LEARNER REPORT A summary of the review by Her Majestyâ€™s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) on Cumbernauld College.
In November 2010, HMIe undertook a full review of the quality of education and training at Cumbernauld College on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council. The full report was published in February 2011 and can be read in full on the HMIe website www.hmie.gov.uk So who are HMIe and how did they go about undertaking the review? HMIe is an agency of The Scottish Executive and provides an independent evaluation of colleges and other education providers to find out how good they are. The Review Team included HM Inspectors, Associate Assessors, and a Student Team Member. During external reviews, members of the review team observe learning and teaching and hold discussions with staff and learners. They meet with the Board of Management and obtain feedback from community groups and employers who work with the College.
Brian Kerr, Student President pictured with Martin McGuire, Principal.
Brian Kerr, Student President said: “This was the first time I have been involved in a Core Review and as Student President, I worked closely with the Student Team Member whose role it was to meet up with a whole range of students and discuss their learning experience at the College. She found out what I already knew – that Cumbernauld College is an excellent and exciting place to learn.”
HMIe had loads of great things to say about the College and its learners: Relationships between learners and teaching staff are very positive and characterised by mutual respect
Learners are well prepared for further study or employment. Almost all learners make good progress and attainment levels are very high
Learners are well engaged in planning and enhancing their own learning
Learners, staff and external stakeholders are engaged in effective self-evaulation and improving the curriculum
CONFIDENT Confidence Statements
In the report it was stated that HMIe are confident: • learners are progressing well and achieving relevant, high quality outcomes • the College has in place high quality learning and teaching processes • learners are actively engaged in enhancing their own learning and the work and life of the College • the College is led well and is enhancing the quality of its services for learners and other stakeholders.
Learner representation is strong and effective
STRENGTHS College Strengths
The report highlighted our main strengths: • The College is highly responsive to national strategies and priorities and has embedded the principles of Curriculum for Excellence into aspects of its curriculum • The College works well with its external partners, including local schools, identifying and responding to needs within its communities • The Principal and senior management provide effective and empowering leadership for the College • The College had made very good progress against its strategic aims • The College has very good links to external agencies that provide resources, services and information.
Strengths in Learning and Teaching • Learners are taught in campuses and outreach bases that are well managed, designed and equipped for teaching different vocational subjects • The College has very good procedures in place to review and improve the vision and direction of the curriculum • Learners make effective use of industry standard equipment and resources, good information and communications technology (ICT) facilities and a well developed virtual learning environment (VLE) • The College provides strong leadership for, and management of, services to support learning and teaching and team working is strong. Summary We only had one point for action which was to continue to improve retention rates for Further Education (FE) learners in a few subject areas where retention was low. The action that the College is taking to improve this point is already well established and the retention rates are showing a consistent upward trend. Overall, we are simply delighted with the report which has four full confidence statements and five areas of excellence including one area of sector leading innovative practice.
AREAS OF EXCELLENCE Sector leading and innovative practice in School Class Representatives The College has enabled school groups to engage in the work and life of the College through the election of class representatives. Developed initially as a pilot by the Hairdressing, Beauty and Care Team in conjunction with partner schools, the aim was to encourage school groups to provide an appropriate input to the self evaluation process. Excellence in Drama within Introduction to Childcare Staff delivering the Introduction to Childcare foundation programme have developed an activity-based approach to engage young learners who lack confidence and have poor interpersonal skills. The approach is designed to introduce learners to the workplace and provide an opportunity to develop skills required in working with children. Excellence in Public Art Project Teaching staff have developed an imaginative approach to engaging learners from different disciplines in working together productively. The project has been designed as a collaborative project to develop the vocational skills of learners in art and design and welding and fabrication, as well as their ability to work with each other to a project brief. Excellence in Cumbernauld MCMC (More Choices, More Chances) Hub The College, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, has developed a programme, the MCMC Hub, which improves outcomes for young people who leave school at age 16 with no positive destination. Excellence in Pre-University Challenge The Pre-University challenge was held in April 2010 to enable NQ Higher learners to prepare for final exams. All Highers learners were encouraged to participate in a filmed quiz with exam-based questions from the range of subjects studied. A learner presented the quiz to teams of learners.