ISSUE 3 | SUMMER TERM 2021
Time for a well earned break
02 WELCOME FROM GROUP PRINCIPAL AND CEO 09 SKILLS FOR GROWTH
04 TRUST NEWS
10 STUDENT & STAFF MATTERS
06 COLLEGE NEWS 13 ON MISSION
08 APPRENTICESHIPS 19 IN THE NEWS
GROUP NEWSLETTER | ISSUE 3
Welcome to the Summer issue of the Group newsletter for the whole of LSEEG which includes the staff of: London South East Academies Trust (LSEAT) London South East Colleges (LSEC) London Skills for Growth (LSfG)
1 Our Endeavour Academy has been awarded a gold award for its Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) provision to students see page 21 2 College students had their achievements celebrated in special online celebration featuring British sporting legend Kriss Akabusi MBE see page 19
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3 Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan MP visited our Bromley Campus in April to help launch a construction skills report commissioned by the CIFE see page 20 4 This year’s Bexley Campus art and media exhibition ‘Ignite’ celebrated the power of the arts and creativity in our schools and colleges see page 21
WELCOME FROM GROUP PRINCIPAL AND CEO Dr Sam Parrett CBE
Time to celebrate the year’s achievements It’s difficult to write about the progress the Group has made this term without referencing the many foundation stones we collectively put into place throughout the earlier periods of our academic year. So please forgive me if I reflect back to one or two of the significant milestones achieved since last September that have enabled us to reach the position in which we are in today. The Autumn term started in earnest with the College’s first virtual landmark lecture of the year by Mathew Trainer, Chief Executive of our local Oxleas NHS Trust. The success of this led to a unique and highly successful partnership between us to train a workforce capable of delivering the biggest and most ambitious vaccination programme of our time. Many of our students were subsequently appointed to roles in the NHS with many more placed on 02 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
standby for forthcoming vacancies. The relaunch of our flagship FE Foodbank and its transition into what became affectionately known as the FE ‘Festive’ Foodbank saw the Group raise funds, food and grocery items which were then distributed to foodbanks throughout Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley in time for Christmas. At the very beginning of the Spring term, once again we were back into lockdown, with a new set of Covid safety measures to adhere to, trying to make sense of frequently changing exams and assessment advice and getting to grips with perhaps our biggest and most challenging logistical operation to date, the lateral Covid tests in our secondary schools and college campuses.
WELCOME FROM GROUP PRINCIPAL AND CEO (CONT )
This was a huge undertaking from planning to implementation and involved staff from all corners of the organisation and the enlisted help of the community too. I’m glad to say that all those who stepped forward and volunteered in a range of different roles did a truly magnificent job, enabling us to keep our classrooms and workshops open for our learners most in need of face-to-face learning; later for those returning to complete practical assignments and assessments. In May, hopefully you will have (if you are a member of our Academies Trust staff) attended one of the Trust Roadshow events online. These were arranged to give staff an opportunity to contribute to our work on growing a ‘One-Trust’ culture. This means coming together as one larger organisation, developing cultural change and becoming a more united and coordinated body. This is a very important, yet difficult transition for the Trust to make and one in which has seen a largely positive response during our consultation period. We are now poised to see how much further this journey can take us together as we move confidently into next year and beyond. A regular hashtag used on our Colleges’ social media platforms is #LSECfamily; we’d like to extend 03 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
and apply this to the Trust propelling ourselves further into becoming a fully integrated and cohesive #LSEATfamily. Just prior to the last half term, our Endeavour Academy was presented with a Gold Award for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development along with being awarded its national quality mark. This is a fantastic achievement for the academy as well as the Trust and something to make us all proud. A big well done to Head of School, Margaret Rozaria and her amazing staff and pupils for such commitment and dedication in achieving such success. So, while I’m on the subject of awards, you may have heard by now about the College’s resounding success in the Tes FE Awards 2021 back at the end of May – a rather good month all round if I may say so. The College won three awards – Contribution to the local community, FE College of the year, and Overall FE provider of the year. We won these awards because of the great things we have done during the course of this year – a real culmination of how we have innovated, planned, and accomplished together, as a team, and applied our STARS values to everything we do. This is how its done and it means that we all finish the academic year as WINNERS.
Well done and congratulations to you all for your contributions to the fantastic outcomes that have been achieved again under very difficult circumstances. These are the challenges that can make life more interesting and by overcoming them make our lives so meaningful. We have all drawn strength from and supported each other so well; I believe it is this togetherness that we can hold on to as
we move forwards into next year. We have positioned ourselves favourably for the changes that lie ahead of us with the government’s new vision for further education and I’m confident that the London South East Education Group will continue to be a sector leader in all areas that we cover – primary, secondary, alternative provision, special educational needs, further and higher education.
Now is the time to take a very well earned break, recharge those batteries and take a breather. On our return, we have much to live up to as a multi-award winning institution and we will do this by continuing to innovate, place ourselves at the very heart of everything that is important to the UK’s economic and social recovery, leading by example, sharing good practice and being vocal. We will also be promoting and advancing our latest social enterprise initiative #GoodForMeGoodForFE, which is all about empowering our staff, students and employer partners to become more involved in community volunteering. We have become an organisation that is well and truly ‘on the map’ and we aim to stay there. Have a great break.
One Trust culture Neil Miller, Deputy CEO, LSEAT writes: Without a doubt, London South East Academies Trust wouldn’t be as successful as it has been without the continuing hard work of every member of staff. Our talented and dedicated teams provide a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience, which is a real strength. Since its creation in 2014, our family of schools have grown immensely. Not just in size, pupil numbers or locations but also in terms of experience, quality and progression outcomes for our pupils. This gives us a platform from which to shape our future direction. Our One Trust journey is about taking the very best elements and, through collaboration, communication and CPD, replicating 04 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
them across all our schools to build a truly outstanding trust. As we move through our journey of growth, it is vital that every member of staff is able to help shape the future direction of the Trust. I was delighted that around 500 staff attended our first One Trust on 30 June, hosted by Dr Sam Parrett CBE, Group Principal and CEO. The meeting, a culmination of a series of One Trust Consultation Roadshows held last month, was a great opportunity to share and reflect on the key facts, staff comments and insights that were voiced during the consultation process. It also provided an opportunity to demonstrate how the information we gathered has been used to update the vision, mission and values. The meeting also provided a chance to explore some of the fantastic work that we
as a Group are doing to support our communities and the impact of this, as well as some of the brilliant examples of One Trust culture that have already been adopted. To support the further development of a One Trust culture, collectively we felt it was important to align these values to the Group Values, and therefore have decided to use the acronym STARS. Using staff feedback, we have worked hard to ensure that each value is wholly relevant to the Trust. This means that although the College and Trust use the same acronym, our values are slightly different.
Our mission is to create a network of outstanding schools that promote excellence, celebrate diversity, enable personal development and achievement and foster social value in the communities they serve. Our vision is to create a future where every child, in every school, thrives every day. Our values are Success, Teamwork, Achievement, Respect and Service (STARS). Thank you to every member of staff who contributed to this process. We have achieved a great deal in a short space of time and this provides us with a solid platform from which we can continue to build. We know that our greatest impact is yet to come.
TRUST NEWS (CONT )
Building a culture of self-improvement Madelaine Caplin, Executive Headteacher, Woodside/Belmont Academies writes: One of the many great things about the London South East Education Group is that all stakeholders have signed up to the Group’s shared vision and values.
Whatever role you play within your setting we know that you are committed to working in partnership with colleagues, have a desire to further strengthen our education community and, most importantly, meet the needs of all children and young people.
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To be able to do this effectively we have a shared responsibility to make sure that everyone has the requisite skills and experience to provide bespoke support and challenge to each and every setting and to each other. This way we can continue to flourish and to grow. We need to provide flexible, high quality teaching and learning. We must offer tailored provision befitting each organisation which celebrates autonomy and makes sure that no child or young person is left behind. To make this happen we are always on the lookout for the best providers of training so that we can invest in staff professional development. We have a commitment to each and every one of you and want to ensure that there are plentiful opportunities for colleagues to develop and grow. In my changing role within the Trust I want to make sure that these opportunities are available, are well-planned and are appropriately
resourced. Each and every one of you has an entitlement to professional support so that you can develop professional autonomy. We want you to be innovative and contribute to improving standards within schools and other settings. We know that you and your colleagues are our greatest resource and we are committed to making sure this happens. We place great trust in you all and base everything we plan and do on success and strength rather than the risk of failure.
We have a responsibility to develop a culture of selfimproving schools. There will always be internal and external accountability and we shouldn’t be afraid of it.
We have engaged with an organisation known to some of you: Challenge Partners. They will be working with all Trust schools on a two-year cycle developing staff as leaders and reviewers plus providing support and challenge. We have also recruited a bank of external advisers to support each school on its journey to further improvement and have developed a more flexible package of visits to ensure we do not overload schools but get the best possible outcomes after each visit. Last but not least, we are setting up peer-to-peer support weeks. There will be some days set aside each term for peer review and support. Our ambition is that these joint activities will further harness the growing One Trust culture and our strong sense of corporate responsibility.
Successes of the year and an unusual Summer to come David Lambert, Deputy CEO & Principal (Colleges – Teaching and Learning) writes: It feels good to get to the end of another term and another College year with so many successful outcomes and of course our three massive Tes awards to add to our trophy cabinet. The immense pride we all felt on that gala night is something we’ll never forget. Let’s hope we can bottle the spirit of our ‘triple crown’ victory this year and take it with us on the next stage of our journey into the 2021-22 academic year. For some this year, our Summer vacation will be rather different to most other years and those who have come forward to work in the Summer schools will no doubt be returning to campus again next week to try and help our attending learners achieve the results they both need and deserve. Many of them 06 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
have really missed out on quite a lot in terms of face-to-face teaching despite the amazing effort we have made collectively to keep learners connected, engaged and on-track throughout the lockdowns. That is why we must offer these schools and support these learners during July and August getting those who have not yet achieved their exams up-to-speed and through their qualifications.
We need our learners to achieve in order to have the best literacy and numeracy abilities and understanding enabling them to move on in their careers confidently. Without this, learners could face setbacks later in their careers unless we put in that extra support and tuition. So, for some this year, this isn’t quite the traditional end we all look forward to so vehemently. I thank you in advance for helping us to tackle this issue head on.
As you will by now be aware, this year GCSE results day has been brought forward to Thursday 12 August and this means our open enrolment will start on that day too. This all means many more staff will be on campus earlier. That doesn’t mean anybody will lose their annual leave of course, it just means that we have had to plan more meticulously and make sure that our staff are not all off at the same time. I thank all of you who have come forward and offered your support and willingness to be flexible over the Summer holiday. We are yet again approaching our promised land of all Covid restrictions being lifted on the rescheduled ‘Freedom Day’ of Monday 19 July. This time, it’s looking more hopeful and of course a great deal of pressure will be eased. We are currently awaiting DfE guidance on the usual issues – class bubbles, face coverings, lateral flow tests and social distancing (if any) and of any contingency planning advice.
I think we are all aware that Covid will be around for longer than originally anticipated and we may as well get used to the idea that ‘back to normal’ may still be some time away yet. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start to create for ourselves a smooth road to travel on over the next few years in which we build on a fabulous reputation, modernising and transforming our curriculum offer, qualifications, levels and facilities. This will also help address the changes being made to the further education sector by the government, building ourselves a truly sustainable, state-ofthe-art college of the future. Hopefully, you will all get some time to yourselves over the Summer and for the third time in this wonderful magazine, I thank you for the great things you do week in, week out, to help your learners get their very first foot on the ladder to success. Thank you very much indeed, have a great break and be sure to make it absolutely sparkling.
COLLEGE NEWS (CONT )
champions Back in February, the government announced that all schools and colleges could begin the process of welcoming pupils and students back into classrooms for face-to-face teaching and learning. Subsequently, a rollout of lateral flow testing programme for all college users began in the run up to the Easter holidays. By the 8 March the College managed to carry out nearly 8,500 rapid flow Covid tests across it’s campuses. To support this huge logistical exercise, the College’s HR department appealed for staff to work as testers and more than 80 full and part-time staff stepped forward. Despite this phenomenal response more support was needed to help us to reach our testing targets. We turned to the local volunteering community, including Community Links and the local Rotary Clubs. The exercise resulted in 45 local volunteers bolstering our teams at Bromley, Greenwich, Bexley and Orpington campuses.
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Tracey Davis, Vice Principal said: “On reflection, we handled the rollout of the testing programme remarkably well. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our wonderful volunteers and their amazing community spirit. I doubt we would have succeeded in the way we did. Also, thanks to our amazing staff who took part as well as maintaining their normal duties. They are real heroes who have gone well above and beyond the call of duty.” Diane Diamond, Volunteering Services Co-ordinator at Community Links Bromley, helped to recruit the volunteers, mainly from individual applicants as well as local Rotary Clubs. She said: “The prospect of testing all students to ensure they could return to their studies safely was a huge task for London South East Colleges. We were delighted to be able to help with that task by becoming involved with the recruitment, which was crucial to the success of the testing programme.” Carol, 71, from Beckenham, one of our community volunteers who helped to carry out the onsite testing programme said: “I’m a retired administrator and have always had a love of being an organiser; that is why I wanted to take part in this big operation. After so many months of lockdown, I just wanted to get out again and help the College get its students back in class.”
Spotlight on apprenticeships Debra McDermott, Director of Apprenticeships and Skills Development, writes: London South East Colleges and London Skills for Growth Apprenticeships are now joined as one team. Since September we have introduced new Apprenticeship standards in; Quantity Surveying Technician L4, Learning and Skills Teacher L5, Groundworker L2 and Engineering Operative due to the employer and sector need.
We have recruited over 300 learners this year to date despite three COVID lockdowns. We had a very big intake of learners from the following Standards; Carpentry, Business Administrator, Motor vehicle and Associate Project Management. The most challenging sectors to recruit have been the hospitality sector, hairdressing, childcare and teaching assistant as 08 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
most premises were closed. Since schools and nurseries reopened, recruitment has reignited for the childcare sector and we now are recruiting more staff to cater for the demand. A new onboarding process Esignup has been introduced for new learners to create a seamless process for employers and learners. We have also introduced a new CRM system, to capture all employers and to promote other opportunities via the mailing list. We are working with a variety of employers and SMEs, and levy locally within our four boroughs and across the capital, and are now working with national contracts using blended delivery programmes. The new Government incentive of £3,000 for any age learners has encouraged employers to recruit to apprenticeships this year. This has also created a challenge for small employers as they have to set up a new digital apprenticeship system. Where employer confidence has begun to grow again within the employability market there has been
an upward trend in the demand for the higher-level apprenticeships. Recruitment for Levels 4-5 has been very promising this year. For our delivery teams, the start of this academic year remained a challenge with the constant changes in COVID requirements and government restrictions. However, from an Apprenticeship point of view the impact this had appeared to be minimal. The Institute of Apprenticeships introduced several flexibilities to assist our learners to gain their End Point Assessments. Learners are still engaging and although there were several learners who were furloughed they were encouraged to continue with their learning and to take the opportunity to get as much work done as possible while they did not have their work commitments to worry about. The skills coaches have over time developed innovative learning approaches to online delivery to make sure that learners remained engaged. They continued to monitor attendance and encouraged learners to meet
all targets set. This has resulted in learners achieving a large percentage of distinctions at EPA and almost all passes. Currently 59% of our learners taking EPA’s have achieved high grades of either merit of distinction. The EPA and EPAO processes has developed over time to become a smooth transition for the learners and is now not regarded as a daunting exercise but an end goal to achievement. This has been a challenge in some industries in particular Hairdressing where learners have had limited commercial practice over the last year. Special arrangements were made this year to support a cohort of Level 3 Carpentry learners gain their EPA that was delayed from May 2020 – they all gained a pass or merit. The future is bright for Apprenticeships, with some new courses in development to include Engineering Technician L3, Surveying L3 and Teacher L6. Work is also in progress with the curriculum teams to fully develop a clear strategy for the next three years to include full progression pathways.
SKILLS FOR GROW TH
Diversifying our support into employment! Angela Beaton, Operations Director London Skills for Growth and Adult and Community Learning writes: LSfG has been diversifying and instrumental in the delivery of some of the Youth Hub courses and a range of bespoke employer and stakeholder responsive courses which continues to enable the positive impact on young people, their prospects and being truly responsive to understand what an employer needs – a very exciting time. Here are just some examples: Functional Skills - NHS: June 2021 ended a really successful (on employer site) Functional Skills delivery for three NHS hospitals at Ealing, Northwich Park and Central Middlesex. Google/Compass: We are in the final stages of Google Functional Skills delivery which used Century as the delivery platform. Care to Prepare (Bromley Healthcare): This bespoke SWAPs programme has been designed specifically to Bromley Healthcare requirements. This 09 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
exciting new course includes the Care Certificate, First Aid at Work, Manual Handling, Food Hygiene, Employability and bespoke sector awareness. Port of London Logistics SWAP: A new programme launching in July, bespoke and designed with the PLA around logistics. Metropolitan Police: We have been working closely with this prestigious employer to assist them in their aim to increase their staff demographic. This is the first step in an incredibly exciting programme and one we hope our LSEC learners will be able to participate in if they have a desire to join the Met workforce. Youth Build (Holly Hill) Construction Bootcamp: We have linked up with Youth Build – an organisation based in Thamesmead whose aim is to support disengaged young people into sustainable training and employment. Another bespoke programme we are launching in July which we are delivering in partnership with employability designed around resilience, mental toughness and positive mindset.
Youth Hubs making a difference Bromley, Greenwich and Bexley Youth Hubs are now in operation, with on site operation planned for the end of June with official DWP launches planned at the end of July. The hubs have been enormously busy with DWP referrals anticipated to reach 1,000 19-24 year olds into the three Youth Hubs as July starts. The Youth Hub team – headed up by Alison Preddy, Team Leader, are actively engaging with at least 600 of those referrals and working with them to progress them into employment, Kickstart opportunities,
apprenticeships and training. The team have worked incredibly hard and participated in targeted campaigns to actively encourage Youth Hub learners to participate and achieve in training. Launch activities are being planned and more information will be forthcoming in the college weekly news updates. To encourage Youth Hub learners to participate in training and achieve, LSEC have introduced a short term £100 Incentive to encourage learners to attend and complete their training.
ACL busier and as creative as ever We are incredibly proud that our Adult and Community Learning (ACL) demand is busier than ever for this time of year and in the last three months we have started twelve new courses with more planned before the end of July. The learners have returned to physical learning enthusiastically and we have been capturing some of their wonderful creativity in our weekly College News and on social media. A new programme we are proud to launch is a new ESOL employability course through our work with Greenwich Sanctuary Project (to
support a number of Syrian refugees who have been attending ESOL courses within the College but who now need targeted support to enable them to understand how employment works in the UK and how to apply for jobs and enable them to resettle in the Greenwich borough) as well as a new ceramics course - full within just an hour of being advertised. The Centre is now truly buzzing and alive with beautiful flower arrangements refreshed each week, and students’ artworks displayed on our walls throughout the building.
STUDENT & STAFF MAT TERS
#LockdownUnlocked Lockdown has been tough on everyone causing disruption and hardship to individuals and communities. The pandemic prompted us to think deeply about how we could harness our collective expertise, partnerships and resources to support our students and limit the negative effects of lockdown. In response to the challenge we launched #LockdownUnlocked; an ambitious programme aiming to help our students look after their wellbeing, encourage them to stay motivated and build their skills and confidence in preparation for the road ahead. And the response to the challenge was phenomenal. Students, partners and staff collaborated to develop and deliver an exciting range of initiatives and events. SEND and ESOL learners took part in
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a lockdown cook-off challenge. English language students penned friendship letters to the residents of local care homes who were missing their families and friends. Health and Social Care students created a campaign to encourage fellow students to stay fit and healthy during lockdown. Staff and students also launched ‘Well Read, Well Said’ Online Book Club, coming together on a weekly basis to enjoy extracts and readings from favourite authors and to explore some of the key issues that affect us all as individuals, as a college-wide group and as part of the wider community in recent times. Students were also treated to expert talks and lectures such as the #McAfeeStudentSessions which provided a real insight into careers in Cybersecurity as well as the talk by Sean Ash an inspirational fundraiser.
STUDENT & STAFF MAT TERS (CONT )
Mental health and wellbeing Leeanna Duffy, Interim Mental Health and Wellbeing Manager writes:
This academic year has been an uncertain and stressful time for students and staff at LSEC. COVID-19, and its many consequential effects, has impacted us all. While it may feel like the impacts this year have been negative, adversity always brings out positive outcomes as well. Here are a few of the silver linings from this year. The Mental and Emotional Health Team have successfully supported a large case load of students to progress and achieve through providing 1-1 mentoring sessions, crisis support as well as signposting and referring to external services. Staff have taken part in Mental Health First Aid and Suicide First Aid training courses to increase awareness and confidence in dealing with students in crisis. We have a genuine interest to improve mental health at work. Staff have been encouraged to engage with wellbeing initiatives, such as getting outside and connecting with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week. We are also looking forward to the launch of the Fika Mental Fitness App. This will equip staff and students with the skills they need to better understand their mental fitness and prevent the decline of mental health. Overall I’m positive that the next academic year will continue to be a supportive environment for our staff and student wellbeing. 11 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
STUDENT & STAFF MAT TERS (CONT )
The power of ubuntu Reverend Claudette Douglas, Group Chaplaincy Coordinator, writes: The word Ubuntu is translated from the Zula to mean ‘I am because you are’. In fact, the word ubuntu is just part of the phase ‘Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’, which literally means that a person is a person through other people. It describes in that one word the purpose, power, protection, and ability of the group to survive, propagate and thrive. The tribes-people understood that by operating alone they were vulnerable to the vicissitudes of a harsh environment, predators and a lonely existence where one would have to do everything themselves with no help, support or company. UBUNTU is ‘the strength of the collective’. The group provides you with protection, keeps you safe from prey, allows a better chance to survive as an individual and therefore provides you with the opportunity of a future. For that, you are required to be loyal to the group’s social aims, objectives and values. This is the humble principle that most of our great cities and civilizations were built on. Each individual element contributes to the power of the collective. The TES Awards nationally highlighted the dedication, ambition and ability to teach and underlines the vision you have of our staff and our leaners. The community outreach and initiatives have enhanced our presence and capability and have kept us working that front line in a way our students would say is ‘fierce’. As a group you found ingenuity and creativity to remain agile, adaptable and transformational by keeping education alive in the hearts of our students and not sacrificing the standard of your leaner engagement.
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The London & South East Education Group (LSEEG) is Ubuntu. Our leadership has been inspirational, decisive, constant, compassionate and well informed so we have been able to ‘have each other’s back’, understand and deal with present threats and plan for the future. Historic times have called for an historic response and when the history is written, the staff of LSEEG will be able to look back proudly and remember this time when they served their nation well. When the resilience of staff and the strength they summoned up to carry on and support each other, their students, and their communities despite the pandemic has been nothing short of heroic. We know that every organisation has its challenges and there are things we know need to change. Diversity in leadership, more pathways to proceed professionally and better ways of working are areas constantly being discussed in team meetings. As we seek new ways to improve individually and collectively, credit must be given and excellence must be acknowledged. You don’t have to be religious or spiritual to know that it has been a privilege to have been able to be part of a collective, a group that has been also to contribute so much better, in a far bigger and greater way, than anything that could have been achieved alone. As we move to the end of term, please find the time to ponder these collective achievements and touch base with individual colleagues who helped pull you through. I am because you are. Ubuntu, we are emerging stronger than when we entered this pandemic. An award winning, forward facing, socially relevant, vital community resource that continues to grow bigger, stronger, more diverse, differentiated and dynamic.
Driving social action The COVID-19 pandemic shone a spotlight on the collective power of further education in going the extra mile to help support local communities and the FE Foodbank Friday campaign was a shining example of this. Without a doubt, community action and being an anchor institution sit at the heart of what colleges do in our work to promote social mobility, change lives, and create opportunities for people to progress in their careers. Back in June we partnered with Loughborough College and East Coast College to launch the FE sector’s new community action initiative Good For Me Good for FE. The campaign aims to drive a sustainable programme of social action across the UK, connect staff with their local communities and generate £1m of social value while helping to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff. We know there is a strong correlation between volunteering and improved mental health and wellbeing – a key priority for colleges and staff. Astonishingly, more than 100 colleges have backed the campaign so far and in July the Scouts, NAVCA (National Association for Voluntary and 13 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
Community Action) and SLQ became the first charitable organisations to lend their support, opening up a wealth of exciting volunteering opportunities for college staff and students.
More charitable partners will be announced going forward, adding to the fantastic support the campaign has gained so far. The initiative comprises three key strands: The FE Foodbank Friday continued as the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, demand for foodbanks continues to increase and so we are keen to continue collecting donations to support local communities.
Encouraging volunteering within and outside each college community, harnessing the huge amount of work already being undertaken by staff for good causes and encouraging others to get involved.
Building corporate and charitable partnerships to help realise the vision and sustain longer term impact.
For more information about the project, email Andrew.Cox@lsec.ac.uk
ON MISSION (CONT )
Continuing to tackle inequalities With the academic year drawing to a close, it provides a moment to reflect on the year and how we, as a Group, have worked to empower our staff, students and local communities, and drive forward every aspect of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion OUR ACTIVITIES Diversifying our staff profiles: We have aimed to further diversify our staff profile and increase disclosure relating to Religion and Faith, Sexual Orientation and Disability. Although we have seen increases over the past few years, staff diversity and disclosure levels were still not as high as they could be. Increasing communication, promotion and awareness on why and how to disclose combined with an improved employee self-service platform, iTrent has resulted in improved staff disclosure, especially with regards to disability. 14 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
We now aim to achieve the same high levels of disclosure across the Group. A new EDI calendar: A key focus of our work has been the development of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion calendar which has been shared across the Group and used to identify the key dates, holidays and events throughout the year to reflect and celebrate our diverse student and staff base. Recruitment, talent management & positive action: We completed a ‘deep dive’ of our staff profiles across all college departments in order to identify areas of under-representation and implement positive action recruitment strategies. We also plan to introduce new processes including ‘blind recruitment’ selection and deliver more Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Recruitment training for staff. In March, a Talent Management Survey was sent out to all Black, Asian, Dual-Heritage and Other Ethnic Minority staff, seeking their views on positive action initiatives and development and career progression for staff. 30% of staff responded. We explored the survey’s outcomes through a focus group and we have since incorporated a number of themes, including coaching, mentoring, professional updating, secondments and management development.
Updating our use of race and ethnicity terminologies: Prompted by the use of the term ‘BAME’ within the context of COVID and associated connotations of negativity and disadvantage in the media, we initiated internal discussions about the term. A decision was taken by the college to stop using the acronym ‘BAME’ and to refer to each Ethnic group individually. TACKLING INEQUALITIES GRANT PROGRAMME Staff led projects Saved by the ball: The project engages with students who disengaged and/or at risk of permanent exclusion. The activities over the half-term clearly had a positive effect on the students, with one of them quoted saying: “Thank you so much, most of these lads would probably be on the roads, doing bad things if we weren’t here!” The next phase of the project will run during the Summer holidays. Empower project: This programme has achieved significant engagement since it started during Black History Month. 176 students took part in an extensive tutorial as well as multiple Black History Month workshops held both on campus and online. Other strands of the project included entrepreneurship, music making, film
making, personal development and mentoring, and designers initiative. Positive changes: A mentoring project aimed at young Black, Asian, DualHeritage and other ethnic groups as well as students aged 16-25 years with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities launched in May. These student-led activities, which included sports, cooking and social interaction, have helped to improve students’ self-esteem. Student led projects Film club project: The aim of this programme is to create a space for students from Nido Volans Bromley Campus to watch and research films. The club has begun planning a film of its own which they will then write, film and edit in the next academic year. Drama club: This group of dramaloving students based at Nido Volans, Bromley Campus have long aspired to write and perform their own play, The French Rose and the Lamppost, inspired by both ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. They have finished writing their script and plan to perform their play next term and raise money for charity.
ON MISSION (CONT )
Safeguarding and Ofsted review Beth Moore, Group Head of Safeguarding, writes:
Following the release of Ofsted’s review into peer-on-peer sexual abuse in schools and colleges we have seen an increase in observations and discussions taking place in the education sector.
Leadership and safeguarding teams across the Group have started reflecting on the following points to shape any changes in our current approach for September: How can we improve opportunities to capture student experience in relation to peer-on-peer sexual abuse and harassment?
The review clearly shows that sexual abuse amongst children and young people is prevalent and even considered the norm amongst some. A key element to take away from the review is that we must all acknowledge that peer-on-peer sexual abuse is an issue that affects children and young people across the Trust and College, and we need to keep the dialogue open across the Group to ensure that we remain vigilant in identifying concerns.
How can we improve communication with parents for them to raise concerns regarding their children’s experiences or to be signposted for resources and support?
Whilst we wait for Keeping Children Safe in Education to be updated for September, which will include guidance and expectations in response to the Ofsted review, we can use this time to reflect on our current procedures and look to identify areas for improvement and development.
The annual refresher training in September will include information on the experiences of children and young people, advice for staff on how to open discussions and difficult conversations as well as tips for appropriate responses in relation to intervention, sanctions, and referrals.
Does the current RSHE/Tutorial curriculum develop children and young people’s knowledge sufficiently in terms of healthy and respectful relationships, online safety, consent and sharing images?
If a pupil raises a concern, please follow your usual safeguarding procedures and work with your school/ college safeguarding teams to support all children and young people. 15 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
ON MISSION (CONT )
Our governance structure Jennifer Pharo, Group Executive Director, Governance and Administration, writes: LONDON SOUTH EAST COLLEGES (LSEC) London South East Colleges (LSEC) is the trading name of Bromley College of Further & Higher Education which was established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The College is an exempt charity for the purposes of the Charities Act 2011. The College operates under the brand of London South East Colleges in order to reflect the geographical area served by the College. The College employs c 900 staff and serves c10000 student annually and delivers at sites across Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich. The College is governed by the LSEC Board and Accounting Officer (Dr Sam Parrett, CBE) who are collectively, legally accountable for the academic and financial performance and educational character of the College. The Board leads on the strategic mission, vision and values of the College, as outlined in the Group Strategy, with a commitment to have a positive impact on lives and local communities. Governors are appointed under the College’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and in 16 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
compliance with charities law and the Further and Higher Incorporation Act 1992 and further relevant legislation as appropriate and defined by the Secretary of State for Education, the principal regulator. Dr Sam Parrett, CBE is the Group Principal & CEO of the College and is a member of the LSEC Corporation. John Hunt is the Chief Finance Officer (CFO). The primary role of LSEC Governors is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. In 2021/22 the LSEC Corporation will meet as a full board, six times per year (twice per academic term) with committees scheduled three times per academic year, one per term. LSEC CORPORATION The LSEC Board, known as the LSEC Corporation is led by a very experienced Chair, Stephen Howlett, CBE, DL, who has a wealth of senior executive experience in public and charitable institutions and is a current serving Crown Appointed, Deputy Lieutenant for London. Board members are volunteers, playing an important part in setting the strategic direction of the College. The Board ensures accountability for the use of public funds through monitoring and evaluating the College’s performance. Holding the Executive Leadership to account and putting
students at the heart of governance is critical and this is a key focus of the work of the Board. The Members of the Board, known as Governors, provide and contribute to the strategic direction and leadership of the College through their diverse range of backgrounds and experience which include finance and accounting, law, educational leadership, environmental, equality and diversity, business and regulatory. Governors serve and commit to a fouryear term of office and can serve up to eight years in office. LONDON SOUTH EAST ACADEMIES TRUST (LSEAT) London South East Academies (LSEAT) is a growing and thriving multi-academy trust (MAT) consisting of main stream, specialist and alternative provision, currently operating in Bexley, Bromley and Surrey. The Trust is currently responsible for eight schools and has a growth strategy to increase to circa 15 schools, increasing its mainstream primary and Surrey based provision over the next couple of years. Most schools are presently judged Good to Outstanding. The Trust prides itself on being a local MAT with ambitions to grow to a medium-sized organisation. The Trust is a community-based organisation which has in-depth understanding of the local context and establishes strong connections with stakeholders and local authority partners, ensuring that children
ON MISSION (CONT )
have access to high quality alternative, specialist and mainstream provision. LSEC is the sponsor of the MAT, having responded to a request from the DfE in 2013 to support school improvement in local schools in Bromley. The College plays a key role as a strategic stakeholder of the Trust, through its shared public and charitable objectives for ‘the advancement of education’ and in providing significant support to Trust business operations, through the central Group Services of Finance & Payroll, HR, Estates Planning, Health & Safety, Marketing, IT and Safeguarding. The Trust is a charitable company limited by guarantee and as such it is registered with Companies House. As an exempt charity is not required to be registered with the Charities Commission, as the principal regulatory for the Trust is the Secretary of State for Education. The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees and Accounting Officer (Dr Sam Parrett, CBE) who are collectively, legally accountable for the academic and financial performance of the Trust. They are both Directors of a Limited Company and Trustees, appointed under the Trust’s Articles of Association and in compliance with Company and Charities law and the DfE Academies Handbook. Dr Sam Parrett, CBE is the CEO of the Trust and a Trustee. John Hunt is the Chief Finance Officer (CFO). The primary role of Trustees is to provide confident and strong strategic leadership which leads to robust accountability, oversight and assurance for educational and financial performance. The Trust Board convenes as a full board, six times a year (twice per academic year). Group and Trust Committees meet three times per year (once per term). 17 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
TRUST BOARD The Trust Board is led by an experienced Chair, Mark Burnett, who himself has worked in a large regional MAT and is now CEO of a faith-based growing MAT. Mark brings significant professional experience to the Board in terms of robust challenge and quality assurance monitoring. Other Trustees contribute to the strength of the Board through a diverse range of backgrounds which include finance and accounting, law, educational leadership, environmental, equality and diversity business and regulatory. Trustees serve and commit to a four-year term of office and can serve up to eight years in office. TRUST LOCAL GOVERNANCE New for 2021/22 academic year the Trust has organised its local governance arrangements with the establishment of Provision Boards for SEND, Alternative and Primary Mainstream which will be Chaired or Co-Chaired by one of our Trustees. Local Academy Councils will be set up at school level and include active parent and staff representatives alongside local community governors. Circa 50 local governors will participate in our local governing arrangements in 2021/22. The Academy Councils and Provision Boards will focus on school improvement, quality of education, outcome for learners, safeguarding and risk management, holding Academic Leaders and Head Teachers to account for the performance of individual schools and report up to the Trust Board.
LONDON & SOUTH EAST EDUCATION GROUP (LSEEG) The London & South East Education Group (LSEEG) is the umbrella organisation that has been established to optimise collaboration and integration between the further and higher education activities of London South East Colleges (LSEC) and the school education activities of London South East Academies Trust (LSEAT). The College and the MAT each retain their legal status of an independent charitable organisation, pursuing its charitable objects for the public benefit, which is subject to distinct regulation and law. The College and MAT Governing Boards have determined that, for the benefit of the learners and pupils and by extension for the public benefit, it is desirable to maximise their strategic and operational integration and for this purpose to maximise the alignment of their respective decision-making processes, in pursuit of the common charitable objects. On this basis, they agreed to establish the ‘London and South East Education Group Board’ (‘the Group Board’), as a joint co-ordinating, governance committee. The Group Board is Chaired by Stephen Howlett, CBE, DL. Its members comprise the Chair of the Trust, Mark Burnett, and Chairs of each of the Group Committees, namely, David Eastgate, Allan Carey, Mark Trinick and Christopher Philpott. In addition, the Group Board has five independent Group Advisors who do not serve on the Independent Boards, but provide a significant wealth of expertise and strategic experience on public sector, education and policy matters. The Group Board convenes three times a year. Read more on the group governance and its people
ON MISSION (CONT )
Governance structure 2021 A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ORGANISATION
GROUP REGULATORY COMMITTEES
LSEC curriculum & standards committee
LSEAT EPS committee
SCHEME OF DELEGATION
Equality, diversity & inclusion Independent legal boards – the Group organisations
Safeguarding Data protection Climate & sustainability
LSEC Corporation (Board)
SCHEME OF DELEGATION
Health & safety
GROUP JOINT CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEES Audit & risk, finance, remuneration, search, governance
Local governance Provisions boards and academic councils
Group CEO & Accountable Officer
SCHEME OF DELEGATION
LONDON & SOUTH EAST EDUCATION GROUP BOARD
Principle Regulator: Sectretary of State for Education
18 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
IN THE NEWS
Students return to ‘Super-Marriott #2’ after long lockdown
Throughout the summer term, we achieved some excellent media coverage across both regional and educational press.
After the mind-blowing success of the first ‘Super-Marriott’ takeover back in March 2020, seven more enterprising students from London South East Colleges gave up their half-term break to take part in an intensive work experience challenge at the five-star London Marriott Hotel County Hall. This year’s cohort were chosen from dozens of other hopefuls after senior managers from the hotel group conducted speed-interviews. Students were offered work-shadowing
roles in General Management, Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR and Events, Engineering, Culinary and Food and Beverage. The aim of the exercise was to help launch meaningful career opportunities in the hotel, events and tourism sectors – particularly after the industries were hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic. Multi Property Director of Human Resources at the London Marriott Hotel County Hall, Alex Dimsdale said: “Last year, we created a unique
partnership with London South East Colleges enabling us to open the doors of opportunity to those who made it through to this stage of the project. Just days after the pilot project was complete, the UK went into a full lockdown which devasted the hotel industry worldwide. Happily, we are now back on the road to economic recovery and I’m delighted that we can pick up where we left off just fourteen months ago.” Read more online now
Sporting legend, Kriss Akabusi MBE helps college students celebrate their achievements Students at London South East Colleges celebrated their achievements virtually this year, in a special online celebration that included British sporting hero, Olympian and World Championshipwinning athlete Kriss Akabusi MBE. Altogether, there were 20 awards made in ten categories including
Adult, HE, FE, Apprentice, Special Educational Needs, ESOL, Work Experience Prince’s Trust and Employer of the Year. There was also a prize for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Kriss Akabusi said: “I spent much of my youth as a looked after child in social care and on leaving school (with no qualifications) I joined the British Army – I joined up because I wanted to be looked after and guided in the right direction, I needed leadership and that’s what I got – from a man
known as Sergeant McKenzie. From there, where I believe I really got started in life, with someone who really believed in me, to where I am now has been a long and on-going journey. I have been a soldier, a professional athlete, a TV presenter, public speaker and in 2020, I achieved my Masters in Existential Coaching. I have had setbacks and knockbacks like everyone else but have always picked myself up and started again. I never give up. To be a success, you may first
have to taste failure and realise that there are all kinds of hurdles to jump or get around in life before reaching the finishing line. Whether you finish first, second, third or even last, there will be a lesson learned from everything you do. Learn those lessons and continually grow and develop. Teamwork and lifelong learning are key to a bright and successful future for you all. Remember this, it isn’t where you start, it’s where you finish.” Read more online now
19 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
IN THE NEWS (CONT )
Systems Leadership is all about spotting the right people Every school leader should be focused on improvement, whether that’s taking a school from “inadequate” to “good”, or “good” to “outstanding”, or anything in between. There are many ways to do this, but taking a systems leadership approach to the improvement process not only supports rapid, positive change across an organisation, but can also provide a productive, long-term, sustainable and collaborative way of working. Essentially, systems leadership is about identifying the best people within your wider organisation to share best practice and support their colleagues, regardless of their position – so it could be a middle leader, an experienced teacher or an NQT leading a project. What matters is having the skill set for the job. So, it’s about embedding processes that you know work, delivered by the people on the ground who have tried and tested the techniques. By modelling behaviour on the ground, systems leaders support staff in a collaborative way on the front line. This gives much greater validity to what is being suggested in terms of change, nurturing an environment of shared vision and purpose rather than one of autocratic, top-down management (which is unlikely to get the best out of all staff). Read more online now 20 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
Minister launches construction research to help address skills shortages Skills Minister Gillian Keegan MP visited London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus for the launch of a construction skills report, commissioned in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Further Education (CIFE) and property company, St. Modwen. The research identifies areas in which the FE sector, government and construction industry can improve integrated working to secure the skills the industry needs now and in the future. It is part of St. Modwen’s ‘project spearhead’ – a coordinated approach by the company to practically address the skills shortages that are impacting the housebuilding sector. The report makes recommendations including: better collaboration between FE and employers,
improved information, advice and guidance in schools and attracting and retaining high calibre staff to deliver construction training in colleges. Taking the Minister on a tour of the College and its construction provision, Group Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Dr Sam Parrett CBE, said: “This is an important report, setting out clear recommendations to secure the skills requirements of the construction industry going forward. We are working in partnership with construction employers for some time and understand the need for genuine collaboration. There are so many exciting career opportunities available in this sector, which will be crucial as the economy recovers post-Covid.” Read more online now
IN THE NEWS (CONT )
Endeavour Academy Bexley strikes gold Bexley art, design and photography presents the ‘Ignite’ art exhibition We are always excited to see the amazing work that is displayed at the end of year exhibition of our art, design and photography students (from levels 1, 2 and 3), and this year was no exception. The ‘Ignite’ exhibition was part of Edu Arts Fest 21 which celebrated the power of the arts and creativity in our schools and colleges. Chelsea and Fiona from Cory Riverside and Bexley Council were hugely impressed by the show’s quality. In a joint comment, they said: “We’ve both been blown away by what we have seen, the combination of multimedia, art and photography plus the vibrant colour. It’s been a joy.” Art and Design Lead at our Bexley Campus, Mary Campbell said: “I’m delighted with the standard and variety of work produced by our students. It’s a great end to a tough year.” We couldn’t agree more! A number of the artworks will be selected for viewing as part of the Eco-Fest 2021 online exhibition from 9 until 16 October. Read more online now 21 | ISSUE 3 | 2021
Endeavour Academy Bexley, a special school for 11-16-year-olds with social, emotional and mental health, was awarded the Gold Award for its Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) provision to students. It had to undergo a series of assessments to be granted the prestigious accolade (smscqualitymark.org.uk). The award recognised the school’s commitment to raising its pupils’ aspirations and helping them to develop empathy and compassion. The school’s outstanding SMSC offer runs alongside the curriculum. It is based on a mainstream model, complemented with expert SEN support and underpinning everything the school is about. The SMSC quality mark assessment involved a virtual tour of the school, together with meetings with the staff, students, parents and Governors. A rigorous self-review process was also undertaken validated and quality assured by the National SMSC awarding body. SMSC Quality Mark Manager, Sian Rowlands, was particularly impressed by the school’s ethos and caring attitude. She said: “Having toured the school virtually, it is clear that Endeavour supports its students
exceptionally well, both academically and pastorally. Staff are approachable and kind, as well as being enthusiastic and passionate about providing the best education possible for their pupils. Parents are also very supportive, praising the school’s excellent communication and recognising that staff always go the extra mile to ensure children feel safe and can reach their full potential. It was also fantastic to see the school’s three therapy dogs - Walt, Reggie and Teddy – greeting and supporting the children each day. I congratulate Endeavour on the high standard of SMSC development and wish the school every success in the future.” Read more online now
Together we can build a sustainable community Over the next five years we will play a key role in the social and economic improvement of the region by working closely with our partners, students, staff and stakeholders. This will impact on what we teach, how we do business, how we develop our staff and how we support our learners.
T: 020 3954 4000