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Parents from local Academy take part in a digital pilot scheme

A partnership between South & City College Birmingham’s Foundation Studies faculty and Balaam Wood Academy in Rubery has successfully delivered a 5-week pilot scheme to teach basic digital skills to parents of pupils from the school.

Gmilla Loveridge – Faculty Head at the college was approached by Fiona Smith – Assistant Head at Balaam Wood Academy to deliver a course to parents of pupils to develop their digital skills and teach them how to access the school’s online systems. This would enable the parents to support their children’s education and communication with the school through their online platforms. The first cohort of parents attended for two hours, twice a week for five weeks, in a dedicated classroom at the Academy.

Shelley had no previous experience of how to use a computer or IT before attending the course. She said: “The course has taught me how to use various search engines, how to cut and paste and use Word, and how to use the school’s online systems. I now have more self-confidence to continue learning after not doing too well at school and my ambition now is to do a course which will allow me to become a teaching assistant at a special needs school.”

Gmilla said: “This has been such a remarkable success story. Feedback from the students has been extremely positive and has not only improved their digital skills but also raised their confidence and aspirations to take the next step and look at progressing onto a college course in 2022.

“As a local college, we set out to meet the needs of the community and working with our local schools such as Balaam Wood has not only enabled us to work collaboratively with parents, but we hope this is a start of a long partnership, where we work together to support students from Balaam Wood to transition to our Longbridge (Bournville College) campus to continue their education”.

The college hopes to be able to deliver the same course to another cohort in January 2022 and roll it out to other local schools in the future.