DARLINGTON COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2008/09-2011/12 Our Mission Excellence in Learning and Skills Our Strategic Aims Personalised learning to enable learners to achieve their potential Expand access to learning and seize opportunities to impact on the Northern economy Achieve outstanding success through professionalising the College Develop an efficient and sustainable College Our Values We value the delivery of outstanding service We value people committed to learner success We value an environment which promotes equality, diversity and safety 1 Introduction This document outlines our strategic intentions for achieving outstanding success at Darlington College. The College is moving ahead with its next phase of development and positioning itself to be at the centre of educational developments and economic regeneration in the sub-region. Some local young people experience exclusion from school and work. Re-engaging these young people is a high priority. We have a strong track record of turning young lives around and have successfully engaged many within the community who were previously excluded or unsuccessful. Our plans are central to shaping a new 14-19 landscape and developing new employer led pathways to success. As the new industrial and commercial sectors of the North East and Yorkshire and Humberside emerge the challenge into the future will be to ensure a match between employer demands and the skills of the workforce. Ensuring this fit is a critical task for the College. We have extensive and responsive workplace learning. We are breaking new ground in creating partnerships with employers to design and deliver training and qualification in the workplace. We are determined to make learning accessible to increase the number of people gaining qualifications and meet employer demand for skills. Access to higher education will be substantially increased with the development of further foundation degrees, short courses and professional programmes in partnership with the University of Teesside. The College plans will support Darlington’s aspirations set out in the Sustainable Community Strategy ‘One Darlington; Perfectly Placed’ which has established the framework for the funding, activity and the leadership required to improve outcomes for children and young people. The One Darlington priority has many strands including: Tackling deprivation wherever it exists, narrowing the gaps in life chances across the Borough and focusing on reducing inequality for the most deprived and disadvantaged Making sure that groups of people who may be at risk of discrimination or disadvantage are included, with equality of opportunity and access to services Protecting vulnerable people Valuing each person for who they are Encouraging volunteering Regarding happiness, fulfilment and well-being of individuals as a legitimate concern for the community as a whole and doing what is possible to support individual to enjoy their lives and achieve wholeness and mental well-being all of which will be developed through the five themes of: Prosperous Darlington Aspiring Darlington Healthy Darlington Greener Darlington, and Safer Darlington. The College is committed to working effectively with our partners – employers, public sector, community groups, schools and the University of Teesside so that together we can achieve a skilled and qualified workforce playing our part in developing a vibrant regional economy. 2 The Communities We Serve - Population, Prosperity and Deprivation 2.1 North East The Learning and Skills Council North East Commissioning Plan for 2008/2009 indicates that: The proportion of the working age population qualified to level 2 has increased to the national average but more than 500,000 adults in the North East do not have a level 2 qualification Achievement at level 3 has increased to 45.8% below the national average of 49.2% The percentage of adults without functional literacy and numeracy skills is high and geographically concentrated There is an expectation that the number of jobs requiring intermediate and higher level skills will continue to grow A key challenge is to raise demand from employers for higher level skills to drive forward productivity gains The sectoral mix of employment in the North East will continue to change, which means that many people of working age will have qualifications no longer relevant to the economy, and they will need to repeat a level 2 or 3 qualification to enable them to progress in employment The challenge for learning providers will be to respond to the changing structure of employment and to work closer with employers to deliver learning which meets their needs The North East region prioritises the following sectors as growth sectors in the region: Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Automotive Defence and Marine Food and Drink Manufacture Renewable Energy Knowledge Intensive Business Services Tourism and Hospitality Commercial Creative Health and Social Care The Tees Valley Region The Tees Valley City Region is based around the five towns of Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar and Cleveland and also includes the Borough of Sedgefield. The sphere of influence of the Tees Valley extends from Peterlee and Durham City in the North to Northallerton in the South and from Richmond in the West to Whitby in the East. The City Region including the area of influence has a population of 875,000 of which 650,000 live in the five Tees Valley Authorities of Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton on Tees, Redcar and Cleveland. Around 846,000 live within thirty minutes of Darlington of which 521,000 are of working age and around 2.7 million live within an hour of Darlington of which 1.7 million are of working age. Economic Growth The Tees Valley has been falling below the regional average of GVA per head of population largely as a result of the massive shift in the employment structure of the Tees Valley, and the steep decline in manufacturing employment. Since 1971, over 93,000 manufacturing jobs were lost linked to the major rationalisation of the steel industry in the UK. The Tees Valley economy is based on the largest integrated heavy industrial complex in the UK. There are three main components: The petrochemical cluster at Wilton, Billingham and Seal Sands is the largest integrated chemicals complex in the UK with 70,000 jobs including the world’s largest polyethylene plant. The Wilton Centre is the largest non-military research centre in Western Europe and a world-class engineering design and plant maintenance industry employing 5,000 people in the Tees Valley. The Redcar Steel complex is one of three main UK producers. Teesport, the second largest port in the UK handles 10% of UK traffic. Oil and gas based chemicals, iron ore import, coal imports and steel exports account for about 75% of trade. The port is the only deep sea port on the East Coast and has the potential to become a deep sea container port catering for the growing Far East trade creating I the long term 5,500 jobs. The chemicals industry requires a skills strategy which meets the needs of the industry estimated at requiring 8,000 new recruits at graduate/technician levels and a further 4,000 to replace those retiring. Largely as a consequence of its heavy industrial activity, Tees Valley is now developing a unique combination of energy related activities, including biofuels, biomass, hydrogen and oil and gas. The area has developed a strong logistics industry based around the port and distribution of chemicals, steel, engineering products. The Tees Valley has diversified and Darlington has become a major logistics centre serving the North of England. Financial and business services including the more advanced call centre functions have been developed in Darlington, Teesdale in Stockton, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool Marina and drive the office market in the towns Newton Aycliffe has developed in electronics. The creation of a science/technology park at Netpark in Sedgefield and the provision of a real and vertical knowledge economy hub The University of Teesside also hosts the Centre for Process innovation which is the National Centre for Nanomaterials and Industrial Biotechnology. The University of Teesside through its Digital City development is creating a new industrial sector in the Tees Valley supported by Darlington College’s centre of excellence in digital media There has also been substantial growth in tourism, based on building along the River Tees, the coast, maritime and railway heritage the pubic sector, notably education and health services have grown The expansion of Catterick Garrison will provide 10,000 new people to the City Region Over the last three years 12,800 jobs have been created primarily in the service industries. The important transport linkages are Teesport with regular container and goods services to Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean and Durham Tees Valley airport with its links to Heathrow and Amsterdam. The East Coast Main Line with stations in Darlington, Northallerton and Durham. The A1 soon to be upgraded to motorway standard and the A19(T) links to the South and A66(T) to Scotland and Ireland. Qualifications Great emphasis is placed on upskilling the workforce to obtain NVQ3 and 4 level qualifications with below average performance in the Tees Valley with these levels. There remains an above average performance of the workforce with no qualifications. Darlington and Stockton had the highest proportions with NVQ4 or above qualifications in the Tees Valley and conversely the lowest proportion without qualifications. 2.2 A Picture of Darlington Sitting astride the East coast main line railway and the A1(M) motorway at the southern end of the North East region, Darlington has come to be recognised as the gateway to the North East and to the Tees Valley City Region. The borough’s assets of location and accessibility have formed the foundation in recent years of the highly successful Gateway strategy for economic regeneration. Key projects include office development at Morton Pal s, new logistics development at Faverdale, the development of Darlington Town Centre, Central Park Lingfield Point and the promotion of rail heritage with Locomotion at Shildon and the Weardale Railway; a major improvement project for Aycliffe Industrial Park is proposed. The borough is a compact area of 76 miles with a population of 99,400 people. People from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds make up 2.1% of the population, although this figure does not include the majority of Gypsies and Travellers who constitute the largest BME group. There is significant community of people of Bangladeshi origin. Migration from the east European countries of the new expanded EC is recent for which there is no data. It is estimated that by 2011 over 21% of the population will be of retirement age. Key employment trends indicate that employment in Tees Valley will total 8000 by 2014. Darlington is ranked 95th most deprived area in the country, with 45% of the population living in 10 wards that are amongst the 25% most deprived in the country. Seven wards are amongst the 10% most deprived, and 31% of the borough’s population live in them. (2007 Index of Multiple Deprivation). There remains a gap of 0.7 percentage points in unemployment rates between Darlington and the UK average, whilst pay levels remain low. Average pay levels are 7.1% lower than Tees Valley and 17.7% lower than the average for the UK (2006). Although Darlington has relatively low levels of unemployment there are relatively speaking a large number of low level employment opportunities in the town which require few or no qualifications and do not provide any ongoing training opportunities. Matching the skills available in Darlington to support the growth of high value companies; and focusing on high value sectors – particularly business, financial and professional service, engineering design and construction and knowledge intensive businesses, improving skills training and employment prospects for residents, including the use of targeting training and recruitment clauses in public procurement are priorities in the One Darlington: Perfectly Placed Sustainable Community Strategy. Academic performance of pupils varies across the Key Stages. The percentage of pupils achieving 5 A*-C grades is slightly better than the national average. However 4 out of 7 secondary schools perform below the national average. The data set below is based on learners in 2006/7. It identifies that Darlington has fewer learners as a % of the working age population than the rest of the Tees Valley and the lower proportion of learners on skills for Life and level 2 programmes. Total Working age Skills for Life Level 2 Level 3 Population Learners as learners as learners as a learners as a Partnership Area (‘wap’) a % of wap a % of wap % of wap % of wap County Durham 303,929 20.8% 3.1% 6.1% 3.0% Darlington 58,789 16.5% 3.0% 5.0% 4.0% Redcar 83,361 21.1% 4.0% 6.4% 4.7% Hartlepool 52,541 21.3% 3.9% 6.3% 4.5% Middlesbrough 81,461 22.3% 4.3% 6.2% 3.9% Stockton 109,895 22.1% 3.2% 5.4% 4.2% LSC Area South 689,976 20.9% 3.4% 6.0% 3.7% Note: ‘wap’ working age population. 2.3 North Yorkshire The 2001 census projects that by 2015, the population of North Yorkshire will be 607,000 of whom 45% will be over 50 and 3.2% over 85 years. The county’s size and population sparsity bring specific problems to those living in rural isolation. Some areas suffer from high levels of disadvantage including Catterick Garrison, Colburn, some of the coastal towns and some of the rural upland areas. The Learning and Skills Council Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Commissioning Plan 2008/2009 indicates that: Attainment at level 2 in the Region is significantly below the national average (66% compared to 69.7% nationally) 16% of the working age population are without qualifications Attainment at level 3 is the lowest in the country at 43.3% compared to 49.2% nationally In 2005/6 37,000 achieve a Skills for Life qualification, however the proportion of the working age population with low attainment in literacy and numeracy remains significantly higher than the national average The number of economic migrants for Eastern Europe has grown and will continue to increase in future years. These individuals often take up employment in occupations less skilled than their actual skill level due to barriers presented by their level of English Language The number of people taking level 2 apprenticeships has declined 2.4 Catterick Garrison – A Super Garrison The College has a unique relationship with the MoD at Catterick Garrison. Catterick Garrison sits 4 miles west of the A1 and 2 miles east of Richmond. The Garrison consists of 2,400 acres of land with surround training areas of a further 19,000 acres. The Garrison has responsibility for about 34 square miles. There are currently 13,000 army personnel and civilians based in the Garrison town which is forecast to grow with the addition of 3,600 new army personnel joining the Garrison over the coming years as the Super Garrison develops. The College has partnership agreements with the UK Infantry Training Centre and 3AEC to provide NVQ and Skills for Life training for over 2,500 infantrymen and other service personnel each year. Provision is based at the College’s Catterick Centre and within the Infantry Training Centre. There will be expansion in the range of training programmes developed for Resettlement and an increase in higher education and professional courses offered through the University of Teesside Partnership. 3 Expand Access to Learning 3.1 14-19 full and part time learners The number of school leavers in North Yorkshire, County Durham and Darlington secondary schools together with the target percentage progression to college is forecast in the table below to 2010. % student % student 2008 progression 2009 progression to School to college school college School leavers 2008/9 leavers 2009/10 North Yorkshire Bedale 172 19% 178 20% Richmond 249 12% 244 12% Risedale 112 42% 101 43% St Francis Xavier 79 18% 84 18% Wensleydale 98 20% 103 22% Total 710 Ave 22% 710 Ave 23% County Durham Barnard Castle 79 9% 82 12% Bishop Barrington 182 1% 172 2% Greenfield 139 14% 141 14% Parkside 177 1% 166 1% Sedgefield College 219 216 St Johns RC 105 1% 130 1% Staindrop 105 14% 130 16% Sunnydale 120 12% 100 20% Teesdale 130 12% 134 20% Woodham 230 16% 201 17% Total 1486 Ave 8% 1472 Ave 10% Darlington Hurworth 133 36% 133 36% Eastbourne Academy 138 68% 111 70% Haughton 177 42% 183 43% Branksome 173 52% 148 54% Longfield 179 52% 179 54% Hummersknott 245 19% 243 19% Carmel Tech College 181 15% 179 15% Beaumont Hill 23 Total 1226 41% 1176 42% The College will continue to work in partnership with the Darlington Children’s Trust, the Darlington 14-19 Trust and the Richmondshire Area Learning Partnership to foster effective collaboration to provide choice and high quality provision. The College together with partner schools are national pilot centres for functional skills from September 2008. From 2009, the College will offer new Diplomas in Engineering, ICT, Creative and Media and Hospitality and Catering to 14-19year olds. Other Diploma programmes will be available in September 2010 with the full range of 17 new Diplomas available by September 2013, 14-16 year olds will access the new Diplomas together with the Skills+ full time vocational programme for year 10 and year 11 pupils and part-time vocational courses. This range of vocational provision is designed to optimise learner choice and achievement and increase progression to post 16 learning. The Foundation learning Tier will be introduced to replace existing Entry and Level 1 provision from September 2009. The College is committed to contributing to the reduction of NEETs in Darlington and plays an active role in the NEET Partnership in the town. Programmes are designed to specifically support those young people not engaged in learning or work. The themes of Every Child Matters are integrated into all programmes for 14-19 year olds. From September 2008 a newly appointed Sports Co-ordinator will ensure that there will be increased access to sport and health related activities. 3.2 Personalised Learning Personalised learning will be developed to ensure that every student has an individual learning plan and appropriate tailored support to achieve and exceed their potential. The Planning for Success project will ensure that key information about individual students is captured at the transition stage to assist in the setting of personal achievement targets during initial assessment and ensuring a differentiated learning experience for students. The subject learning coach programme will be extended to develop the effective use of e-learning technologies and the virtual learning environment to meet individual student needs. Continuous professional development for staff will target the development of assessment for learning to promote motivational strategies encouraging students to engage and achieve. Assertive mentoring strategies will be adopted to improve planning, monitoring and review of learner progress and the setting of short-term targets. Value added measures adopted for all level 3 learners will be extended to all full time learners using distance travelled measures. 3.3 E-learning E Learning and assessment will be expanded where it demonstrably improves and supports excellence in teaching and learning through increased effectiveness, student interest and motivation, efficiency, and flexibility. Fronter will continue to be the primary VLE for all College learners, with additional access to Blackboard for HE students. Fronter will provide a dedicated area for all programmes, giving both learners and tutors 24 hr access to learning materials, assignment briefs etc. On line tests and the use of E portfolios will increase as they become available through awarding bodies. Electronic whiteboards/ICT to support excellence in teaching and learning will be made available in all learning areas, including workshop areas. The College will continue to provide access to UFI Leandirect E learning opportunities with initial assessment and on programme support. The following aims are supported by a comprehensive programme of CPD for tutors and support staff: All learners will have access to a range of E learning opportunities, with individual network accounts and access to the VLE The learning experience will be enriched by appropriate use of E learning On line assessment and feedback will be provided as an integral part of both student induction and learning The provision of a dedicated area on Fronter for all vocational areas and programmes All Schemes of work to be available on Fronter Learning materials and assignment briefs to be available on Fronter for all vocational areas Increased access to on line assessments and national tests Assistive technology will be available where appropriate to support learner need 3.4 Enrichment and Enterprise The College plans to develop enterprise and employability skills through curriculum development and design and the choice units of learning which challenge learners to use the personal, learning and thinking skills valued by employers. Achievement of nationally recognised qualifications approved by Sector Skills Councils will lead young people to achieve economic well-being. The College will expand the strong networks with employers and business organisations to support enterprise projects and skills competitions. 3.5 Support for Students A wide range of support services will be available to all students to access learning, safeguard welfare – including CAF referrals where appropriate, promote personal development, health and fitness, and achieve outstanding success rates. Key support services will include: Advice and guidance (pre programme, on programme, and progression to further education/higher education and/or employment) Tutorial and mentoring support Additional Learning Support Counselling and access to specialist support services, eg sexual health clinic Financial support Access to Childcare Additional partnerships will be developed to provide additional services to students on site in relation to health and fitness, green travel, employment opportunities etc. Services will be extended to support vulnerable learners eg looked after children, teenage mothers and young parents. HE students will have access to the full range of support services provided through University partners. The aims are: To ensure services are accessible to all learners To ensure all students are aware of the full range of services desirable to them To provide outstanding support to all students pre enrolment, on programme, and to support achievement and progression To ensure support services are comprehensive, responsive, well managed and ensure equality of opportunity for all learners Staff providing support are well qualified in their specialist areas and have relevant experience The themes of Every Student Matters are integrated into all support services 3.6 Safeguarding Students The College will ensure a safe learning environment for all learners, and promote the safe learner concept. The College’s Safeguarding Students Policy incorporates child protection and the Common Assessment Framework (CAF). Procedures are in place to ensure the proper reporting and monitoring of child protection issues for young people and vulnerable adults, with a separate risk management procedure for vulnerable young people in college. The College will work closely with the Darlington Safeguarding Children Board, who are represented on the College Safeguarding Students Group and the Children’s Services Duty Team. The College has a nominated and trained Child Protection Officer, and Deputies, who deal with child protection issues and CAF referrals. Child protection will continue to be a core CPD activity for all staff. 4 Employer Engagement The College has prioritised the development of employer engagement strategies as critical to responding to a demand-led system. It is recognised that around 40% of the adult budget will be demand-led by 2010 increasing to 100% in the following three years. In doing this two principle strands are recognised: The development of a range of training and business support services tailored to meet the needs of employers and Increasing the knowledge skills and competences of learners to realise their workplace and career potential. Eight steps have been identified to support progress in employer engagement: The development of a mission that recognised employers as customers To reconcile current databases into a single comprehensive capture of employer information that logs contract history and activity The enhancement of management information systems to provide timely and ongoing data on employer engagement, key performance indicators and values against targets A range of workforce development programmes supporting engagement with employers To develop and implement an effective tracking system of learner performance and achievement that highlights progress against milestones A flexible policy on the costing and pricing of provision for companies A system of regular surveys of employer and learner need and satisfaction that is regularly measured for improvement A dedicated employer and employee helpline with responsiveness targets and contact points The range of partnerships with employers is extensive and includes: Sector engagement groups comprising employers who attend occupationally specific seminars A complete business service including identification of training needs to delivery of programmes Professional advice and guidance that is recognised by the Matrix quality standard accredited until 2011 Comprehensive training opportunities including Train to Gain, Work based learning, workplace NVQs and full cost training tailored to meet specific employer needs Close working relationships with brokers, the local authority, the Learning and Skills Council, Business Link, various Sector Skills Councils and other intermediaries In 2007/8 the introduction of a dedicated Employer Engagement Directorate which includes a professional team of workplace assessors, employer engagement advisors and business advisers. Aims include: Aim One – to embed the employer engagement Directorate within the College and raise awareness with employers through a ‘one stop’ business operation Aim Two – to improve the communication channels used by employers to make contact with the College Aim Three – to extend working relationships with key brokerages in order to improve provision and meet employer need Aim Four – to extend the college’s ability to be responsible to employer needs Aim Five – to deliver staff development training designed to improve employer engagement Aim Six – to review, develop and improve Quality Assurance processes for employer led provision Aim Seven – to increase employer engagement activity Targets for Work Based Learning Provision Combined LSC Contracts 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Volumes (Actual Forecast) Train to Gain (Starts) 325 400 500 625 Apprenticeships (16-18) 146 175 225 275 Apprenticeships 50 75 100 125 19+/Adults Open & Competitive unknown unknown unknown unknown Tendering The three year cash income target for Full Cost training: Full Cost Income 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 (Actual Forecast Outturn) All Areas £617,000 £667,000 £750,000 £800,000 5 Partnerships for Learning 5.1 University of Teesside and the University Centre, Darlington The College has a longstanding partnership with the University of Teesside, Middlesbrough. The majority of higher education programmes in Darlington are funded through a franchise agreement between the College and University. Teacher training courses currently franchised from Huddersfield University and Sunderland University will be reviewed in line with progress towards co-location in a new University Centre building with the University of Teesside. The Higher Education Funding Council for England provided a £2m grant to support the development of a University Centre within the College’s new campus in Darlington. In 2008 the University of Teesside approved the expansion of higher education provision in Darlington with the development of a new free-standing University Centre to be developed adjacent to the College campus at Central park. A business plan will be finalised in 2008. The current business plan for the development of higher education programmes in Darlington forecasts the following growth to 2011/2012 Year Enrolments Full time equivalents 2008/09 690 427 2009/10 889 578 2010/11 1169 759 2011/12 1346 895 The College provides progression to higher level programmes of study through LSC funded provision and professional courses. Employer sponsored provision will continue to provide the main focus. All HE students have access to tutorial and mentoring support, along with access to the College virtual learning environment and learning resource centre and that of the partner University. The College employed a Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate (KTP) in April 2008 for one year. The College will bid for further KTP opportunities in 2009 and 2010. The University Centre will respond to employer needs identified through One North East by bidding for Pathfinder and Capacity funding and delivering on projects in Engineering and Management through projects with the North East Higher Skills Network. Higher education programmes will continue to be reviewed and monitored in accordance with Quality Assurance Agency standards and review procedures. There will be an Institutional Quality Enhancement Review of provision within the 2008-2013 review cycle. The College anticipates two developmental reviews and a summative review within this period. 6 Quality Strategy and Standards Darlington College is committed to providing an outstanding learning experience for all students and encouraging staff, learners, employers and stakeholders to contribute to the development of excellence, the achievement of Outstanding Ofsted and IQER Gradings, and Self Regulation. The College’s aim is to be placed in the top 10% of FE Colleges nationally. The Quality Strategy sets out objectives and approaches to quality assurance and improvement. An annual Quality Calendar details key activities and monitoring. Reports on performance are provided to the Executive, Quality and Standards Committee, and thereafter presented for Board discussion and approval. Following Ofsted/ALI inspection in April 2005 the college has demonstrated year- on-year an excellent capacity to improve, with increased success rates at all levels. Self assessment is rigorous and comprehensive, and includes business support as well as curriculum area Self Assessment Reports (SARs) and Improvement Plans. External assessment and peer review will be increased to ensure a robust, and rigorous validation process. Annual targets are set to include key performance indicators: Retention, Achievement and Success Rates Value Added Achievements Timely Framework Achievements Minimum Levels of Performance Excellence in Teaching and Learning Observation Grades Qualified teaching staff Progression and destinations Equality and Diversity Performance against targets is rigorously monitored on a monthly basis at Directorate and Executive Level, and will be supplemented by formal termly Performance Reviews for all areas of provision. Underperforming areas are placed ‘under review’, and where there is a trend of underperformance programmes are put ‘at risk’. Areas of provision will be withdrawn where, despite targeted quality improvement plans, there is no sustained capacity to improve. The dissemination of good practice is being promoted through Subject Learning Coaches, Teaching and Learning Development Sessions, CPD, Masterclasses, and the establishment of a Good Practice site on the College virtual learning environment. Teaching and Learning Observations are completed by an external team of qualified Ofsted Inspectors/Consultants on an annual basis, and an internal team of staff have been trained as observers in specific vocational areas. The Learner Voice is given an increasingly high importance, and a Learner Involvement Policy is in place. The views of students are elicited through questionnaires, student forums with the Principal, student forums with Governors, and representation of students on key College Committees, working groups and programme teams. The key questions from the Learner Satisfaction Survey are integrated into student questionnaires, and the College will participate in the initial national student survey in Spring 2009, and annually thereafter. Parental consultation and involvement will be increased. Employer satisfaction surveys are currently in use, and the College will implement the national Employer Satisfaction Survey in Autumn 2008, and annually thereafter. 6.1 Quality Accreditation and Kitemarks The College currently holds Matrix accreditation for advice and guidance services for Work Based Learning and UFI Learndirect provision, as well as Investors in People, and Customer First. Training Quality Standard applications will be made for key areas of provision. Initially these will be for existing CoVE areas (Journalism and Media; Hospitality and Catering), and thereafter curriculum areas which have substantial employer responsive provision. 6.2 Self Regulation The College aims to achieve outstanding Ofsted gradings and Self Regulation status. The College judges that there is outstanding capacity to improve, evidenced through the Self Assessment process. Ofsted inspection is scheduled for academic year 2008/9, and IQER review will commence in 2009/10 for higher education provision. 6.3 Framework for Excellence Elements of the Framework for Excellence (currently in pilot) will be introduced in self assessment 2007/8, with full implementation in the Self Assessment cycle 2008/9. The College will be issued with its first assessment against the key indicators of the Framework for Excellence in Spring 2009. The Framework for Excellence will measure the quality and responsiveness of provision for all learners and employers (against a four point scale: Outstanding, Good, Satisfactory, Inadequate), and the outcomes of assessment will be published. Self assessment will be aligned to the following Framework for Excellence performance indicators: Responsiveness To Learners To Employers Effectiveness Quality of Outcomes Quality of Provision Finance Dimension Financial health Financial management and control Use of resources 7 Equality and Diversity Equality of opportunity for learners and staff is central to the mission of the college. The college monitors data at college and programme level to inform planning, provides comprehensive mandatory staff training in relation to E&D and incorporates E&D in lesson planning and tutorials. The following strategic priorities have been identified: To impact assess college policies, procedures and practices to eliminate any opportunity for discrimination on the basis of any one of the 6 strands of equality legislation, To produce a single equality scheme incorporating the College’s race, disability and gender schemes, with an associated action plan, To develop an employer focus to equality and diversity To strengthen links with the local authority in relation to equality and diversity The College has also recognised the importance of establishing equality and diversity impact measures to set measures for participation, retention and achievement of learners. These are embodied within the College delivery plan. 8 HR Strategy and Continuing Professional Development The College employs 490 FTE staff, of which 214 are tutors or learning advisers, 43 have a management role and 233 have roles supporting the delivery of the curriculum. Staff are currently employed on the following types of contract: Full time or fractional full time, full year Full time or fractional full time, term time only Variable – under which staff work between zero and 100 hours and are paid on an hourly basis. Within the College delivery plan a key target is to optimise the contribution of all staff. A number of strategic aims and objectives for human resources and staff development with associated indicators of success reflect the key policy drivers: responsiveness, flexibility, skill development and professionalism. Aim One – to extend the College’s ability to be responsive to employer needs Aim Two – to develop staff to ensure high quality training and development is delivered and that students are appropriately safeguarded Aim Three – to enhance employee communication, motivation and understanding of college objectives Aim Four – to maximise the contribution of staff 9 Efficient and Sustainable College 9.1 Accommodation and Resource Strategy The College’s Accommodation Strategy has been based on a major new build development in Darlington, which rationalised the estate to create two main centres at Central Park, Haughton Road Darlington and Linear Park, Catterick Garrison. In addition other centres are used on a leased basis to meet demands in particular areas. Both main sites are relatively new, Central Park having opened August 2006, and Linear Park September 1999. In 2007/08 a planned maintenance programme has been developed and will be implemented over 2008/09. The underpinning educational strategy of the capital build programme is to ensure that specialist vocational accommodation and resources are available to support high levels of learner recruitment and success. Key to the continued success of the College is: Further development of the Haughton Road centre to provide additional areas for student learning and circulation / relaxation. This is embodied in the Phase 2 capital project, part A of which is to enhance certain aspects of the current buildings to provide additional space within the Food Court, and LRC, to support the green travel plan through the provision of secure cycle storage and to support increased student activities through the development of a multi- purpose sports area. Part B of Phase 2 is the development of a new block on the site to meet the anticipated growth 64% growth in provision within Construction over the next three years. The strengthening of the existing partnership with the University of Teesside, through their development of an HE centre to be located adjacent to the College’s Central Park Centre. The College will work with the University to ensure that the development maximises the potential for joint use of services and rationalisation of facilities across the two centres. Further exploration of the potential for co-location of the certain Garrison facilities / services at the College’s Linear Park centre to support good partnership working and maximise use of Linear Park. Partnership working with the Local Authority and the 14 – 19 Trust in relation to the potential development of a specific vocational centre in Darlington to meet the learning needs of young people. Continued investment in resources to support teaching and learning, including o the 4 year IT replacement policy, o maintenance of the 1:2 PC ratio to staff o maintenance of the 1:5 PC ratio to students o achievement of 100% of full time tutors with a lap top allocated o annual programme of purchase of equipment o increase in the number of electronic whiteboards and similar devices available in teaching environments. The College is committed to Sustainable Development and is working to incorporate it within all college policies, practices and action planning. In doing so the college will commit to the Green Colleges initiative. The College will work to incorporate objectives set out in the LSC Strategy ‘From here to Sustainability’; ensure prudent use of resources within college; manage college buildings to high environmental standards; work with the local authorities to develop green travel plans; work with students to develop sustainability and sustainable work for the college and realise opportunities to incorporate sustainability into the delivery of teaching and learning. The College also supports the Darlington Climate Change strategy and will develop an action plan to achieve reductions in carbon emissions. Currently developments also include installation of movement sensors attached to lights, energy efficient hand-dyers to replace paper towels, and provision of extended opportunities for recycling. 9.2 Finance As part of the project to develop the Central Park site the College moved from Financial Health category A to category C, with a planned return to category A over the first three years of occupation of the new site. Within this overall target a number of detailed objectives have also been established. For a number of years these have covered pay costs as a percentage of income, LSC dependency, current ratios and cash days in hand. It has been agreed that for future years these will be extended to include: Funding per learner – to monitor changes in the rate of funding received Premises costs per metre squared – monitor in particular heating and lighting costs Costs per learner – to monitor changes In addition to the detailed strategies outlined above and embodied in the financial forecasts, the following are the objectives and primary focus for financial planning and monitoring over the next three years: To improve financial reporting at departmental level, to ensure consistency of costs across curriculum areas, To achieve funding targets across the difference LSC income streams, and To monitor and plan for the cash flow implications of monthly payments based on actual employer engagement activity 9.3 Health and Safety The following are objectives for health and safety over the next three years: To further increase the health and safety awareness of learners to support safer working practices, To assess the need for and develop as appropriate College procedures in support of changes in legislation and national guidelines (for example in relation to the power to search learners), To maintain a safe environment for learners, staff and other users of the College. 9.4 Risk Strategy The comprehensive Risk Management Register is systematically reviewed and updated through the Risk Management Group. The Audit Committee receives reports from the Risk Management Group and reviews the Register on an annual basis. The Chair of the Audit Committee attends meetings of the Risk Management Group as an observer.