Weston College staff in London for Beacon Award presentation
By YouPR | Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 11:35
The political heart of the UK was the setting for a ceremony honouring Weston College's commitment to Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD).
Dr Paul Phillips
College staff, including Principal and Chief Executive Dr Paul Phillips, travelled to Westminster to receive a Beacon Award for staff development at conference centre One Great George Street.
The award, given by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and sponsored by City and Guilds was for the College's Foundation Degree in Inclusive Practice, which is aimed at people working in the LDD field.
The award recognises outstanding practice in staff development at FE level, rewarding innovative best practice that delivers identifiable results and benefits.
The College's FdA Inclusive Practice was started in 2007 to meet the needs of staff working in the LDD area. It was the first qualification of its kind in the country, and is a beacon of learning for other colleges and organisations working in the same field.
Almost 50 Weston College staff members have taken the qualification, with a 100 per cent pass rate. Some of the benefits include the ability to respond effectively to a wide range of students by assisting learners to manage learning barriers.
Weston College is nationally recognised for its exemplary practice in autism, and plans to build on its reputation by opening a dedicated site in 2013 that will specialise in support for learners with autism.
College deputy Principals Peggy Tovey and Jacqui Ford, along with Chair of Governors Jude Ferguson and Weston MP John Penrose, also attended the ceremony which honoured 13 colleges from across the UK.
Lord Willis of Knaresborough, president of the AoC Charitable Trust, handed out the awards in front of an audience of more than 100 guests. Matthew Hancock MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Business and Education was also there.
Dr Phillips said: "We had a great day out and we are delighted to be recognised this way at a national level. We have long understood the importance of meeting the needs of learners with LDD and this award shows how seriously we take staff development in this field.
"I would like to congratulate all those who have taken, or are taking, the degree and I wish them every success. Most importantly I would like to pay tribute to the entrepreneurial talent of Jacqui Ford and Barbara Titmuss at Weston College who brought a concept to reality. Both are examples of dedicated professionals who demonstrate a real understanding of an inclusive learning agenda."
City & Guilds knows that the expertise, commitment and confidence of staff are crucial to the success of all learners. Tony Forster, Lead Portfolio Manager at City & Guilds, says: "No other provider has developed or offered the opportunity for staff in this field to specialise and link it to career advancement and increased pay structure."