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West Suffolk Education Lights Shine Bright!
A rare honour has been bestowed on two Suffolk centres of learning.
West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds and the British Racing School, Newmarket have been awarded Beacon status as shining examples of excellence in teaching and learning.
Rory MacDonald, Chief Executive of the British Racing School, said: "The award is testament to the outstanding team here who are acutely aware of the need to constantly improve what we do and strive daily to better the excellent standards already achieved."
"This is a phenomenal achievement, which is very important for us as a College, for west Suffolk and for the region," said West Suffolk College principal Dr Ann Williams. "Beacon status has been earned over a number of years, through the efforts of a very hardworking staff team, focussed on constantly improving quality and on providing a good experience for our learners. They are always prepared to take new challenges on board and go an extra mile for excellence."
Government ministers award Beacon status to selected candidates; application is by invitation only.
The Beacon status was awarded by the Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, Bill Rammell at a ceremony at Westminster on Wednesday November 29 2006.
Dr Ann Williams and Rory MacDonald will both attended the ceremony to receive the award. David Ruffley MP, regional directors of the Learning & Skills Council, West Suffolk College Chairman of Governors Betty Milburn, staff members and students from both organisations also attended.
The DfES uses inspection report information and LSC performance assessments to identify potential candidates. West Suffolk College earned a glowing Ofsted inspection report this year, graded Outstanding across the board. The British Racing School was also identified as Outstanding by Ofsted, the only volume work based training provider within the Land Based Sector to be graded Outstanding. The Inspection report commented that the BRS has excellent resources that are well managed and used effectively to support training.
West Suffolk College and the British Racing School are linked through the Increased Flexibility Programme which provides day release training for young people at local schools in Years 10 and 11. In addition the School is part of the College's 'Train to Gain' consortium. The double award of Beacon Status can only serve to cement links between the two training providers.
Learning and Skills Beacon status provides public recognition of the excellence and innovation which exists within the Learning and Skills sector. This prestigious award celebrates learning providers that deliver outstanding teaching and learning and are well led and managed. It is for providers funded by the Learning and Skills Council and inspected by the Office for Standards (OFSTED) or the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI). The status is held for three years.
This status led initiative aims to drive up standards of provision in a fresh and innovative way. It was launched by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in 2002. The scheme is now managed by QIA. Beacons are drawn from general, tertiary colleges, sixth forms, Work Based Learning providers and adult community learning providers.