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Monday, 06 June 2016 09:55

Birmingham Pride 2016

On Saturday, 28 May, South and City College Birmingham took part in Birmingham’s most successful pride ever with over 75,000 people coming along to support the parade as it made its way through the city centre.

The college joined in the 20th annual pride celebrations with both staff and students from different courses and campuses taking part in the parade along with the brightly, rainbow decorated college bus. 

Commencing at Victoria Square, organisations and participants gathered in their hundreds creating a fantastic atmosphere for all while waiting for the parade kick off at 12noon, where we went on to make our way to Hurst Street. 

Alison Harrison, assistant director of student engagement said: “thank you to all who participated for supporting the college at the pride parade. It was a great day and it’s really good that the college was represented so well.”

You can find pictures of the pride celebrations on our Facebook page:

National Express donate coach to South & City CollegeNational Express is driving forward its partnership with a Digbeth-based college by donating a coach to enable students to broaden their horizons.

Building on a long-standing partnership between two organisations, the Birmingham-based National Express has donated the vehicle to South and City College Birmingham. The coach will be used by the college to take students on a variety of trips around the UK.

Located in close proximity, both the college and National Express have led the regeneration of the Digbeth area over the past few years, with respective investments in the new coach station and the extensive college campus. Both look to provide education, employment and training opportunities for the community.

The donated coach was previously used daily, serving much of the National Express national network; it has now been rebranded with the college's vibrant pink and purple branding and will carry staff and students around the country. Trips have, and will, include residential stays in Wales, National Trust excursions and visits to London.

The company will continue to support the operation of the coach, as engineers from National Express West Midlands will ensure the vehicle is regularly serviced and maintained.

Transport Manager for the college, Andrew Williams said: “Without National Express donating these vehicles, students could miss out on educational, valuable trips. Hiring coaches is a large expense so to have our own has made things significantly easier.”

Principal of the college, Mike Hopkins said:" I am immensely grateful to National Express for their support in providing this coach, it will be a great asset for our students and support them with educational visits and activities. We have an excellent working relationship with National Express and this shows their commitment to Birmingham and to education.”

South and City College Pastoral Team has been working with the Faith encounters project to take groups of students to various places of worship over the course of the last term

The Faith Encounters project is a multi-faith group working to develop mutual respect and understanding between people of all faiths and none. The project offers opportunities for encounter between members of all faiths in the hope that participants will seek to develop mutual understanding, trust and respect, not hiding difference and recognising the uniqueness and special contribution of each faith to its people and the world.

Groups of students were taken on a guided tour of the various places of worship.  Visits included the Shree Ram Mandir Hindu Temple, English Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara and a Jewish Synagogue. The guides provided an insight into the faiths and places of worship. 

Students were invited to try the religious dress in the Jewish synagogue and were shown examples of other religious items. The Sikh Gurdwara offered insight and understanding into the religious practice and its history. Students were again shown examples of religious items associated with the faith. To finish the visit, students and staff were offered food and refreshments made by volunteers, illustrating the warmth and hospitality offered to the community on a daily basis.

During all of the visits and after it was apparent the similarities between various faiths and worship. Students openly compared each faith to their own noting similarities.

This project offered a valuable, holistic experience which not only actively promotes fundamental British values and equality but offers an opportunity for personal reflection. Witnessing the similarities between faiths breaks down the barriers, many students commented on how shocked they were on how similar they were to each other

All who took part in the visits felt they had got a richer experience and level of understanding from taking part on the project. 

The Pastoral team would like to thank all of the students and staff who took part in this project as they were a credit to the college showing great respect and enthusiasm.


Musical Youth at South and City College BirminghamIn February the college played host to a special performance from Musical Youth, at our Digbeth campus. This was a great opportunity for our students to get involved in setting up the stage, filming the event and getting involved with interviewing the performers. The performance by Musical Youth, which will be available on our YouTube channel in the next week, was put together for ITV’s ‘Where are they now? The Reunions’ show. Which will be aired on ITV on Sunday 29th May at 7pm.

Ellie Jones, a HND student at Digbeth said ‘Putting on a show in the Digbeth Campus auditorium can be a big job… This space has hosted a range of events such as music concerts, gaming conventions, workshops, boxing matches, theatre productions, debates and much more.’

Ellie started at the college as a BTEC student, three years ago. She enrolled straight from school and has now progressed through to a 2nd year HND popular music course, hoping to complete her degree. A seasoned performer at various gigs, Ellie was interested in finding out a bit more about how things were setup behind the scenes.

Ellie and her fellow students have been part of the beginning of a student crew scheme at the college, which has given students the opportunity to work alongside their tutors and the floor staff at the college, in setting up the auditorium for a variety of events, with ITV’s ‘Where are they now? The Reunions’ being the latest. Ellie explained how much hard work goes into setting up these events and how it can take from 8am on the day of a gig to get things prepared, including sound checks, lighting and any visuals which need prepping for the show.

The Musical Youth performance was a success, Musical Youth had a great time coming back to their old college; frontman Dennis Seaton who studied at the old South Birmingham College [now South & City College Birmingham] when asked about his return to education said; “I thought, well, there is no point studying rocket science as I don’t love that, I love music, so that’s what I did. And it just so happened that I ended up here at South Birmingham College [South & City College Birmingham]. And for 2 years, I had a great time, I learned so much. Not just about myself, but how to pass on information and encourage others to play music and pass the knowledge on.” With an obvious love for the college and the city, Seaton continued; “The wealth of knowledge in the faculty is second to none to be fair. It is as good as any university out there, because of the experience of the staff and that’s just my honest opinion. It’s been like that since I’ve been coming here and I left here over 7 or 8 years ago now. So for me, I was able to go on and do my third year at university and then go on and do my masters. So it all started here for me. The facilities are just as good as anywhere else. This [college], I tell anybody, has the best sound stage in Birmingham, if not the country.”

If music interests you or the potential to be a part of the student crew, you can view all our music courses here. Alternatively, come along and take a look for yourself at ‘the best sound stage in Birmingham, if not the country’ – we’re opening our doors on 8th June, from 4pm until 7pm. You can register here:

You can watch Musical Youth’s performance on ITV 1 at 7pm on Sunday 29th May 2016. To find out more about the show, visit the preshow site here:

An interview with Dennis Seaton and Michael Grant will soon be on our YouTube channel along with a few highlights of the day:

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 09:32

PMT are coming to South & City

PMT at South & City College 2016We are delighted to announce that PMT have organised two fantastic events with talented musicians at our Digbeth campus.

Both events will give attendees the chance to check out new instruments, experience brilliant performances while getting ‘top tips’ on both drum and keyboard.

Steve White drum clinic tour 

We are proud to announce that Steve White, one of the greatest and most influential British drummers of his generation will be coming along to Digbeth campus for a drum clinic.

This is a do-not-miss opportunity for drummers of all ages and abilities where attendees will experience an explosive performance and hear the phenomenal sound of Yamaha drums, described by Steve as “beautifully made and a joy to play”. The session will be fun, informative and most importantly, leave you inspired.

The clinic will take place at 6.30pm on Monday, 6 June and is free for all staff and students and is £10 for the general public. For more information, or to order your ticket visit the following link: 

Nord evening 

The Nord evening will feature talented keyboard player and musical director Steve Turner. Steve’s career has taken him all around the world he has worked with a variety of artists such as, Sugababes, Kylie Minogue, All Saints, Anastacia and also Jay Z and Beyonce.

Steve will be sharing his experience in the industry as well as performing exclusive demos and giving tutorials which will allow you to get hands on with Nord’s brand new keyboards such as the Nord Piano 3 and also the Stage 3 EX, Electro 5, Lead 4 and Lead A1.

This event will be taking place at our Digbeth campus in the auditorium on Thursday, 9 June from 7pm-10pm. The evening is free to attend, all you need to do is register on the following link:


World Skills UKThe world’s largest vocational skills competition starts in Birmingham on 24th & 25th May 2016.
The annual WorldSkills UK competition, which aims to find the best adult health and social care workers in the country, will hold the first two of five Qualifying Heats at South & City College Birmingham.

During the Qualifying Heats, 60 students and trainees from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will demonstrate their health and social care sector skills in a mix of written tests and live activities. They will be assessed by a panel of expert judges charged with finding the eight competitors for the finals, which are being held during the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham this November. The Skills Show regularly attracts over 70,000 visitors.

The activities, which includes working with older people and people with learning disabilities, were devised by Competition Organising Partner to replicate situations which health and social care workers would be expected to face in their everyday roles.

“WorldSkills UK inspires young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. As we regularly see bad press on the industry appearing almost daily, it’s more important than ever that staff who do deliver excellent health care have the opportunity to demonstrate this, inspire others and receive recognition for it through the competition,” said Marc Jones, Managing Director of

The list of colleges and organisations from which the competitors come is available here:

Notes to editors:

If you wish to attend the heats, please contact: Mark Poland; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

WorldSkills UK

  • WorldSkills UK champions world-class apprenticeships and technical skills. This is achieved by engaging young people in skills competitions, delivering experiential careers events, role modelling to challenge stereotypes and using research to support the apprenticeship agenda. The organisation’s goals are to support business competitiveness, young people’s employability and excellence in standards. WorldSkills UK brings together:
  • WorldSkills UK Competitions, part of WorldSkills UK, inspire apprentices and young people to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills excellence to raise productivity. These competitions equip young people with the skills to help UK business compete. Through working with partners in industry, education and government, WorldSkills UK Competitions help to inform careers advice as well as benchmarking apprenticeship and qualification frameworks in the UK.
  • The Skills Show, part of WorldSkills UK, is the nation’s largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of a new generation. Attracting nearly 80,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find out more about the world of work.

WorldSkills UK Champions, part of WorldSkills UK, is a growing network of inspiring young professionals, who have competed in a WorldSkills UK national final, many of whom have gone on to represent the UK internationally as part of Squad and Team UK. Skills Champions are now out working in industry and act as inspirational role models for future generations of apprentices and young people.

For further information, visit

Monday, 21 March 2016 11:42

Theatrical makeup student wins award

April Brooks wins theatrical makeup prize - South and City College BirminghamWe are proud to announce that April Brooks, a student from the theatrical media makeup course, won an award at The Media Makeup & Theatre Event hosted by the Professional Makeup Academy.

On Saturday March 12, April represented how the world has changed and the elements which affect our forever changing planet through her costume and makeup; April designed her costume to represent a burning forest, with her outfit being made from recycled carrier bags in the colour of flames. For all her hard work, she was awarded the Most Outstanding Makeup and Costume of the day. This was April's first ever competition and to receive such recognition is great achievement.

Congratulations April.

South & City College Birmingham and Bournville College MergerAs an outcome of the recent area review it has been recommended that South & City College Birmingham and Bournville College merge to form a single college. Both brands will be retained as will provision on the Longbridge site.

As one college our focus will be on excellence, working with students, employers and our communities to improve the skills and life chances of the people of Birmingham.

You can download the merger consultantion document below; this is an opportunity for you to have your say by completing our consultation; your views are important to us.

Hospitality and Catering at South & City College BirminghamOn January 26, a team of 16 Hospitality & Catering learners competed in various competitions at the Warwickshire & Hinckley Salon Culinaire held in Nuneaton. The annual event saw Hospitality & Catering learners from six different colleges competing in live cooking, restaurant service and static competitions. All the live competitions were against the clock and really did test the practical skill base of the learners. The static competition saw learners entering pre-made novelty cakes, bread goods, Victoria sandwiches and cupcakes for tasting/judging by an expert panel. Team SCCB entered 16 learners and came away with the following results:

Novelty Cake - static

Gold Medal and Best in Class for Julianna Czinke (pictured)

Napkin Folding - live

Gold Medal for Peter Guiden

Bronze Medal for Sana Fofana

Vegetable Preparation – live

Gold Medal for Danny Astley – Currall

Merit Award for Shiplu Miah

Chicken Preparation – live

Bronze Medal for Leon Johnson

Chicken Cookery – Live

Silver Medal and Best in Class for Mohsen Khosravian

Fish Preparation – live

Bronze Medal for Dan Tompkins

Fish Cookery – live

Gold Medal and Best in Class to Lucy Cartwright

Bread & Rolls – static

Merit Award for Fahima Khimoun

Merit Award for Yasmin Hewitt

Victoria Sponge – static

Silver Medal for Kelly McMahon

Bronze Medal for Kelly Graham

Cup Cakes - static

Bronze Medal for Juliet Ebodor

Merit Award for Ina Rosca

Merit Award for Dinah Hadish

Julianna Czinke (pictured) won gold and best in class for her stunning cake decoration of the characters from the film Madagascar. When entering into the competition, she had no idea what she wanted to do. Julianna knew that she didn’t want to do anything that was too easy; she wanted a challenge.

After a conversation with her husband, it was suggested that a theme based on their 10 month old daughter’s favourite film Madagascar would be a good choice.

When it came to the day of the competition, Julianna couldn’t attend as she couldn’t find a babysitter. She was still very nervous on the day. Julianna received several texts during the day, keeping her up-to-date with what was going on. When finding out she had won, she said “I was over the moon and my husband is so proud”.

Wayne Scarce, her tutor said “that entry would win a gold medal at any competition, anywhere in the world!”

A week after winning her class, Julianna now believes in herself a lot more and is pleased the college enters students for competitions; “You get pushed just that little bit further so you can achieve more”.

Meanwhile, fellow student Lucy Cartwright filleted her way to first place in the fish cooking class.

Lucy completed level 1 & 2 Professional Cookery and is now on level 3. Her ambition after finishing this year, is to work in a fine dining restaurant, within a chain of hotels and then run her own restaurant after gaining lots of experience. Lucy is already working as a trainee chef alongside her studies at a restaurant in Brindley Place. She said “this course has helped me so much in the workplace.”

As one of the many students that entered the recent competition held at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Lucy received a Best in Class and Gold medal in the Fish Cooking class. Although another student filleted the mackerel, Lucy had just 15 minutes to cook and prepare 4 plates of mackerel with sweet potato, suitably decorated and presented.

Although nervous before this competition, Lucy is an old hand at competing for South and City College’s Hospitality and Catering team. She entered 3 competitions in her second year. The first was at the NEC for top chefs and she was the only student; however still won a bronze. The second competition saw her do better and attain a silver. The last competition of that year, saw Lucy compete as part of a team of 3 and get placed second. The team had to cook and serve a starter of shellfish chowder, a main of rack of lamb with a moussaka stack and an orange ice cream and lemon tart for dessert.

When asked how she feels about competitions, Lucy said “competitions get you ready for the real world, as timing is so important for both. Competitions are fun; they are like rollercoasters - you’re nervous before you get on, but once it’s finished, it’s like wow, let’s do this again!”

South & City College Birmingham - Media StudentsThe BAPA hosted 2015's Conference on October 21 - October 23 2015 and South and City College Media students captured the whole event. This included key note speeches from the Home Secretary Teresa May, Franstine Jones, president of the NBPA, West Midlands Deputy Chief Constable David Thompson, Simon Israel from Channel 4 News and Tariq Jahan, who gave a community perspective and Police delegates from the United States were also in attendance.

Students filmed and documented the peace march through the Lozells district marking the 30-year anniversary of the riots indicating solidarity between police officers and the communities they serve.   Alongside the peace march a tree was planted and plaque put up to mark the event.

South and City College have been praised for their professionalism and dedication throughout the event, BAPA also attended the Digbeth campus to thank students personally and give awards.