Member Article

Local Colleges Awarded for Investing in People

The three campuses of TyneMet College are delighted to announce that they have been accredited with the highly coveted Investors in People Silver Standard award.

Management and staff at TyneMet College, Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College and TMC are celebrating this awarded status, which is a huge achievement and reflects all the hard work that goes into making these three campuses great places to work and study.

The Investors in People Standard is a framework of best practice, awarded to well-run organisations that meet set criteria in areas including learning and development and leadership skills as well as recognition and reward.

The organisation was initially recognised as an Investor in People in June 1997 and the last Post Recognition Review took place in January 2011. It was noted that at that time the organisation had made significant progress in all aspects of its people management and development strategies and practices. Three years on it was decided that the organisation should be assessed again with the objective of achieving Silver accreditation.

This review process involved an assessor conducting interviews with 38 staff picked at random from TyneMet College, Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College and TMC.

Results from this review acknowledged further improvements in all aspects of college activity including improved financial position, improvements in standards of teaching and increased student satisfaction. The report also illustrated that Higher Education (HE) student satisfaction is higher than any other HE provider in the North East of England and that the college’s performance is in the top decile in many areas and in some cases it is the best in the country.

The review also highlighted the facts that TyneMet is the only FE College in the North East to have a specialist Autism Unit and have its work accredited by the National Autistic Association and that TyneMet was the first college in the North East to be awarded STEM Assured® status.

The report identified that the organisation has a clear vision, purpose, strategy and a plan for the future, senior leaders were said to be; well respected and trusted, highly visible with hands-on roles in supporting colleagues, whilst also providing a clear direction with a strong focus on sustaining a culture of continuous improvement across all college activities.

The Mission statement chosen by the organisation is ‘Raising aspirations; changing lives’ this philosophy was threaded throughout the report showing that staff are clearly aligned with the Mission and Vision of the College and that social responsibility is at the heart of the organisation’s principles.

Evidence from the report suggests that the vision of the organisation, ‘To excel in everything we do so that more individuals, businesses and communities actively plan their futures in partnership with us’, was also a belief supported by the staff, especially those involved in working and collaborating with well-established partnerships such as Siemens, Rolls Royce, the local authority, training providers, feeder schools, charities and local universities - working with partnership organisations also provides development opportunities for staff.

Other strengths identified were; the strong and mutually supportive team culture amongst the staff - which encourages informal learning and the sharing of ideas, that developing people is the college’s DNA - everyone has opportunities for professional development. Also that the organisation is able to build its internal capability, in terms of developing people who become potential successors to current post-holders and through developing home-grown skilled individuals. Good examples of people developing include pastoral staff moving into teaching roles and agency staff moving into permanent employment.

The report also highlighted the important facts that staff are ambitious for the organisation and for the students and that innovation and creativity are high on the college’s agenda - this is reflected in new approaches to staff learning and development. Learning priorities were identified as clear and linked to a plan, and the organisation’s Learning and Development Strategy was shown to be focused on driving continuous improvement and building capacity. Raising teaching standards was also identified as a priority. The robust cycle of planning, evaluation, reflection and improvement that the organisation maintains throughout the year to support these was also identified as a strength.

Jon Vincent, Principal and Chief Executive, TyneMet College, said:

“I am extremely proud that we have been awarded the status of Investors in People Silver Standard - this report clearly identifies the positive move forward that we have made and how we have developed our organisation through investing in our people.

“I am also delighted to see that the our shared values; Excellence, Partnership, Aspiration, Professionalism, Innovation and Inclusion are understood and embedded into staff ideology, these values are key principals in the organisation’s commitment to our staff, students, partners and the local community.

“The report identifies significant improvements that the organisation has made in such little time – this growth is due to the fact that every member of staff is passionate about their work which is fundamental in making TyneMet College, Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College and TMC amazing learning environments which will give our students the high standard and excellent quality of teaching that they deserve.

“I am committed not only to maintaining the silver standard, but to exceeding it in the future!”

The Investors in People report also stated that the College could inspire to Investors in People Gold accreditation if the trajectory of continuous improvement of people management and development strategies is sustained.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lisa Dawson .

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