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kiana thomas access

A year ago retail assistant Kiana Thomas would have never believed she had the potential to study at university. But now this hard working mum from Birmingham is looking forward to starting a degree in Nursing in a few months.

It is all thanks to an Access to University course at Bournville College that Kiana enrolled on in January. Its aim is to enable adults without formal qualifications to gain a broad base of knowledge and skills so that they can go onto University the following year.

‘I didn’t want to be a typical young mum with no ambition. I wanted to educate myself so my daughter can have a better life. I always wanted to do nursing so I thought I’d give it a try.’ she explained.

Kiana admits that the course was a challenge: ‘It was very daunting to start with and a major culture shock as going back to education isn’t easy. I had never been to college before this,I did an apprenticeship years ago when I finished school. The course is very intense and it required a lot of hard work. I have made many good friends along the way, all classmates are very supportive and encouraging of each other.’

Now Kiana is looking forward to her degree course and a rewarding career in Adult Nursing. Her fellow Access students have gone onto study various subjects at university, including Social Work, Midwifery, Teaching, Engineering and more. In fact, this course is so popular that this year Bournville College has expanded the range of subjects that it covers by introducing new pathways into Criminology and Sports Science.

Alma Aganovic from Bournville College explains: ‘Adult students come flocking to Bournville to do the Access course because they realise it offers a second chance. Even if you left school early you can still go to university with only one year of study. What’s more, you can get an Advanced Learning Loan that you don’t need to pay back if you complete your degree course, so technically your Access course is free of charge.’

To find out more, call the College on 0800 111 6311 or visit www.bournville.ac.uk and search for Access to Higher Education courses.

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The College has been awarded a Silver medal rating for the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for Higher Education.

This result is a testament to our talented and hardworking staff, who should be very proud of their efforts.

The TEF recognises excellence in teaching, the learning environment and student outcomes in addition to existing national quality requirements for universities, colleges, and other higher education providers. It provides information to help prospective students choose where to study.


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IMG 0165On 20th June, our Bordesley Green campus played host to the UK’s biggest and longest running skills competition, SkillBuild.

Delivered by CITB, this renowned competition covers a range of crafts including bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, painting and decorating, plastering and wall and floor tiling, attracting competitors and colleges from across the country.

Running for over 45 years, the SkillBuild sees the very best in construction talent compete against each other to be crowned the winner in their chosen trade. Following this, winners will be invited to compete at the National SkillBuild Final at the NEC, Birmingham, and if successful here, they will be offered the chance to have a place on the WorldSkills UK team.

This year, we had a number of entrants into the competition and came away with eight medals!

Our Winners:

  • Conna O’Toole, Carpentry, Senior – first place
  • Jack Hull, Wall and Floor Tiling, Senior – first place
  • Ryan Griffiths, Painting and Decorating, Senior – second place
  • Joseph Parker, Joinery, Senior – second place
  • Mohammad Orang, Carpentry, New Entrant – second place
  • Mohammed Ramzan, Joinery, New Entrant – third place
  • Curtis Green, Plastering, Senior – third place
  • Suleman Sillah, Wall and Floor Tiling, New Entrant – third place

A number of school children also attended the event and took part in the 'Have a Go' activities the college had provided, all of which acted as an early introduction to construction trades.
South and City College's Deputy Director of Construction Crafts, Simon Winder, said of the event visitors "They were all amazed, and very impressed at what was on display, especially the quality of work that was being produced by all the competitors.”

A huge congratulations to all of our winners, all of the competitors and everyone involved with the event that helped make it a great success.

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Customer Excellence Accred LogoWe are pleased to confirm that the College have retained the Customer Service Excellence Standard after an inspection took place at Hall Green and Bournville.

The standard aims to ensure that organisations provide services that are effective, efficient and equitable with the customer at the heart of everything they do, and thanks to the great efforts of our staff, we were able to preserve our fantastic achievement.

The inspector granted us with record 15 ‘Compliant Plus’ grades (the highest of any college).

Our praised strengths included:

  •               Student feedback
  •               Marketing and publicity
  •              Using the merger for continuous improvement/development
  •               IT and MIS systems.

Thank you to all who contributed during the inspection, and a special mention to Kay Snelson for her endless hours of hard work when producing a very impressive CSE submission.

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IMG 0226Ryan Griffiths began his journey at South and City College on a supported learning ICT programme, which he did not enjoy. After some thought, he went on to join the Carousel Construction Course.

Thanks to changing courses, Ryan did not only find himself excelling in many trade areas, he began to like college again, in particular, painting and decorating. Due to his range of learning difficulties, such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, Ryan’s learning posed many barriers, however, he has managed to overcome them with the help of student engagement alongside teaching staff.

Ryan is now on a Painting and Decorating Level 1 course, working at distinction level through all practical elements. Despite all the additional needs, he has successfully completed work experience and was entered for the Johnston’s Young Painter of the Year Competition at South Leicester College April 2017.

Painting and Decorating lecturer Matthew Wadron said: “Ryan’s work is outstanding, so much so, that he won first place and has now qualified to represent the college at this year’s Johnston’s painting and decorating national finals at the Ricoh Arena and represented the college at the Skillbuild West Midlands Regional Heats held at the Bordesley Green Campus on 20 June 2017. On the day, Ryan was promoted from the new entrant level to senior students, where he went on to gain second place, which is an absolutely fantastic achievement.

“The transformation this learner has made is fantastic.

"Both support staff and tutors are extremely overwhelmed and proud of his achievements so far this year and we will continue to nurture and push Ryan to his full potential as he continues his study with us.”

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A charity event that took place Thursday, 8th June within IKEA, Dale End Birmingham raised £1,693 for the local charity, ‘Help Harry Help Others’. Shoppers were able to bid at auction for a variety of customised home furnishings and furniture created by fashion students from South and City College Birmingham.

The items on auction were part of the exhibition, ‘Art on the High Street’, which was located in The Square Shopping Centre, allowed fashion students to not only demonstrate their course skills, but also gave an opportunity to work with the iconic household brand IKEA. Dawn Lloyd, Unit Manager for IKEA Order & Collection Point commented, “We’re are absolutely delighted to have been able to sponsor the college with products for the students curriculum work and were over the moon to then be able to offer them for auction ,all in aid of ‘Help Harry Help Others’.

The auction evening that was open to the public saw a bidding war for a variety of items; an IKEA sofa embroidered by hand sold for nearly £400 and a simple set of customsied chair cushions reaching £50. Eileen Simons, Assistant Faculty Head for the college said, “As a college we always look to offer our students support within their chosen industry, providing them with experience in and out of the classroom. This project has been an excellent opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and gain real life experience and we are proud of their work and commitment they have shown during this time. The support we have had from IKEA and the Square Shopping Centre has been amazing and we're really pleased we've been involved in this initiative. 

IKEAThe money raised will help fund the local Cancer Charity efforts to further work towards a cure for Brain Cancer but also in helping children and their families who are affected by any Cancer, and the people who support them. Around 1,550 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, a quarter of them with brain tumors. The charity’s mission is to find a cure, but until then they want to make a difference wherever they can. Cushman & Wakefield General Manager of The Square Shopping Centre, Mark Dixon, said “Help Harry Help Others is an amazing local charity and we’re delighted that we were able to give our shoppers a chance to not only exhibit the work created by the college, but also own a piece for such a worthy cause.” 

Georgie Moseley, Founder of Help Harry Help Others, “It’s an honour to accept a cheque for £1,693 which was raised through an event created by students. Whilst primarily we are a local Cancer Charity, we also inspire young people through Harry’s story and it was lovely to have children and young adults there who chose to support Harry.”

To find out more about the charity and how you can help raise money for HHHO, visit: www.hhho.org.uk

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James Houston and MikeOn Sunday, 7 May, Sports and Leisure, Supported Learning student, James Houston became the BLCC Midland Area Champion for kick boxing.
James’ achievement is a fantastic edition to his existing title of ICO British and ICO European champion. “We are all extremely proud of James”, personal tutor, Debbie Jones explained: “he is a great inspiration for the rest of his group and department. All of us in the supported learning department, and his training club M.A.C.K Marauders would like to wish James all of the success and nothing but the best for the future.”
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protocol recruitment event pictureFollowing the enormous success of their Jobs Fairs last year, Protocol are pleased to confirm that they will be hitting the road once again with their 2017 Recruitment Roadshow.

Throughout May and June, the Protocol team will be heading out to cities across the UK including London, Leeds, Liverpool, and Newcastle – and the second stop is Birmingham, on the 8th June in at Birmingham City Library, Broad Street, between 2-7pm. Lecturers, Assessors, Learning Support Workers, Senior Managers and industry professionals who’d like to find out more about working in further education are all encouraged to attend.

Lisa Aldred, Candidate Attraction Manager at Protocol comments:
“We recruit for a vast variety of education jobs from teaching, SEN, learning support and lecturing through to invigilation, admin, MIS and management. Positions include sickness cover, temporary and permanent opportunities. These events are a fantastic way for us to catch up with existing candidates and register new faces.”
She continues: “Our free relaxed events will provide education professionals with the opportunity to speak to an experienced consultant, look for jobs and get advice, ahead of the new academic year.”

The agency will also be running free CV workshops throughout the day, providing tips and advice to help candidates fine tune their CV for the education sector.

Established in 1995, Protocol is the UK’s leading provider of flexible staffing to the Further Education sector, working with over 200 Further Education Colleges and 70 Private Training Providers, as well as Local Authorities and the Justice Sector. They help over 4,000 candidates nationwide find both temporary and permanent jobs every year, in which they deliver over 1 million hours of teaching and learning.

To find out more or to book a slot with a consultant visit www.protocol.co.uk/jobsfairs or call 0115 911 1222

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A South & City College Birmingham manager has returned from a delegation to Bosnia-Herzegovina with a mission – to use the lessons from the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II to tackle the rise of hatred and intolerance in this country.

Alma Raisu I ulama

Alma Aganovic, Director of marketing and customer experience at South & City College Birmingham, joined other professionals in fields such as journalism, academia, arts and the public sector from across the country. The group visited Sarajevo to learn about the longest siege in modern warfare, Tuzla, to meet with an organisation working with the victims of mass rape, and Srebrenica, where 8,372 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were murdered in an act of genocide.

Originally from Bosnia herself, Alma reflected on the importance of these lessons for the UK: ‘We were in Bosnia when we heard about the tragic events in Manchester. I couldn’t help but draw parallels between Bosnia twenty-two years ago and Britain now. Bosnia was a peaceful country before the war and it is through the prejudice and hatred of a few that innocent lives of thousands were destroyed. And just as it could have been me in Bosnia, it could have been my daughter in Manchester. Both Srebrenica and Manchester are communities of strength, resilience and unity. We must learn lessons from the past to tackle hatred and intolerance wherever we see it.’

Everyone who joined the delegation has pledged to increase awareness of the Srebrenica genocide. Alma is hoping to develop a tutorial programme for students in further education to spread the message amongst young people.

Unfortunately, our young people don’t learn about Srebrenica at school and so the single greatest atrocity in Europe since the Second World War could easily be forgotten. With the rise of divisive politics across the world, it has never been more important to share the lessons learnt from Srebrenica and promote tolerance.’ Alma added.

Alma has recently taken up the position as the Chair of Remembering Srebrenica West Midlands Board. The role of the Board is to work with Community Champions and leaders in the region to help create a better and safer society, by combating the threat of hatred and intolerance and providing a powerful way to create vibrant and cohesive communities. If you would like to be involved in Remembering Srebrenica’s work in the region, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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L7PMSOwUSouth and City College are proud to announce that our application has been successful and we have been included as a provider of Apprenticeships in the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).
RoATP is part of Apprenticeship reforms being brought in by the Government from 1 May 2017 and is designed to improve the quality and quantity of Apprenticeships, allowing employers to access top-quality apprenticeship training from approved providers. To be eligible to deliver Apprenticeship training for Apprenticeships that start on or after 1 May 2017, organisations have to be approved and listed on the RoATP.
Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said: “Giving employers control over their apprenticeships needs and funding is an essential feature of our plan to create an apprenticeships and skills nation. Our new register of apprenticeship providers will mean that only organisations that have passed our quality assurance can deliver apprenticeships.”
“We are giving employers the confidence to do business with high-quality training providers, and making sure that individuals can benefit from gold-standard routes as they climb the ladder of opportunity.”
Levied employers will now be able to choose South and City College from the register as their preferred provider and be assured of high quality delivery and support for their Apprenticeships. Inclusion on RoATP reaffirms the findings of Ofsted at the college’s last inspection.      
Mike Hopkins, Principal said: “We are pleased that the College has now been included on the register. We have excellent reputation for our work with employers and apprenticeships and it’s good to know that this has been recognised.”
South and City College offers a range of high quality apprenticeship training than can make the workforce of businesses more productive  - driving up key business measures like customer satisfaction, productivity and quality. Whilst the RoATP is currently for use by levy-paying employers, South and City College has an excellent track-record of providing apprenticeship training to all employers including smaller, non-levy-paying employers and our expertise and resources are valued by leading employers, public sector organisations and small and micro businesses from all sectors across the region. We can offer comprehensive advice and guidance on making apprenticeship choices and a free of charge recruitment service.
Employers interested in South and City College’s apprenticeship provision should emailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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