Councillor Joe Dromey visited Lewisham College on the morning of 17 October to meet Deputy Principal David White during Colleges Week and was happy to get involved with the Association of College's Love our Colleges Campaign.

The Love Our Colleges campaign is an opportunity to highlight the brilliant work that goes on in colleges, and the brilliant staff that make it all possible. It is also our opportunity to call on government for better investment in colleges, and fair pay for college staff.

As a key part of the #LoveOurColleges week of activities, there will be a coordinated day of lobbying today (Wednesday 17 October). This will include extensive lobbying in parliament from college principals, staff and students, with the education unions organising a march and rally to further amplify the key message.

Why is Colleges Week important?
Over the last decade, colleges have had to deal with an average 30% funding cut, whilst costs have increased dramatically. This has resulted in a drastic drop in learning opportunities for adults, fewer hours of teaching and support for young people, and teacher pay at less than 80% of schools and support staff seeing no increase in pay for several years. This situation is not sustainable and ultimately impacts upon students, businesses, communities and the wider economy.

That is why unions, students and colleges are coming together, this week, to request fair funding.

College Deputy Principal, David White, said: "It was great to meet Cllr Dromey and hear about his support for both Lewisham College and the role that colleges play in preparing both young people and adults for working life and university. We are very proud of our close relationship with Lewisham Council and look forward to the possibility of future projects we can pursue together."












Level 3 Digital Media students were lucky enough to be among the first invited to take part in the BBC’s ‘Get Into Media’ Programme for 16+ students, supporting them through their course and onto their next steps. The group took part in the Discovery Day on 12 October where they explored different career opportunities in the industry. They also took part in activities for the chance to be selected for the full developmental programme.

Emma Kelly, one of the students who attended the Discovery Day said: “The BBC trip was beneficial to me, as it helped me to think more about my future, and I was open to many opportunities and apprenticeships available at the BBC. I was also able to talk to lots of their staff about the possible careers, and discussed my personal hobbies that could help me with work experience.”

Following this, the BBC contacted the college to confirm that five students had been selected to go onto the programme, they said they had been impressed by their enthusiasm and engagement.

Aqil Choudhury
Aretha (Temiloluwa) Adebola
Chaice Doyle
Darryl Zhiwaki
Joshua Kisembo
Laurell Batchellor

will join students from other schools and colleges to complete the 18 month programme, which they take alongside their studies. This will give them a real head-start in the race for jobs and further training when they finish their courses.

Natalie Garner, Head of Department for Creative Studies at the College said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the students, just the experience of being at the BBC and seeing the theory they learn coming to life in front of them was thrilling. To have so many students selected onto the programme, when the standard was so high is a fantastic achievement.”

Avid student readers and our Learning Centre staff were delighted to have bagged the Gold Award in the annual Reading Ahead Challenge - if this were not good enough, we ranked 5th in the country and are only the second college in the list.

Now in its 12th year, Reading Ahead (run by the Reading Agency) is designed to engage new readers and help them to improve their literacy and language skills at the same time.

Reading Ahead aims to increase confidence in reading, particularly for those whose first language is not English.

Their impact evaluation this year reveals that:  

  • Those surveyed before and after taking part in Reading Ahead report an increase in enjoyment, confidence in reading and use of the library to borrow books;  
  • 65% of all survey respondents feel more confident about reading and will read more after taking part in Reading Ahead;  
  • Organisations running Reading Ahead report 96% increased confidence in reading, 95% increased enjoyment, 92% increased frequency and 88% improved literacy skills.

Head of Learning Technology, Patricia Forrest said: "I'm so delighted that we have helped our students to learn to love reading - this is an amazing achievement and I want to recognise the staff who have helped make this happen. In particular Donna Rhoden who took charge of liaising with the Reading Agency and ESOL teachers to promote the Challenge. We are aiming for the Platium award next year!"



On 11th October Southwark College hosted a Higher Education event which was thrown open to local schools for them to find out about the opportunities available at Southwark College - and at 20+ other universities and HE providers.

The College was able to showcase the university-level courses it offers in a wide range of subjects from Art and Design, Business, Health and Social Care to Business and Travel and Tourism.

Jon Fell, Head of Higher Education at the College said: “It was great to be able to show our own students and local pupils the wide range of options on offer to them after they finish their current studies.

“We had a fantastic turnout for the event, and I saw lots of happy faces, looking forward to the opportunities awaiting them at the next level of learning.”

NCG has today announced that Lewisham Southwark College is to be rebranded as two separate Colleges; Lewisham College and Southwark College.

The rebrand comes into effect on 1 October 2018 and will see both colleges remain a part of NCG.

NCG Chief Executive Joe Docherty said, “This decision will allow the newly established colleges to develop curriculum programmes that better meet the needs of the communities they serve and to work more closely with key stakeholders, including crucially the local authorities of Lewisham and Southwark.

“Two new principals will be appointed to lead the colleges – both charged with the opportunity to make sure the offer better meets the respective local challenges while continuing to collaborate on areas where that makes sense.

“These are incredibly exciting opportunities and in making this move we will better meet NCG’s purpose, to unlock potential through learning.”

The move to create two new colleges has been well received by the local councils. Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said, “Further education opens up opportunities for so many Lewisham residents of all ages.

“This move will allow the newly-branded Lewisham College to tailor their curriculum to the needs of our borough and we welcome this.”

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, added: “This is welcome news for Southwark residents, who deserve a better and more focused further education offer than we have had in recent years.

“The council has worked with local schools to ensure Southwark children receive a first class education, and we expect the same standard from our further education colleges.

“We look forward to working with the new Southwark College to help our residents reach their potential and have every opportunity to succeed in life.”

It is anticipated that most colleagues will be unaffected by these changes. NCG will of course continue to consult and communicate openly and honestly with any changes that occur as a result of the redevelopment.



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