association of Colleges Beacon Award for Inclusive Learning.
A lively local celebration took place at the College’s training restaurant, Open Kitchen. This followed last week’s formal presentation at Westminster.
The college was given the national award in recognition of the way in which it has developed specialist support for learners with moderate to severe learning difficulties in a fully inclusive further education college environment.
At the celebration event, students and parents told guests what the specialist provision at Hackney Community College means to them. New Horizon student Jennifer said: “I like coming to college. It is like home in that it’s calm and relaxed, but I like working with the other students and learning.” She also told guests about two work placements she has taken part in.
The real benefit of Hackney Community College’s programme is for the students and their families. This specialist provision in their local community means that they don’t have to move to a residential college out of the area. The college has been approved as a specialist provider by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) and six nearby local authorities send young people on to benefit from the college’s expertise.
A students’s parent, Mrs Khan spoke passionately about the opportunity that the college has given to her family. She concluded: “I love this college. My daughter is happy. We are happy.”
HCC was one of just 13 award winners from the 175 awards submissions. The Inclusive Learning Award had the highest number of entries.
The Inclusive Learning Beacon Award is jointly sponsored by Microlink and National Grid, and a cheque for £5,000 was presented to the College.
At the college’s celebration event, Dr Nasser Siabi OBE from Microlink said “I’m immensely proud to be here. Your entry for the award was outstanding. Your college plays a vital role in creating opportunity for young people.”
Simon Langley from National Grid added “At National Grid we are always trying to improve job opportunities for young people and this project is helping people to develop skills so that they can really achieve in their lives. I’m proud to be able to be here, to take part in today’s celebration.”
New Horizon students with the award sponsors, Dr Nasser Siabi OBE from Microlink and Simon Langley from National Grid
New Horizon students Satpal Singh and Jennifer Akanola, both 17, were proud to represent their course and their college at last week’s formal Westminster presentation.
Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock was present at the event at which Lord Willis of Knaresborough presented the certificates.
Students and staff at the Westminster presentation event
Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Pat Bacon, said:
“The quality of the winning submissions is truly outstanding and is evidence of how colleges are identifying the challenges that face us all in these tough economic times and are rising to overcome them through creative and sustainable approaches which are underpinned by a culture of support from the senior management within them.
“I congratulate all of this year’s winning colleges and encourage them to make the most of this opportunity to showcase their exemplary teaching and learning practices over the coming year to stimulate curriculum development across the sector.”
The AoC Beacon Awards are now in their 19th year and are awarded each year to UK colleges who capture and celebrate the positive impact they have on their students, staff and communities.