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DUDLEY COLLEGE PLAYS A PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE LEARNING LANDSCAPE OF THE BLACK COUNTRY. Dudley College plays a pivotal role in the learning landscape of the Black Country. Our Ofsted inspection in May 20081, marked a turning point for the college. Our subsequent Ofsted Annual Assessment Visit2 (AAV) undertaken in June 2009 confirmed the excellent progress we are making. We now have the opportunity to move forward with a clear direction, with an agenda of high expectation and high achievement, growth, quality improvement, and innovation. This strategic plan seeks to set out the next phase of the college’s development. It identifies our key strategic priorities and summarises the actions we will put in place and what we will actually do, to meet these priorities. In preparing this strategic plan we note that the agenda for further education is a rapidly changing one. The government has new priorities for the delivery of 14-19 learning and the development of specalised diplomas 3,4,5. In recent times the economic landscape has changed dramatically, presenting the college with a new set of challenges. The credit crunch, a consequence of sub-prime lending and a sharp economic downturn have, in an increasingly integrated world economy, severely tested the international financial and banking infrastructure and latterly the wider economy.

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Ofsted Inspection Report – Dudley College of Technology published July 2008, HMSO 2008. Ofsted Annual Assessment Visit, June 2009, HMSO 2009 Ofsted: The Key Stage 4 curriculum: increased flexibility and work-related learning, HMSO 2007. Department for Children, Schools and Families: 14 to 19 Education and Skills White Paper and Youth Matters Green Paper, HMSO 2005.

DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

At a national level, the UK has experienced significant negative economic growth particularly in the fourth quarter of 2008 when the economy shrank by 1.5%, confirming an actual technical recession. The Bank of England in their latest Quarterly Inflation Report dated August 20096 reported that gross domestic production (GDP) as a measure of total UK output over the last 12 months has fallen at somewhere between 5% and 6% a year, and that any forecast recovery will be very slow and protracted. The consequences will be that unemployment will continue to rise sharply. Indeed, during the period June to July 20097, the total number of claimants registered as unemployed (seasonally adjusted) rose by 1.6% to1,582,700. Based on independent projections, this trend is forecast to continue to increase over the next four quarters until well into 2010/11 which may well see the unadjusted rate for the number of claimants registered as seeking work perhaps reaching 3 million in total. At a regional level, data compiled by the West Midlands Regional Observatory8 indicates that the West Midlands has the highest unemployment rate of any English region at 10.6%, this being nearly a full percentage point higher than any other English region and much higher than the average rate for England of 7.9%. 5

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Department for Children, Schools and Families: Delivering 14-19 Reform: Next Steps, HMSO 2008. Bank of England - Quarterly Inflation Report - 12th August 2009, HMSO 2009. Department for Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus (JCP) Stakeholder Briefing Report, August 2009, HMSO 2009. West Midlands Regional Observatory, Latest employment and unemployment data, September 2009.

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FOREWORD There are now 118,000 more unemployed people in the region than there were a year ago, taking the total to well over a quarter of a million unemployed (285,000). Young people appear to have been particularly affected by this recession. Indeed, data from the National Office of Statistics9 (NOMIS) July 2009 indicates that there were just over 52,000 young people (aged 18–24) in the region claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, equating to more than one in ten young people (claimant rate 10.3%). This is the second highest youth claimant rate amongst the English regions. This trend is being mirrored at a sub regional level with 23 of the borough’s 24 wards experiencing an increase in the number of claimants in receipt of Job Seeker Allowance (JSA) over recent months. The current downturn must also be viewed in the context of a sub-region that already had, prior to the recession, a £3.5bn output gap compared to the West Midlands as a whole – a gap that is unlikely to narrow in such difficult conditions. Some of the key characteristics of the local economy include a low skills base and poor rates of new business creation, taken together, these represent a key challenge for the college during the lifetime of this plan. There is a pressing need to widen the education and skills of adults, particularly their employability and workplace skills, with an emphasis on qualifications at levels 2, 3 and 4, Skills for Life and ESOL 10,11,12.

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National Office of Statistics, Official labour market statistics - Youth claimant rates by region and Local Authority, HMSO July 2009. Learning and Skills Council: Delivering world class skills in a demand led system, HMSO April 2007. Learning and Skills Council: Better skills Better jobs Better lives - Our Statement of Priorities, HMSO November 2007. Advantage West Midlands / West Midlands Learning and Skills Council, Skills Action Plan West Midlands Region 2008 -2011, HMSO 2008.

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“We now have the opportunity to move forward with a clear direction, with an agenda of high expectation and high achievement, growth, quality improvement, and innovation.”

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FOREWORD More recently, the launch of the ‘Integrated Employment and Skills Programme’ and recent developments to align Job Centre Plus (JCP) and Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funding initiatives makes clear the need to develop innovative programmes to better support the economically inactive 13,14. Central to the economic visioning and community strategies for the Black Country is the requirement for a well-educated, skilled and entrepreneurial workforce. Of equal importance is the opportunity for all sections of the community to engage with future economic success. We are, as a society, increasingly recognising the link between learning and earning and, more importantly, that education, training and skills enable individuals and communities to believe in themselves. As an engine room of social mobility and inclusion, the college’s role is critical, not only in supporting our learners to develop the skills that will serve them well in the world of work and their everyday lives, but also in acting as an advocate and as a champion for learning as the growth agenda unfolds. We also recognise that learning ‘helps make ours a civilized society, develops the spiritual side of our lives and promotes active citizenship . . . it helps us fulfil our potential, and opens doors to a love of music, art and literature. That is why we value learning for its own sake as well as for the equality of opportunity it brings’ 15. Further, we recognise the positive role the college can and will continue to play in promoting community cohesion in the Black Country.

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Department for Work and Pensions and Department for innovation, Universities and Skills: Read for Work, Skills for Work: Unlocking Britain’s Talent, HMSO 2008. Department for Work and Pensions: No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility, HMSO 2008. David Blunkett, The Learning Age Green Paper, HMOS 1998. Learning and Skills Council: West Midlands Regional Commissioning Plan 2008/09, HMSO 2008. Learning and Skills Council, Black Country Statement of Need 2008-09, HMSO 2008.

DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

The effectiveness of the college’s strategies will be measured by the success of our learners. To translate national policy directives into action, the Learning and Skills Council at both a regional and local level has issued an annualised Statement of Priorities and commissioning plans 16,17,18. Looking ahead, based on the changes outlined in the White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver 19,20 further reforms to education and training for pre-19 and post-19 learners are planned for 2009/10. In April 2010, the Learning and Skills Council will cease to exist and instead two new government agencies are planned to be created, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA). Developing credible and productive relationships with key personnel within both agencies will be a high priority for the college. Further, the college will again be working closely with each of the four local authorities in the sub region, but with a particularly strong focus in working closely with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC). Through the Corporation and its senior executive staff, the college will ensure that these new partnerships are developed effectively and act in the best interests of all learners in the borough and sub region. These, at least in part, are some of the key external drivers which this strategic plan also seeks to address.

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Learning and Skills Council: Making Skills Matter ; The Learning and Skills Council’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2008-09 HMSO July 2009. Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) : Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver, HMSO 2008. Department for Innovation, University and Skills : FE AND SKILLS SYSTEM REFORMS : An Update; HMSO 2008.

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THE COLLEGE

COLLEGE CHARACTER Dudley College is a general further education college serving the borough of Dudley and the wider hinterland of the Black Country. As a general further education college, the college seeks to meet the needs of: Local young people aged 16-19 years following full time and part time study and apprenticeships. 14-16 year olds undertaking part time vocational programmes, delivered in collaboration with local schools. Employers locally, regionally and nationally seeking to develop the skills of their workforce via part time study. Individuals in employment seeking to develop their skills to improve their employability, by following full and part time study and apprenticeships. Individuals and community groups seeking to enter the world of education and training, on a part time and full time basis to improve their life and employability chances and those of their families and communities. Adults seeking to gain higher level qualifications. Learners from overseas aiming to gain British qualifications, studying full and part time on a full cost basis. The college provides a wide range of education and training programmes to address the above needs, in a range of locations, and by distance learning. The range of full and part time education programmes extends from basic levels of entry to post 16 education, through levels 1, 2 and 3 to Higher Education programmes at qualification curriculum framework (QCF) levels 4 and 5.

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DUDLEY BOROUGH AND THE COLLEGE The economic base of the borough has undergone significant transformation, and whilst manufacturing still accounts for an above average (16%) proportion of employment, almost half (47%) of all employment is concentrated in Wholesale and Retail, Business and Professional Services, and Health and Social Work. In terms of general characteristics, Dudley’s population is 305,400. The borough has the third largest population in the West Midlands region and is the 17th largest local authority in England and Wales. The borough has an ageing population with people over 60 accounting for 22.2% of the total population (Census 2001), compared to 20.6% in 1991, whilst the Jobseekers claimant rate for the Dudley borough stands at 10,67021 (5.4%). This compares against a Black Country total (by Local Authority ward) of 45,855 claimants. Analysis of claimant by other Black County Local Authority wards indicates Sandwell at 12,940 (7.0%), Walsall 10.870 (6.9%) and Wolverhampton at 11,375 (7.4%). Based on an Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD), Dudley ranks at 100 out of 354 districts in England (IMD 2007) with the five most deprived wards in the borough (Castle & Priory, Brierley Hill, Netherton, Woodside & St Andrew’s, St James’s and St Thomas’s) all being located within close proximity to the college.

Around 40% of learners attending the college are from Dudley and most of the remaining ones are from neighbouring boroughs, cities and counties of the West Midlands. Based on the latest data available from the Learning and Skills Council (op cit), 17.5% of the working age population have no qualifications, which is close to the regional average of 17% but significantly higher than the national average of 13.1%. At Level 2 and above, 62.5% of the working age population are qualified to this level, which is again lower than the national average of 64.5%. In relation to degree level qualifications (Level 4 and above) only 20.7% of the working age population are qualified at or above this level which is significantly below the national average of 28.6% and the average for the West Midlands of 24.6%. Although around 80% of Year 11 school leavers in 2008 continued in full-time education, some 5.3% of 16-18 year-olds in the borough of Dudley are not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Dudley has an estimated working-age population of 183,500; 19% of those have declared that they have a disability which is an increase of three percentage points on the previous year of 2008. Around 9% of the working-age population in 2006 were from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background.

In 2008/09, the college had approximately 16,000 learners. Of these, four fifths were adult learners; just over half were female and just under a quarter were from ethnic minority groups. The college’s work was split equally between learners 16-18 and adults, with a growing number of 14-16 year olds.

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In 2009, the percentage of Dudley pupils achieving 5+ A*-C GCSE grades increased from 44.3% in 1998 to 61.1% 22. Whilst this compares well against other Black Country local authority wards eg Sandwell at 56.3%, Walsall at 59.4% and Wolverhampton at 63.5%, these figures need to be considered within the context of the West Midlands regional average at 64.1% and the average for England at 65.3%.

National Office of Statistics, Official labour market statistics Claimant rates by region and Local Authority, HMSO July 2009.

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Learning and Skills Council: The Black Country – Key Statistics 2009/10, HMSO 2009

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THE COLLEGE

OUR MISSION

OUR VISION

The Corporation of the college regularly reviews its mission and character, alongside the wider strategic priorities of national, regional and local government, and the needs of the local people and the employers of the region.

Our vision for the future is:

The college’s mission statement, updated for 2009-14 is:

“Our mission: outstanding learning which develops skills, raises aspirations and changes lives.”

KEY STRATEGIC PRIORITIES To focus ourselves in taking the next steps, we have identified five key strategic priorities as a result of a strategic planning process that involved all staff and the college’s Corporation: Priority One – A culture of high expectations, high achievement. Priority Two – Towards an outstanding college. Priority Three – Curriculum innovation.

By 2014 we will be recognised locally, regionally, nationally and internationally as a provider of high quality, successful education and skills training. Dudley College will be known as ‘a great place to study and work’. Success rates will be high and above national averages at all levels and for all ages. Teaching will be routinely good, and very often outstanding. Students and staff alike will report high levels of satisfaction with the college, certainly above averages for the sector and in line with the ‘best in class’ in the public and private sector. Employers will recognise the college as a key partner in driving their business performance and meeting their skills needs. Our services to employers will be flexible, responsive and effective and the college will enjoy very high levels of employer responsive provision. The college will be at the heart of regeneration strategies, and will champion collaborative initiatives, such as the South Black Country Innovation Campus. Our local community will recognise Dudley as a proactive college which serves their needs and supports the economic, social and personal development of local people. Our learners will comment that our provision is welcoming and inclusive.

Priority Four – Effective employer engagement. Priority Five – Investing in our people. This strategic plan outlines our actions against these priorities.

OUR VALUES In achieving our aims and in delivering our mission we will: Put the learners at the heart of all we do. Act with integrity and mutual respect. Communicate clearly and openly. Value each and every individual. Recognise innovation and success. Support and encourage team working. Be a model of good equality and diversity practice. We will reduce the college’s impact on its environment.

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By 2015 we will be operating from new, inspirational buildings fit for education in the 21st century. Our intention is to create a new building to house the Dudley Sixth Form Centre with learning delivered collaboratively with the college’s local partner schools. The Dudley Sixth Form Centre will be a new beacon of aspiration for the north, centre and west of the borough giving learners a real choice regarding A level provision. Also within our estates strategy, we shall seek to establish a new higher education centre close to or in Dudley town centre developed in partnership with our higher education partner university, the University of Wolverhampton.

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PRIORITY ONE - A CULTURE OF HIGH EXPECTATIONS, HIGH ACHIEVEMENT INTRODUCTION The development of a ‘high expectations, high achievement’ (HEHA) culture is our first priority. The principles underpinning this culture are a commitment to an open management style with an emphasis on inclusivity, trust and devolution of responsibility, balanced by accountability. We will set high standards both for ourselves and our learners. The prevailing institutional culture we aim to create is one of ‘a great place to work and learn’, supported by a growing optimism with an invigorated sense of purpose, as we seek to build on our strengths and progress in those areas where the need for improvement is acknowledged.

WHAT WE WILL DO A positive and inclusive environment Our high expectation of ourselves will be reflected in everything that we do, including developing planning processes and working practices in such a way that all staff can be involved. The strategic planning process will articulate our HEHA culture by providing a consistently high quality and uniform approach to how we manage the college through our core values and approach to standards and performance. We will strengthen our arrangements for reviewing staff satisfaction across all major areas of the college by the use of external instruments that allow sector benchmarking.

Effective communication Our internal communications are not yet outstanding. We will attempt to address this by further reinforcement of our HEHA culture across all areas of the college through articulation of the ‘internal customer’ concept and staff training. Channels of communication will be developed and enhanced to ensure that information is disseminated as widely as possible.

Managers will be encouraged to consult with their staff and adopt a participative style of management, making use of focus groups and talkback fora. Governors’ involvement with college staff will be enhanced through aligning the Corporation’s committees with key priorities for the college. We intend to maintain the profile of the college in our market place by the continuation of targeted marketing campaigns that utilise a variety of communication channels such as outdoor media, print and digital technologies.

High performance and accountability An integral element of our HEHA culture will be that of responsibility and accountability at all levels. Our senior management structure is already in place, as is our middle management layer. A whole college performance management framework will be introduced during 2009/10. Our high expectations of staff will include their contribution to, and ownership of, performance targets across a range of measures relative to them, and whole-college targets of recruitment, retention, achievement and success. Our performance management strategy will include the introduction of formal linkage between incremental pay progression and annualised performance. Within the constraints of affordability, we intend to develop a college wide incentive scheme. This may include innovative methods of sharing the fruits of our success with all staff. As part of improvements to our internal ways of working, we will seek to streamline internal processes and reinforce our code of conduct for staff. Our existing external quality marks will be maintained and a new internal quality mark (HEHA) will be developed for support services. At a wider level, all of our processes will be reviewed to ensure that they are fit for purpose, facilitate quality improvement and promote excellence. We welcome the Framework for Excellence principles, and will work towards an ‘outstanding’ overall provider rating.

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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PRIORITY ONE HOW WILL WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS? Using th the College Operational Development Plan (CODP), on annual basis we will set targets for, and measure our progress an annu against, the following: Sta feedback. Staff Performance by staff against their key targets. Pe Performance against Framework for Excellence key indicators. Pe Corporation accountability to stakeholders. Co

HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THE ENVIRONMENT HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF THE COLLEGE HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF DUDLEY HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF OURSELVES HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF COLLEAGUES HIGH EXPECTATIONS OF STUDENTS expectations achievements visit us online at: www.dudleycol.ac.uk

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PRIORITY TWO TOWARDS AN OUTSTANDING COLLEGE INTRODUCTION

WHAT WE WILL DO

Towards an outstanding college is our second priority, through which we will strive to promote the best possible experience for our learners. This will be achieved by placing an even stronger emphasis on developing outstanding teaching and learning. Through our quality processes, we will set clear expectations for learners, as well as making better use of value added and distance travelled targets.

Excellence in teaching and learning

Our learner support services will focus on the whole learner experience, including enhanced levels of mentoring support to drive up retention and success of the individual learner. We aim to ensure that learners are able to enjoy their time at college and achieve their personal educational aims, entry to employment or progression to higher education. We have set ourselves ambitious expectations of the college’s physical environment in order to provide our learners with a high quality, stimulating and safe environment in which to learn and socialise. Work has already started to update our estates strategy which will meet the changing needs of the college over coming years, as well as remodeling existing spaces at our current campuses. Strong finances are essential to enable the college to deliver its mission. Having sufficient financial resilience in the face of funding pressures will allow us to meet the aspirations of learners/staff and the local community in providing investment in high quality resources. We will therefore increase income in a sustainable manner, generate operating surpluses and cash inflow from operating activities, and invest in staff and our physical resources.

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We will set high academic standards that enhance learners’ achievement and success opportunities through a range of approaches. We have re-organised our delivery activities into 7 curriculum centres that will each be responsible and accountable for recruitment, retention and success of key priority groups of learners, i.e. 14-19, 19+ adults, Skills for Life learners, employer responsive (Train to Gain and Work Based Learning), Higher Education and Full Cost. Lesson observations will be carried out by an Advanced Practitioner team, line management of whom has been relocated into the newly formed Standards and Performance Directorate. It is intended that observations will be expanded to include assessors, instructors and trainers. Opportunities for learners to achieve their full potential will be maintained through the continued use of extensive initial assessment and ‘learners at risk’ strategies, expansion of the learning mentor team, strengthening the tutorial process, the setting of challenging targets for success and further development of the ‘REACH’ programme. Teaching staff who work with 14-19 year olds will be given specialist training to support this particular priority group. Progression opportunities will be enhanced through ensuring that curriculum areas have pathways from entry/foundation level to level 3, and three areas will develop Foundation Degrees through an improved Higher Education strategy.

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PRIORITY TWO

“This will be achieved by placing an even stronger emphasis on developing outstanding teaching and learning.” visit us online at: www.dudleycol.ac.uk

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“We will enhance the physical learning environment and its ability to meet the needs of the college’s diverse and growing customer base.” 12

DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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PRIORITY TWO WHAT WE WILL DO Excellence in teaching and learning (cont.)

Excellence in student support services

In relation to our 14-19 strategy we will facilitate increased participation at levels 2 and 3 through the delivery of Specialised Diplomas. At a wider level we will facilitate participation in programme led apprenticeships, and in apprenticeship frameworks. A key cross-cutting approach will be the increased emphasis given to personalisation of learning programmes implemented as part of our 14-19 strategy. We will contribute to the further reduction in the overall levels of NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) within the borough.

Learners must have easy access to the college; we will therefore review all threshold and customerfacing services to ensure that they are fit for purpose and provide an outstanding level of service. This review will encompass Every Child Matters principles and the Safe Learner concept, and any changes will be impact assessed in terms of equality.

In connection with adults we will support increased participation on skills for life, full level 2 programmes, and level 3 programmes and above in priority sectors. In support of this we will facilitate progression from apprenticeships to advanced apprenticeships, and to Foundation Degrees. We intend to introduce a new higher level apprenticeship programme to further support progression from traditional FE apprenticeships into higher education. We will also ensure further improvements in the completion rates of apprenticeship frameworks, with a particular emphasis on sectors in which the college is performing less well. A related strand will be to focus on meeting the needs of young people and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities. By making best use of available research 23,24, we intend to reshape our support arrangements to assist with progression into new learning opportunities rather than repeat learning. Performance of different learner groups will be monitored so that those who are seen to be underperforming are targeted for specialist support, in line with our Equality & Diversity targets (EDIMs).

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Learning and Skills Council: LSC West Midlands - Review of provision for Learners with Learning Difficulties and or Disabilities (LLDD) in the West Midlands 2007-08, HMSO, February 2008.

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In support of our drive towards excellence we will provide high quality advice, guidance, initial assessment and continuous support throughout the learner’s time at the college. To complement this we will ensure an enhanced range of high quality counselling, careers and welfare support for learners at the highest risk of not achieving their full potential. Support services will be enhanced to ensure that excellent tutorial and mentoring resources are in place. Enrichment of the learner experience will be achieved through the expansion of additional social learning spaces, computer access and closer working relationships and commitment to the Students’ Union. Listening to what learners have to say about the college is of paramount importance; we are therefore committed to continually developing, supporting and embedding the learner engagement strategy into the college culture. Mechanisms for engagement are wide and varied and include the class representative system, student councils, students’ union and membership on appropriate college committees. Our learners will feel valued and that they are co-producers of their learning experience. We are committed to developing and delivering a wide and varied cross-college enrichment provision which will enhance our learners’ social and personal development, raising their aspirations and encouraging them to aim higher.

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Learning and Skills Council: Learning for living and work: improving education and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, HMSO, April 2008.

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WHAT WE WILL DO Excellence in facilities and resources The quality of our teaching and learning environment is currently patchy. As part of a wider sustainable development strategy, we will enhance the physical learning environment and its ability to meet the needs of the college’s diverse and growing customer base through developing existing teaching, learning, support and recreational spaces which are welcoming, safe, secure and stimulating for all college learners, staff and visitors. During 2009, we will invest in additional specialist curriculum resources to ensure that learners have access to industry standard facilities and resources. In addition, the location of some support areas will also be improved and better aligned during this reconfiguration phase with a focus on single points of customer contact. With the support of the Learning and Skills Council (and its successor) by 2015, we aim to have substantially redeveloped our estate, providing facilities which are fit for the future. This will be achieved through the development of new buildings close to Dudley town centre, effectively creating a new learning quarter for the town. In developing our estates, we are committed to investing in our ICT infrastructure. ILT facilities will be enhanced as part of new ways of learning to support the increasing use of e-learning/ILT and e-assessment as it becomes more embedded in curriculum. We aim to achieve a learner/computer ratio of 5:1 and make greater use of the virtual learning environment (VLE) WebCT™. Our three year IT replacement strategy will continue. We will continue to improve the college’s financial security though the setting of challenging efficiency and income diversity targets as part of our overall business planning activities, as well as promote improvement in our procurement procedures and practices. Obtaining best value for money principles will be integrated into all aspects of college purchasing, resulting in measurable cost savings and efficiencies. The use of e-commerce, procurement consortia and shared services will be investigated.

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We will increase overall income and reduce our reliance on LSC core FE funding in line with our business plan. This will be achieved through a sustained strategy of income stream diversification focused on: a) International/regional/local commercial contracting opportunities. b) Other governmental contracting opportunities. c) Increasing the proportion of full cost work. d) ESF/co-financing projects. As a strategic driver, we intend to increase the volume and level of employer financial contribution in line with LSC expectations where safe to do so. Alongside this we will highlight to employers the cost benefit and added value derived through accessing publicly supported training through the college. This will be achieved through development of a more sophisticated approach to fee setting including appropriate pricing policies for each of the college’s markets which achieves a more appropriate balance between public funding and employer contribution. Our financial management strategy will be to maintain our LSC financial category at grade B and to reduce the staff costs to income ratio to 65% by 2010. In 2009 we achieved a small operating surplus, with an expectation of greater returns in the following years. The college is committed to minimising its environmental impact, respecting the environment and the limits of its resources, and promoting and embedding sustainable development in all aspects of the college activities. We recognise the impact that its operations can have on the local, regional and global environment and that it can contribute towards the conservation and protection of the environment. As a result, the college is committed to continuous improvements in environmental performance, the minimisation of waste and pollution to incorporate innovative and sustainable building processes into our proposed future accommodation strategy and building programme. In support of this, we intend to develop a Sustainability Policy that will apply to all members and potential members of the college community including staff, learners, governors and contractors in promoting sustainable environmental practices.

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PRIORITY TWO HOW WILL WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS? Using the College’s Operational Development Plan (CODP), on an annual basis we will set targets for, and measure our progress against, the following: Learner success rates. Value added and distance travelled measures. Equality and diversity impact measures (EDIM). Expanded higher education pathways. Lesson observation grades. Inspection grades. Quality Service standards. Learner views. Value for money. Overall income. Council funded income. Project and grant income. Fees and other income. Performance against Framework for Excellence key indicators. Enrichment opportunities.

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“The college is committed to continuous improvements in environmental performance.”

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PRIORITY THREE CURRICULUM INNOVATION INTRODUCTION Embedding curriculum innovation is our third priority. We recognise that our ability to sustain and grow the college over the life time of this plan, will largely be dependent upon: The delivery of a needs-based curriculum framework that articulates our future curriculum offer. The envisaged curriculum developments being appropriately resourced. Attractive presentation to our intended learners and employers. A key driver of the curriculum plan will be strategic alignment to the latest and most up to date labour market intelligence and the priorities of our key funding agencies. The principle of developing a curriculum provision that fits market need and which funding agencies are willing to support must be uppermost in our business planning activities. Curriculum innovation is key in terms of our institutional survival. Revisions to awarding body specifications, introduction of new qualification awards and the planned development of a unitised and increasingly employer focused curriculum represent both a challenge and opportunity to embrace innovation across all areas of the college. In the majority of cases innovation will be about building on our existing knowledge and expertise and in focusing on areas of our current strength. In other respects innovation will emerge from undertaking ‘blue skies thinking’ events and screening ideas to ensure that only those capable of being successfully brought to market are supported.

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To measure our rate of response to these changes we intend to develop a specific innovation measure, as part of our business planning processes. Increasingly much of our current and envisaged curriculum will need to be supported though flexible and responsive delivery approaches. We are committed to further capital investment in equipping all our class rooms and teaching areas with interactive display boards allowing learners to participate and benefit from a multimedia experience that is engaging, memorable and supports their personal development. Much investment has been made in establishing our virtual learning environment (WebCT™) that allows learners to access learning materials irrespective of location or time constraints. In relation to workplace learning delivery, we are well on our way to equipping our entire employer facing staff with a range of appropriate ICT equipment allowing them to access web-based materials and support learners undertaking online assessment and building e-portfolios without the need for them to leave the workplace. From increased use of our technological investment, we anticipate a more responsive and flexible deployment of our staff and associated reductions in our carbon footprint due to the elimination of unnecessary journey to work travel patterns and printing of materials in hard copy format. Delivering this plan will need concerted and coherent action with others around a shared agenda. Through our partnership activities we aim to raise educational aspirations and intellectual ambition in all sectors of the community as an absolute prerequisite to the longer term success of the Black Country.

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PRIORITY THREE

WHAT WE WILL DO Needs based curriculum planning

Flexible and responsive delivery

We will align our business planning process with the curriculum planning cycle to ensure that our internal developments match external requirements. In addition, we will make increased use of contributions from a range of key external stakeholders who will provide expert industry advice and feedback.

Curriculum planning will include targets for innovative products which will be monitored through the business planner. Innovative practices in respect of curriculum delivery and assessment and use of on-line learning and assessment technologies such as virtual learning environment (VLE) and e-portfolios will be encouraged.

SMART target setting for our anticipated learner recruitment targets (by funding category, qualification and age) will allow us to objectively target our recruitment and marketing activities so as to ensure that the mix and match of funded activity aligns to business plan expectations. We will work to build innovation into our curriculum by establishing half yearly ‘ideas greenhouse’ events. This work is predicated on the belief that it is not always managers who have good ideas and gives opportunity to all in the college to show their creativity. In addition to this, we will implement a mechanism for scanning the developments of others i.e. competitors, HE institutions and private providers to make sure that we remain competitive in the marketplace.

The increasing level of employer responsive programmes, likely to be in the workplace, will require much greater use of web-enabled technologies and we will plan for different ways of working and resourcing staff.

Value for all partnerships Over the lifetime of this plan, we envisage a greater degree of partnership working, both in respect of employers and external delivery partners. We expect there to be more involvement of employers’ staff in, for example, facilitating assessment opportunities or even carrying out assessments. There may even be a call for joint delivery and accreditation arrangements, which we will incorporate into our business planning activities.

Further, this mechanism will include the monitoring of other key information sources such as government consultation papers and sector skills councils (SSCs) communications.

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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“Our links with local universities and feeder schools are good. We will build on these links...” 18

DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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PRIORITY THREE WHAT WE WILL DO Value for all partnerships (cont.) We will continue to work with a variety of ‘good’ external training providers who are focused on key priority sectors and who are therefore able to add value to the college’s range of provision. Our links with local universities and feeder schools are good. We will build on these links by: Maintaining our Pathways agreement with Wolverhampton University. Developing Foundation Degrees. Expanding teacher training provision. Working with schools on specialist diplomas. Providing additional ‘masterclass’ opportunities for year 11 pupils. Creating a new Dudley Sixth Form Centre in partnership with local schools. On the international front, we intend to revise our business model for the development and delivery of our international products. This may include widening our network of recruitment agencies, and supporting international collaborative partnerships (eg TVET for both individual learner recruitment and corporate contracts). At the local level we will further develop our relationship with the Local Education Authority, not least because of the transition of funding for 14-19 year olds into their control in the near future. In relation to economic regeneration we will continue to be an active member of a range of key groups which enables us to play a full and active role in the economic well-being and development of the borough. This includes working closely with New Heritage Regeneration Ltd as part of a co-ordinated approach to supporting an integrated township strategy across the borough. Other fora in which the college will be an active participant include Local Area Agreement Committees, Black Country Partnership for Learning, DMBC Economic Development and Regeneration Partnership (EDRP), Birmingham, Black Country and Solihull Lifelong Learning Network, Business Voice West Midlands (Manufacturing Group) and local Chambers of Commerce.

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We will organise an Annual Review event which will enable all stakeholders (public, private or voluntary) to better understand how the college delivers on its priorities, as well as support the work of other agencies and groups as part of an integrated approach. We will directly support the development of the South Black Country Innovation Campus. Specifically in relation to the development of employability programmes aimed at those not in work or economically inactive, we will establish a dedicated employability skills centre that will provide learners with intensive support in helping them overcome multiple barriers to employment.

HOW WILL WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS? Using the College Operational Development Plan (CODP), on an annual basis we will set targets for, and measure our progress against, the following: Innovation generated by the ‘ideas greenhouse’ and environmental scanning innovation measure. Increasing the range of curriculum supported by web-enabled technologies. Partnership agreements Direct delivery. Franchise. Universities. Schools. Employers. Volume of international income. 14-19 funding allocation. Involvement in regeneration activities. Establishment of the Dudley Sixth Form Centre. Establishment of a Dudley Higher Education Centre. The number and effectiveness of employer fora established. Success of our employability centre. Performance against Framework for Excellence key indicators.

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PRIORITY FOUR EFFECTIVE EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT INTRODUCTION

WHAT WE WILL DO

A central aim of the Government’s agenda is to ensure that employers have the right skills to support the success of their businesses, and individuals have the skills they need to be both employable and personally fulfilled. Our fourth priority is that of effective employer engagement.

A whole college approach to working with employers

Given the heightened priority towards helping employers better utilise the skills available to them, we recognise the need to improve and further develop our employer engagement strategy so as to provide a holistic and responsive approach that utilises college wide resources in support of the skills agenda. There is also a drive to ensure that individuals and companies are responsible for an increasing proportion of the cost of their learning above Level 2. As one of the largest providers of employer focused education and training in the Black Country, the college must ensure that its curriculum is responsive to changing employer requirements and that it meets the existing and emerging growth needs of the regional economy and beyond.

We intend to secure significant growth in the number of employers with which the college engages through developing a more professional approach to our sales and marketing functions including listening to what employers are indicating are their key training needs and challenges. To assist with this process and ensure products are fit for purpose, we intend to establish a series of employer panels, so that the voice of industry is able to inform our intended actions. We will also establish a set of protocols that all staff will adhere to. This will achieve a consistency of approach to the promotion of the college’s products and services and the development of the Dudley College brand as first choice for workforce development and corporate training. Effective employer relationships will be managed through a client relationship management (CRM) system and a dedicated client relationship team whose role will be to ensure high levels of customer service at all times. We recognise that, in order to be more successful in working with employers, a wholly consistent level of service is necessary. This will be achieved by ensuring all delivery services are managed through seven curriculum centres and that all employers will have a single point of contact through a dedicated client relationship team. An annual audit of the work of these centres will be undertaken to identify areas where employer engagement is weak or not yet fully embedded. The outcomes of the audit will allow us to develop an enhanced range of vocational education and training pathways related to employment in response to national, regional and local needs. Monitoring the effectiveness of our employer engagement will be an important aspect of our journey towards becoming an outstanding college. We will therefore implement a range of monitoring mechanisms to quantify and benchmark employers’ overall levels of satisfaction with our services.

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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PRIORITY FOUR

“The college must ensure that its curriculum is responsive to changing employer requirements.”

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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WHAT WE WILL DO A communication and engagement strategy We will work with local, regional and national employers, our partners and other agencies to meet demand for learning in the workplace. We will also develop responsive and sustainable specialist provision that is attractive both to the business community and the individual learner. We will also seek to develop and extend our curriculum offer to employers, as well as invite employer representatives to work with us in ensuring that what is being developed matches their needs in priority sectors and specialist areas. Our employer engagement strategy will drive us to establish skills academies and support employers through the development of onsite learning centres. Our sales, communications and engagement strategy will be driven through a ‘routes to market plan’ which articulates our understanding of the local and regional labour market, anticipates employers’ purchasing behaviour and seeks to align our services and product offer to meet these needs. The success of our approach in both engaging employers and providing new routes into training that support industry will be measured through accreditation against the Training Quality Standard, the achievement of which will automatically result in an ‘outstanding’ grade for employer engagement as part of the Framework for Excellence measures25. We recognise the need to develop existing relationships and construct new ones with local schools, HE institutions, the Learning and Skills Council (including the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People Funding Agency post April 2010), Black Country Consortium, Job Centre Plus, Advantage West Midlands, various Sector Skills Councils, Local Authorities, Connexions, local, regional and national employers, local chambers of commerce, other training providers, trades unions and their members, voluntary and community organisations, as well as key business intermediaries such as West Midlands Business Link and others such as Business Voice West Midlands. 25

Learning and Skills Council: Famework for excellence: a comprehensive performance assessment framework for the further education system, HMSO April 2007.

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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PRIORITY FOUR

Employer responsive programmes and services Making training increasingly accessible to employers and their staff will be central to the engagement of business needs. We intend to develop a number of strategies to achieve this, eg increased use of webenabled technologies such as WebCT™, e-portfolios and online assessment. In addition, we intend to work with an identified group of employers to create an on-site Learning Centre, which may be hosted by one company but used by the employees of several.

To extend our range of services and products we will consider opportunities for the acquisition of private training providers and act on these opportunities as appropriate.

We will ensure that our curriculum offer is responsive to employers’ needs by monitoring both local and regional economic barometers to identify skills and labour shortages. We will also identify funding opportunities to support the establishment of innovative employer focused training initiatives in priority sectors.

Using the College Operational Development Plan (CODP), on an annual basis we will set targets for, and measure our progress against, the following:

HOW WILL WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS?

Number of employer-sponsored learners. Number of Train to Gain learners.

We will listen to what employers tell us through course reviews, focus groups, organisational needs assessments and annual surveys.

Number of Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeship learners.

We will continue to develop vocational specialisms which meet local and regional priorities. In particular, we will extend both the breadth and range of our existing vocational provision to include new full cost programmes, and additional employer focused NVQ programmes, funded by initiatives such as Train to Gain.

Fee income from employers.

Expansion of employer-focused products. Employer satisfaction levels. Creation of at least one on-site learning centre. Achievement of accreditation to New Training Quality Standards. Income from consultancy services.

As part of the Public Service Challenge we will specifically be working with public sector organisations to support employees without a qualification at Level 2. We also intend to develop new ‘pathways to employment’ programmes, providing clearly defined progression routes into employment for clients presently in receipt of a range of means-tested benefits.

Performance against Framework for Excellence key indicators. Acquisitions. Regional skills audit.

We intend to seek growth in the overall level of our commercial activities through customised training tailored to the needs of individual businesses, exploiting the location and facilities offered through the college. A new aspect of work that we intend to consider is that of consultancy. The college has several areas of expertise that could be exploited in this way, and will be considered over the lifetime of this strategic plan.

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PRIORITY FIVE INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE INTRODUCTION

WHAT WE WILL DO

For our learners to enjoy a truly excellent experience, we must provide consistently high quality teaching, backed by seamlessly integrated support services.

A suitably qualified and skilled workforce

Staff motivation and skills are key to the quality of the learner experience, and thus staff development and morale are central to the college’s vision. We aim to build capacity and competence, enabling all to contribute fully to the life of the college. We will embed the college’s vision of excellence, promoting accountability alongside a process of reflective practice and lifelong learning, and encourage opportunities for career progression at the college. In short, we aim to be the FE employer of choice in the local travel-to-work area. Our leaders and managers play a key role. Strong and effective leadership provides the framework under which teaching and support staff can flourish. Effective leaders and managers help create an organisational culture which stimulates and motivates staff, and drives continued improvement. To support this we recognise the need to implement an organisation wide performance management system that sets out clearly our expectations to all staff.

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DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

Our priority over the coming year is to ensure that our staff skill base meets the challenges of our changing strategic priorities. During 2009 we will carry out an audit of the skills and expertise of our staff and ensure our staff skills database is accurate and complete. A detailed human resources plan mapping our needs for the coming years will follow from this survey. When recruiting new staff, we will ensure that they have the skills and personal attributes that meet our current and future needs. We will also investigate the introduction of different bases for employment that offer flexibility to both the college and the individual, and which contribute to an appropriate work/life balance. Our staff development programmes will continue to focus on teacher education and development, in improving classroom skills and management. For the academic year 2009 onwards, we intend to introduce an annual College Conference for all staff, focusing on key priorities and intend to extend this format in the light of emerging college developments. We will introduce a formal system to ensure management and delivery staff undertake industrial updating in the work place on an annual basis. Development opportunities for support staff will be focused on job competencies too, recognising that excellence in the support areas is equally as important in supporting our journey towards a grade of ‘outstanding’. We will therefore work, through the staff development programme, towards the better alignment of teaching and support services.

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PRIORITY FIVE

An effective employment framework We will look into the possibility of introducing a pay policy/incentive scheme that enables high performers, or those that generate innovative ideas, to be rewarded. High performers are not necessarily motivated through ‘money only’ incentives; they will be recognised through significant new opportunities for career and/or personal development. Such development opportunities may of course present themselves outside of the college and therefore we must have sufficient flexibility/capacity to appoint people (whose capabilities have been recognised) when vacancies occur. We need to ensure our staffing complement continues to reflect our diverse local population, therefore our recruitment practices will also target under represented groups. We will set targets for improving the diversity of our staff and monitor these closely, as Equality and Diversity remain high on our agenda. In developing the college, we will evaluate all the personnel practices and procedures to ensure that they are fit for purpose and promote excellence. We recognise the need to introduce a formal approach to talent recognition and succession planning and will do so over the lifetime of this plan.

New management practices Within the performance management framework introduced in 2008, we will continue to implement a programme of training and development for managers that encompasses the setting of personal and team targets in addition to the management of under-performance. We will also seek to modernise and update our management team roles and structures to meet the needs of the 21st century and will do so over the lifetime of this plan.

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HOW WILL WE MEASURE OUR SUCCESS? Using the College Operational Development Plan (CODP), on an annual basis we will set targets for, and measure our progress against, the following: Percentage of staff appropriately qualified for their job role. Percentage of teaching staff registered with the Institute for Learning (IfL). Consideration of alternative bases for employment. Annual staff development plan. Implementation of a pay strategy/ incentive scheme. Succession planning. Diversity profile of staff. Performance target setting. Performance against Framework for Excellence key indicators. DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

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SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS There are numerous documents which have supported the development of this strategic plan. These include: 1. 2. 3. 4.

5. 6. 7.

8. 9.

10. 11.

12.

13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

19.

26

Ofsted Inspection Report – Dudley College of Technology published July 2008, HMSO 2008. Ofsted Annual Assessment Visit, June 2009, HMSO 2009 Ofsted: The Key Stage 4 curriculum: increased flexibility and work-related learning, HMSO 2007. Department for Children, Schools and Families: 14 to 19 Education and Skills White Paper and Youth Matters Green Paper, HMSO 2005. Department for Children, Schools and Families: Delivering 14-19 Reform: Next Steps, HMSO 2008. Bank of England - Quarterly Inflation Report - 12th August 2009, HMSO 2009. Department for Work and Pensions, Job Centre Plus (JCP) Stakeholder Briefing Report, August 2009, HMSO 2009. West Midlands Regional Observatory, Latest employment and unemployment data September 2009. National Office of Statistics, Official labour market statistics - Youth claimant rates by region and Local Authority, HMSO July 2009. Learning and Skills Council: Delivering world class skills in a demand led system, HMSO April 2007. Learning and Skills Council: Better skills Better jobs Better lives - Our Statement of Priorities, HMSO November 2007. Advantage West Midlands / West Midlands Learning and Skills Council, Skills Action Plan West Midlands Region 2008 -2011, HMSO 2008. Department for Work and Pensions and Department for innovation, Universities and Skills: Read for Work, Skills for Work: Unlocking Britain’s Talent, HMSO 2008. Department for Work and Pensions: No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility, HMSO 2008. David Blunkett, The Learning Age Green Paper, HMOS 1998. Learning and Skills Council: West Midlands Regional Commissioning Plan 2008/09, HMSO 2008. Learning and Skills Council, Black Country Statement of Need 2008-09, HMSO 2008. Learning and Skills Council: Making Skills Matter ; The Learning and Skills Council’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2008-09 HMSO July 2009. Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) : Raising Expectations: Enabling the System to Deliver, HMSO 2008.

DUDLEY COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 - 2014

20. Department for Innovation, University and Skills : FE AND SKILLS SYSTEM REFORMS : An Update; HMSO 2008. 21. National Office of Statistics, Official labour market statistics - Claimant rates by region and Local Authority, HMSO July 2009. 22. Learning and Skills Council: The Black Country – Key Statistics 2009/10, HMSO 2009 23. Learning and Skills Council: LSC West Midlands - Review of provision for Learners with Learning Difficulties and or Disabilities (LLDD) in the West Midlands 2007-08, HMSO, February 2008. 24. Learning and Skills Council: Learning for living and work: improving education and training opportunities for people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, HMSO, April 2008. 25. Learning and Skills Council: Famework for excellence: a comprehensive performance assessment framework for the further education system, HMSO April 2007.

Other Publications Local Area Statements of Need Single Equality Scheme and West Midlands Regional Action Plan (April 2007). Learning for Living and Work West Midlands Implementation Plan 2007-2010 (April 2007). “Building to Achieve” West Midlands Regional Capital Plan 2007-2012 (March 2007). Train to Gain A Plan for Growth November 2007 – July 2011 (November 2007). Advantage West Midlands - West Midlands Economic Strategy – ‘Connecting to Success’ August 2007 There are also a number of detailed operational plans which are derived from this strategic plan and which contain detailed targets. They include: Annual College Operational Development Plan. Ten Year Financial Forecast. Three Year Development Plan prepared for the Black Country Learning and Skills Council. Accommodation Strategy. Annual Risk Management Plan. Annual Human Resource Plan. Annual Marketing Strategy.

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CAMPUS LOCATIONS

A 4123

Wolverhampton

RO A D

AD H IL L RO W RE N ’S

LI N W

OOD

1 D FIEL M AY

RO A

The King Arthur

D

BI G H A M N A D

E B

R

O

A

D

W

Black Country Living Museum

A

Y

3

TH

E

PA

RA

D

T I P T O N

A 459

E

PT

ON

RE

ET

Pay & Display Car Park

S L AN LL HA

H

UT

AD

CA

BIRMIN

L RO

AY

Tesco HIL

Main Bus Station

GHAM R OAD

A 461

The Ward Arms Hotel

E

4

ST

DW

ROAD

E STL

DL

AM

ST. JAM ES

Dudley Zoo & Castle OA

IN

RH

E

VE

BR

TR

OL

E

IG

H

ST

E RE

KIN

MERRY HILL

T

TR G S

EET

SO

W

M5 (J1) & WEST

2 TH

B 4176 Wallheath & Kingswinford

R O A D

H

RO

P R I O RY

EW

A 459

T

IN

R O A D

RM

Sedgley & Wolverhampton

5

B 4171

Blackheath & Halesowen

A 461

1

Mons Hill Campus - 111 Wrens Hill Road, Wrens Nest Estate, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 3SB incorporating International Glass Centre

2

Broadway Campus - The Broadway, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 4AS

3

Castle View Campus - The Parade, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 3HR

4

Wolverhamption Street Campus - Wolverhampton Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 3AH

5

Brierley Hill Campus - Dudley Road, Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Midlands, DY5 1LQ

A 433 M5 (J2)


Our mission: outstanding learning which develops skills, raises aspirations and changes lives. Dudley College, The Broadway, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AS www.dudleycol.ac.uk | Tel: 01384 363 363 design by www.thenerv.co.uk


Strategic Plan 2009 – 2014