The Windsor Forest Colleges Group has received the highest rating from the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) for its higher education provision. Following a recent three-day inspection the Agency gave the Colleges Group a ‘High Confidence’ rating in four areas recognising the high standards of student engagement and educational experience alongside high praise for the College’s admissions systems and handling of feedback.

Commenting on the impressive findings Kate Webb, Group Principal and CEO at the Colleges Group which includes Langley College, Strode’s College and Windsor College said: “This incredibly positive review from the QAA demonstrates that the high standards of our higher education provision means our students have a meaningful and quality educational experience. Students reported that we engage with them positively, take action on their feedback and they feel entirely supported to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes. Equally important is the inspector’s praise for our recruitment, selection and admissions policies and procedures and complaints handling which they found to be robust, fair and transparent. This huge endorsement from the QAA is testament to the incredibly high standards and good practice delivered by our staff.”

Principal, Rowan Cookson also commented on the outcome of the inspection saying: “We are delighted to once again meet the very highest standards for our advanced level programmes at Langley. Many people are not aware that you can study HNDs, Foundation Degrees and even Bachelor degrees at Langley and what a superb learning experience we offer – with small class sizes, industry trained tutors and our strong links with industry which make our courses stand out.”

The QAA safeguards standards and improves the quality of UK higher education, checking that students get the higher education they are entitled to. During their inspection at the Windsor Forest Colleges Group the QAA specifically looked at: how the College actively engages students individually and collectively in the quality of their educational experience; Support for students to achieve successful academic and professional outcomes; how reliable, fair and inclusive the College’s admissions system is and finally how fair and transparent the complaints handling and appeals process is.

The QAA’s assessment included formal meetings with students and senior managers and extensive reviews of college policies and procedures.

Find out more about studying Higher Education at Langley College.

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Tuesday, 19 November 2019 18:08

CEO Announces Plans to Step Down Next Summer

The Chief Executive Officer and Group Principal of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, Kate Webb has announced her decision to step down from the role at the end of the academic year.

Ms Webb was appointed as CEO in 2017 following the merger between East Berkshire College and Strode’s College following eight years as the Principal of East Berkshire College and five years as the Deputy Principal.

Ms Webb announced her decision to staff this month saying: “After 25 years in the FE sector, with 15 of those being at East Berkshire College and now the Windsor Forest Colleges Group – I have decided the time has come to take my career in a new direction, and as such I plan to step down from my role at the end of this academic year.

“As many of you know I have been undertaking a doctorate and on the back of this I would like to change my career and try something different.” She continued: “I have had the best years of my career working with you and want my final year to be the very best, so I will continue to work with you to ensure continued success for our learners and will leave a strong foundation for my successor.”

The Chair of the Board of Governors, Tony Dixon commented on the many successes achieved by Kate during her tenure: “We are sorry to lose such a strong and capable leader for our group of colleges but fully understand that Kate feels now is the right time to move on in her career. She has taken the group forward in so many ways. With the incredible investment in our campuses which saw a brand-new college built in Windsor and a £30 million investment in Langley College - we now have state of the art colleges for 21st Century learners. However, her management of the successful merger with Strode’s College and the formation of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group has to be the pinnacle of her achievements.” He continued: “We now have three thriving colleges – an exceptional sixth form offer at Strode’s and Windsor along with the vocational, technical programme, apprenticeships and Higher Education at Langley. She leaves us in a strong position for a very successful future.”

The Board of Governors have started their search for a replacement and are launching their recruitment campaign this week. For more information on this exciting career opportunity please click here 

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Langley College’s Ashton Clark has put the value of an apprenticeship centre stage with a win at the recent Berkeley Group Apprenticeship Awards. Ashton, a Level 2 Plastering Apprentice, who is employed by Vince O’Brien Plastering, was named Best Interiors Apprentice in the national awards which were recently held at The Bridge Theatre, on London's South Bank.

The cross-industry judging panel at the event which saw record numbers of entries this year, commented on Ashton’s progress: “Ashton has come a long way since he started working at Woodhurst Park. He stood out to his managers and our judges as someone whose hunger to learn is really paying off. A team player, he takes a holistic approach to working on site, thinking about safety and site behaviour as well as his work as a plasterer.”

Staff at the college where the formal part of the apprenticeship qualification is delivered were also very proud of Ashton’s achievement, with the Chief Executive Kate Webb commenting: “What an outstanding achievement for Ashton who is an excellent role model for other young people looking to break into industry through an apprenticeship. It is Ashton’s great drive and determination that has seen him achieve so well. That coupled with the tremendous support he has received from his employer and the academic team at the College.”

Speaking at the event, which celebrates great apprentices, trainees and mentors, Berkeley Group Chief Executive Rob Perrins, said: "These awards showcase the very best of the built environment sector and the hugely talented people who are joining our ranks and shaping our future. It's also a chance to celebrate our industry's fantastic contribution to social mobility. We offer people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to forge a great career and make a positive difference to the world around them.”

For more information on apprenticeship opportunities available at Langley College please go to apprenticeships

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As Brexit negotiations go to the wire, one Langley College Business Admin Apprentice has been to Brussels to meet key MEPs and European Commission staff. Natalia Orlowska, who is based in Slough Aspire, made the trip to the EU Headquarters to explore the opportunities offered to Apprentices through schemes funded by the European Parliament. Natalia joined a small group of apprentices as part of an initiative organised by Judith Bunting, the MEP representing the South East of England.

Natalia was one of only four apprentices from the region selected to join Judith at the EU Headquarters. During the two day visit she attended a reception with MEPs at the European Parliament and learned about Erasmus+, the European Union’s programme for education, training, youth and sport. Natalia was also able to question key MEPs and European Commission staff regarding on the job training investments which will impact her, the other apprentices and the employers they work for. Natalia, in particular, has a keen interest as her work for Slough Aspire includes helping to deliver the Berkshire Apprenticeship Service.

Commenting on the value of the experience Natalia said: “Travelling to Brussels to meet other UK apprentices, sight-seeing the European Parliament along with discovering the life as an MEP was a truly fun and informative experience. This trip was designed to raise awareness of a range of opportunities available for young people in the EU. I really enjoyed finding out about Erasmus+ and I am interested in applying for this programme in the future to experience working abroad and other cultures. I am grateful to the Windsor Forest Colleges Group and Slough Aspire for offering me this opportunity, as I have met some really nice and interesting people over those two days and I am now thinking of exploring my future options.”

During the trip Natalia was also given a behind the scenes insight into the life of an MEP with talks about the role they play, a tour of the EU Parliament and a visit to the House of European History.

Natalia attended the trip, following a recommendation by Juliet Holloway Assistant Principal, Marketing and Business Development for the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, who said: “This was a great opportunity, kindly provided by our local MEP Judith Bunting, for Natalia to see the EU Parliament in action. Erasmus+ is all about linking organisations and enabling the sharing of best practice. I am sure that Natalia found the trip incredibly informative, bringing back new skills and knowledge to be shared among her colleagues at Slough Aspire and her tutors here at Langley College.”

Langley College, part of the Windsor Forest Colleges Group, offers a broad range of professional and trade apprenticeships, working with a number of the region’s leading employers. Apprenticeship opportunities include Business and Accounting, Computing, Construction, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Hospitality and Catering and Motor Vehicle. These courses, which are available from Level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) to Level 5 (equivalent to an HNC, HND or Foundation Degree), combine training at the College with practical skills learned in the workplace. Apprentices get paid by their employer while they gain hands-on experience and a nationally recognised qualification.

Click here to explore the full range of apprenticeships on offer. 

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