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Whether considering a career change or upgrade, determined to finally take up a hobby or keen that 2019 will be the year to embrace health and fitness, Windsor Forest Colleges Group’s new programme of adult learning courses ticks all the resolution boxes. Courses start this month, with day and evening options available.

Funding for adult courses has also been upgraded. Recent government funding for low paid earners means many adult courses offered at the groups three colleges – Langley, Strode’s and Windsor, are now free to anyone earning less than £20,000.

Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb continues: “A new year often signifies the opportunity to do something new, different or better. This government funding can help make these resolutions a reality. If 2019 is going to be the year of the career the funding will cover the cost of professional courses, ideal for career changes or enhancers. Unfortunately, this funding is not going to be around for ever so I would encourage anyone keen to take advantage to move quickly.”

With the multi-million-pound facilities at Langley College mirroring those of the industries it trains for, there are a number of exciting opportunities to develop advanced technical skills across a broad range of sectors. There are courses from Computing to Construction, Hairdressing to Hospitality and Early Years to Engineering. Just down the road in Slough and new for 2019, is the opportunity to enrol on an ESOL courses at Slough Aspire. Windsor’s renowned creative hub has an exciting selection of courses on offer from flower arranging to foreign languages and interior design to sewing and textiles. And in Egham, Strode’s College offers something for everyone – courses for careers, courses for creative leisure, foreign languages and health and wellbeing.

For further information please go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk/adult-learners or email the admissions team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Our superb restaurant, Zest, provided the perfect backdrop to the Men’s Matters Christmas lunch. Langley College Hospitality and Catering students created, cooked and served up a spectacular lunch for more than 70 guests, including Mayor of Slough Councillor Paul Sohal and Mayor and Mayoress of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Councillor Paul Lion and Laura Lion.

The event marks three years since the male support group first began and guests spoke highly of the work the group does to support older men living in the Berkshire community who are socially isolated.

Trustee Paul Samuels said: “It was wonderful bringing together our members from our three centres in Windsor, Maidenhead and Langley and our partners who have supported us so well.”

Find out more about our Hospitality and Catering courses

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group and the Society for Education and Training (SET) have announced exciting plans to form a new corporate partnership.  The collaboration, which took effect from October 2018, will see a new era of professional development opportunities for the group’s academic staff.

As a corporate partner, teaching staff at the group’s three colleges – Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College are encouraged to become members of SET, the only professional membership body dedicated to teachers and trainers working in further education.

Announcing the partnership, the Windsor Forest Colleges Group Principal and CEO Kate Webb said: “Outstanding teaching and learning is a cornerstone to delivering exceptional outcomes for each and every one of our students. We are committed to ensuring our academic staff receive professional development opportunities which enable them to continuously develop their teaching expertise and technical know-how. We believe that no matter how good a teacher is and no matter how good our results are, we must always focus on maintaining standards and we are looking forward to working with SET to deliver this ambition.”

Education and Training Foundation Chief Executive David Russell said: “We are delighted to welcome the Windsor Forest Colleges Group as a corporate partner of the Society for Education and Training. This partnership is a positive step that signals a college’s commitment to high-quality development for its staff and teaching for its students. It will provide teaching staff with access to a host of CPD opportunities, expertise and resources, and help them strive for excellence in their professional journey.”

As SET members, teaching staff at the college will:

  • have the opportunity to study for Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) and Advanced Teacher Status (ATS). SET is the only passport to achieving both QTLS and ATS
  • gain access to resources, training and teaching tools, research and expert views in further education
  • enjoy benefits, such as the Society for Education and Training's mentoring service
  • be part of a professional community of over 17,000 teachers and trainers in the education sector, with opportunities to share expertise and experience with their peers
  • receive copies of inTuition, the most widely read journal for practitioners working across further education, vocational teaching and training

Notes to Editors

1.         To find out more information about SET Corporate Partnership, visit https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/membership/set-corporate-partners/. If you are interested in becoming a SET Corporate Partner, please speak to Martin Reid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 020 3740 8294.

2.         About the Society for Education and Training (https://set.et-foundation.co.uk/)

The Society for Education and Training is the membership body dedicated to professionals working across further education, vocational teaching and training. It is the professional arm of the Education and Training Foundation.

With over 17,000 members it is the largest professional membership body in the education sector and growing rapidly. All its members strive for excellence in all they do.

It helps the careers of professionals working across further education, vocational teaching and training, inspires them to be even better, and, connects them with thousands of like-minded professionals and experts.

It aims to raise the status of the profession, champion the quality of professionals teaching and training across working across further education, vocational teaching and training and provide access to the best research and expert views there are.

3.         About SET Corporate Partnership

SET Corporate Partnership is a status for providers that support their staff to undertake QTLS and require it when recruiting new teachers and trainers. It is a public way of demonstrating commitment to staff development and progression.

4.         About the Education and Training Foundation

The ETF is the government-backed, sector-owned national workforce and professional development body for the Further Education (FE) and Training sector. Its role is to support the continuing transformation of the technical and vocational education system by ensuring the sector has world-class leaders, teachers and trainers. This leads to ever-improving learner outcomes, a better skilled workforce for employers and a stronger economy, country and society.

We do this by improving, driving and championing the quality of leadership, teaching and training through four key pillars:

•           Setting professional standards, running the sector’s professional membership body (Society for Education and Training) and for awarding practitioners with QTLS and ATS

•           Supporting sector change

•           Leading workforce development for leaders, governors and practitioners

•           Providing key workforce data and research.

5.         For journalists requiring further information, please contact John Hilsdon: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Education and Training Foundation is a company registered in England Registered address: 157 -197 Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W 9SP, t:  0203 740 8280 Company registration number: 08540597. Charity number: 1153859

We were delighted to be part of the first-ever Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards. The event, which was hosted by Slough Aspire, managed by The Windsor Forest Colleges Group, brought together businesses, apprentices and training providers from all across Berkshire for the celebration. 

 

The best in Berkshire is celebrated at first ever county-wide Apprenticeship Awards

 

Businesses, apprentices and training providers from across Berkshire came together this week to celebrate the first ever Berkshire Apprenticeship Awards. Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, took title honours for Berkshire Employer of the Year and Erica Deane of Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, was named as Berkshire Apprentice of the Year. The event, hosted by Legoland Windsor, showcased the invaluable contribution apprenticeships are making to learners, businesses and the local economy.

 

Berkshire Apprenticeship Service is hosted by Slough Aspire and managed by The Windsor Forest Colleges Group.Commenting on the inaugural celebration Slough Aspire’s Chief Executive Fiona Jones said: “This is a great opportunity to put apprenticeships centre stage. All our nominees are testament to the difference apprenticeships can make, with these organisations all reaping the many rewards from securing skilled employees for the future, impacting their bottom line to breathing fresh life into their business and improving staff loyalty and training.”

 

“Yet despite all these huge advantages Berkshire still tails behind the national picture with only 6% of workplaces in the county having an apprentice, versus 12% nationally. We need to shine a light on apprenticeships to encourage more organisations to step forward and embrace the apprenticeship advantage.”

 

Commenting on the awards, Paul Reilly, Managing Director of Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec, said: “We’re delighted to have been honoured by the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service for the work we do to support and develop apprenticeships. These awards not only recognise the performance and quality of our apprentices but they also acknowledge the hard work that our experienced teams and managers put into supporting and coaching our younger staff.”

 

The winners for the awards were all decided on by a panel of expert judges of leading figures and employers from across Berkshire. Winners announced on the evening were as follows:

 

Best Training Provider Award

awarded to West Berkshire Training Consortium

 

Most Innovative Education-Based Apprenticeship Promotion Initiative Award

awarded to Maiden Erlegh School

 

Best Apprentice Employer (non-levy payer) Award

awarded to The Forbury Group

 

Best Apprentice Employer (levy-payer) Award

awarded to PBA now part of Stantec

 

Star Apprentice Manager Award

awarded to Andrew Gadd, Arvato UK

 

Star Achiever Apprentice Award

awarded to Erica Deane, PBA now part of Stantec

 

Best Young Ambassador Apprentice Award

awarded to Vikas Khan, Arvato UK

 

Best Adult Apprentice Award

awarded to Kyle Marshall, Jacobs

 

For future information on the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service please go to www.sloughaspire.com.

 

For further information on the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service, please go to www.berkshire-apprenticeship.co.uk.

 

The Windsor Forest Colleges Group is joining forces with the Association of Colleges (AOC) to support its campaign which is calling on the government to stop the FE funding squeeze and to give colleges a fair investment. The initiative is part of Colleges Week 2018 which aims to raise awareness of the funding challenges colleges face while also highlighting the role colleges play in transforming lives, helping businesses improve productivity and driving local social and economic growth.

Group Principal and Chief Executive Kate Webb will be taking centre stage, alongside a number of speakers including Jeremy Corbyn, at the ‘Love Our Colleges’ rally in Parliament Square. Commenting on the challenge of increasing learner needs versus a decline in funding, she said: “There is little doubt that colleges play an invaluable role in the education of school leavers and adults which hugely benefits local businesses and the wider community – our contribution, impact and effectiveness is unquestionable. As part of Colleges Week 2018 we are therefore very proudly raising the profile of further education and demonstrating that now is the time for the government to start investing in this sector which trains an incredible 2.2 million people per year.”

At the heart of Colleges Week ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign is a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which highlights the scale of the funding issue. Per-student spending in FE and sixth-form colleges is around 8 per cent lower than in secondary schools and has also fallen by around 12 per cent in real terms since 2010.

And it is in recognition that potential learners are also feeling the financial squeeze which prompted the Group which includes Langley College, Windsor College and Strode’s College, to raise the threshold of the government’s recent low wage initiative from £15,736.50 to £20,000. Ms Webb explains further: “This new funding is ideal for working adults to upskill or retrain in order to enhance their career as many of our courses will now be free. But being based in outer London we realised that the threshold would need to be raised in order to reach more people. Already we are seeing how this funding and the power of further education can genuinely transform lives while directly benefiting the wider economy.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like The Windsor Forest Colleges Group provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people.

Colleges Week is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible. It is simple, if we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”

Ms Webb concluded: “At our colleges we are educating and training over 5,000 young people and adults every year from A Levels to degree. We have invested £30million in our college’s infrastructure to provide the very latest technology and industry standard equipment so our students gain the advanced skills employers want. We have students progressing to prestigious universities including Oxford, Durham, Bath and Warwick. We work with industry giants for our apprenticeship programmes. Yet our work, which is vital to the economy, is under recognized and under funded by the government.”

For further information on Colleges Week 2018 please go to www.collegesweek.co.uk and for further information on the low wage initiative and eligible courses please click here

Student Union Executive (SUE) members of Strode’s College and Langley College recently attended a special training session designed to ensure the Union members are all prepared and inspired to deliver effectively in their new roles.

Meeting for the first time at the training day, the SUE members discussed and shared ideas and looked at ways to support the learners in their individual colleges. They were particularly keen to find ways to further promote and engage students with the Learner Voice in the Windsor Forest Colleges Group.

Part of the training session was led by Jack O’Neill, Vice President for Education and Dan Curran from the Student Union at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL) who gave the Strode’s and Langley SUEs an insight and first-hand advice, support and training from the successes of RHUL’s Student Union.

To find out more about the Student Union join us for the Strode’s Open Day on Thursday 18 October, 4.30pm to 7.30pm or the Langley Open Day on Tuesday 30 October, 4.30pm to 7.30pm. For further information please click here.

Hot on the heels of Strode’s record breaking A Level performance last month comes the College’s celebrated Prize Giving Ceremony. The annual event recognises academic endeavour and excellence, exceptional effort and personal achievement. Students and their families joined proud teachers, trustees, governors, the Mayor of Runnymede, Worshipful Company of Coopers, local businesses, and Guest of Honour Fraser Jardine, a former fighter pilot, now enjoying a successful career in the television and broadcast industry. The evening showcases Strode’s strong reputation for outstanding academic results, progression to top universities and career paths.


A very proud Principal, Rowan Cookson said: “Congratulations to the class of 2018 who achieved record breaking A Level results with 99% pass rate, 67% high grade passes (A* to C) and a flawless 100% pass rate in their BTEC courses. It is an honour to celebrate the students who worked so hard and I would also like to recognise my colleagues for their outstanding commitment and teaching which are both pivotal to our outstanding success.”


During the evening 39 prizes were awarded. The prestigious Henry Strode prize and the Tercentenary Higher Education Bursary is awarded to the student who achieved the highest points score of all Strode’s College students in 2018. This year, the prize went to Oliver Sears who achieved a very impressive 500 UCAS points with his A*AAA in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry and Physics which earned him a coveted place at Durham University to study Physics.


The Strode's Foundation Academic Achiever's Award is awarded by the Trustees of the College to a student who demonstrated a very high level of academic excellence. This year the winner of the bursary of £1,000 for three years of university study went to Willow Rolls who secured her place at the University of Oxford to read Biochemistry by achieving A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Maths.

Highlights of the evening also included presentations from the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Team and Chloe Woodland who both won Coopers’ Travel Bursaries.

Strode’s will be holding an Open Day on Thursday 18 October, 4.30pm to 7.30pm. For further information please click here.

Annual celebrations are underway at Strode’s College and Windsor College, part of the Windsor Forest College’s Group, where students achieved another year of excellent A Level results. Strode’s broke all records with an impressive 99% A level pass rate, while Windsor maintained its strong performance with a 93% overall pass rate. Both colleges performed outstandingly by achieving a flawless 100% in their BTEC Courses.

High grades were in abundance at Strode’s College with an impressive 68% achieving A*-C and 100% pass rate in over 80% of all A level subjects offered, exceeding national benchmarks.

Strode’s student Willow Roles has secured her place at the University of Oxford to read Biochemistry by achieving A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. Joshua Passey achieved a clean sweep of four A*s in Chemistry, Further Maths, Maths and his Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and is going on to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. Other stars in the A grade cohort include Eve Byrne, Thomas Ludlow, Oliver Sears, Rebecca Frymann and Krashna Bhagalia who all achieved three or more A*s and A grades.

Rowan Cookson, Principal of both Strode’s and Windsor Colleges said: “We are thrilled with these record-breaking results and are so proud of our students who have achieved first class grades. Such consistently high results across our extensive A level offer is testament to the exceptionally high standards of teaching and personal support that is the hallmark of our sixth form.”

She continued: “We are equally proud of our Level 3 BTEC results. Students achieved an outstanding 100% pass rate across the board with 79% achieving the best possible grades of Distinction* and Distinction (D*D).

Windsor College was also celebrating some exceptional results with a high number of students achieving straight As and 56% gaining A*-C grades. Top performing student Daanial Ahmed is taking his A*AA in Maths, Chemistry and Economics to the Russell Group University of Bristol to study Computer Science while Andre Naroozi who achieved AAA in Biology, Chemistry and Maths is heading for a career in dentistry. Maria Avesta is also going on to study dentistry at the University of Plymouth after gaining AAB in Chemistry, Biology and Maths.

At Windsor, 13 subjects achieved 100% pass rate exceeding national benchmarks. Drama and Theatre Studies and Spanish saw 100% achieving A*-C and 91% achieved A*-C in English Language.

Group Principal and CEO of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, Kate Webb commented on the performance of both colleges: “This is the start of something wonderful. A new specialist 6th Form across two colleges offering the perfect combination of exceptional teaching and individual support.

“This is our first set of A level results since the colleges merged in 2017. We are delighted with the high standards achieved at both colleges and how this sets the tone for academic standards across our sixth form moving forward. We are conscious we are entering a new era of post-18 education, where university, higher apprenticeships or even employer training programmes offer a very different landscape. We have adapted our curriculum to enable students to follow the gold standard A Level pathway or develop the advanced technical skills of BTECs. Where we are different, is we also allow them to combine both A Levels and BTECs, providing the widest choice and opportunity.”

Strode’s and Windsor Colleges are part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group which also includes Langley College in Slough.

For those getting their GCSE results on 23 August, the Colleges will be open 9.00am to 5.00pm (Friday 4.30pm) with staff on hand for advice and late applications for their A level and BTEC courses.

Windsor A levels

With the government announcing new funding for low paid earners, many adult courses offered by the Windsor Forest Colleges Group will now be free. Anyone earning less than £20,000 who is not already eligible for free funding, can now receive full funding on a wide range of courses at Langley, Strode’s or Windsor Colleges, starting in September 2018.

Chief Executive and Group Principal Kate Webb welcomed the announcement commenting: “This is a great opportunity for those who want to improve their English with one of our ESOL courses, learn a new skill to either develop their career or re-train for a completely new direction. This new government funding will take the worry out of having to finance courses as many offered at our colleges will now be free. Anyone keen to take advantage of the funding needs to move quickly as this is a year’s trial by the government for courses starting from September.”

She continued: “We already offer a number of courses that are completely free for adults who are unemployed or claiming a range of benefits. This is the first time the government has acknowledged that people on a low wage should also be entitled to free education and training. This will improve the career and employment opportunities for many in our community.”

Eligible courses range from the technical such as Level 1 and 2 Construction, Hair and Beauty and Motor Vehicle through to the professional including Accountancy, Business, Hospitality and Travel and Tourism.

This initiative will also be welcomed by employers who can now utilise this funding to help upskill their staff who may be employed at entry level who are keen to progress.

The government funding is aimed at people earning less than £15,736.50 annual gross salary, based on the Social Mobility Commission’s low pay threshold. However Windsor Forest Colleges Group has acknowledged that the low pay threshold in outer London would be higher and has therefore increased its level to those earning £20,000 or less.

Visit the Langley or Windsor College course pages, or Strode's College course pages to discover the courses. Alternatively, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. 

 

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