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The Corporation

Posted: 18/11/11

College scoops coveted further education 'Oscar'

Staff and students at Vision West Notts are celebrating after it scooped a prestigious Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award.

The college was announced as winner of the ‘City & Guilds Award for Staff Development’ by Lord Willis of Knaresborough at the AoC Annual Conference in Birmingham on 16 November.

The accolade, in the Awards for Leadership and Quality Improvement category, recognises the innovative ways in which the college has engaged staff in its equality and diversity scheme.

Principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE said:  “I’m delighted our commitment to staff development around equality and diversity has led to this prestigious national award.  To be recognised as the top college in the country for this vital area of work is a major honour.

“Our innovative approach has helped embed equality and diversity in every corner of the organisation – making it a topic that’s fully embraced by staff and students alike.

“Staff continually develop their knowledge through individualised training programmes which enables them to make the subject stimulating and meaningful to students through tutorials and other activities.

“All of this is crucial in helping our students be good citizens with a healthy respect for difference and diversity.”

Staff have access to a toolkit of resources, with lots of hints and tips and good practice from across the college available.  Staff go above and beyond the basic legal requirements in this area and are supported to take responsibility for their own development.  This is done by using techniques such as interactive workshops, debates, work shadowing, observation of excellent teaching and access to extensive resources.

Students also participate in the equality and diversity programme and 97% agreed that their understanding and awareness of equality and diversity has improved thanks to the college’s efforts.

The AoC Beacon Awards are now in their 18th year and are awarded each year to UK colleges who capture and celebrate the positive impact they have on their students, staff and communities.

Vision West Notts will host a local celebration event in the New Year and will be presented with its award by John Hayes MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, at a national presentation ceremony due to be held at Westminster on 8 February 2012.