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Stamford College Welcomes School Careers Advisors For Post-16 Options Event

Breakfast Event 1

Stam­ford Col­lege wel­comed Careers Advi­sors and teach­ing staff from local sec­ondary schools for a Spot the Dif­fer­ence’ Break­fast Event, where guests heard from experts on all things A Lev­els, Diplo­mas, Appren­tice­ships and T‑Levels. Whilst served deli­cious pas­tries, fresh fruit, juices and hot drinks, guests watched pre­sen­ta­tions that exam­ined the dif­fer­ences between the post-16 qual­i­fi­ca­tions that Inspire Edu­ca­tion Group (IEG) offers across its Stam­ford Col­lege and Peter­bor­ough Col­lege campuses. 

After a warm wel­come from Vice Prin­ci­pal of Stu­dent and Staff Expe­ri­ence, Sarah Young, who touched upon IEG’s facil­i­ties, stu­dent sup­port and the appli­ca­tion process, Mar­i­lyn Kennedy, Assis­tant Prin­ci­pal of Aca­d­e­m­ic Cur­ricu­lum, began her A Lev­el Analy­sis’. A Lev­el stu­dents at Stam­ford Col­lege achieve some of the best grades nation­al­ly, with the 2022 pass rate record­ed at 99.4 per cent. Mar­i­lyn praised the stu­dents for their hard work in achiev­ing these grades, but also spoke of the advan­tages of study­ing in a col­lege envi­ron­ment. A key bal­ance is struck at Stam­ford Col­lege, where stu­dents feel an increased lev­el of inde­pen­dence, but are offered a high lev­el of sup­port when it is need­ed. They also devel­op skills for uni­ver­si­ty and the world of work along­side their cur­ricu­lum stud­ies, par­tic­i­pat­ing in work expe­ri­ence and a Com­mu­ni­ty and Social Action Project, and hear­ing from guest speak­ers, both inter­nal­ly and on field visits.

Breakfast Event 2

Next, Group Man­ag­er of Mar­ket­ing & Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Kate Knight, com­menced with the Diplo­ma Digest’ seg­ment. Diplo­mas are prac­ti­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tions which relate to a par­tic­u­lar pro­fes­sion or tech­ni­cal skill, designed to make stu­dents read­i­ly employ­able. Diplo­mas are accept­ed by 95% of uni­ver­si­ties, and a handy UCAS points graph­ic helped to visu­alise the true val­ue of diplo­mas, espe­cial­ly in com­par­i­son to its tra­di­tion­al aca­d­e­m­ic coun­ter­part, A Lev­els. Gen­er­al­ly, diplo­mas take a more hands-on, prac­ti­cal approach to learn­ing, assessed via course­work as opposed to seat­ed exam­i­na­tions. They are per­fect for those who feel as though they have out­grown school, or do not wish to pur­sue aca­d­e­m­ic spe­cialisms such as med­i­cine and dentistry.

Third­ly, Appren­tice­ship Devel­op­ment Man­ag­er, Paul Ward, spoke of the ben­e­fits of a voca­tion­al route, through appren­tice­ships. Appren­tice­ships allow stu­dents to kick-start their career by gain­ing real-life work expe­ri­ence, prac­ti­cal skills, and qual­i­fi­ca­tions. They’re the per­fect way to earn a wage whilst study­ing, and over 90 per cent of appren­tices progress into full-time work or fur­ther train­ing. Paul explained how stu­dents can find an appren­tice­ship vacan­cy by vis­it­ing the gov​.uk web­site, with full sup­port from the appren­tice­ships teams at Inspire Edu­ca­tion Group.

The Breakfast Event concluded with a presentation from Gary McPartland, Assistant Principal of Curriculum Study Programmes and T-Levels. T-Levels are new, career-led, technical courses to follow GCSEs, designed to get students work-ready. Unlike apprenticeships, where students typically train with an employer for four days of the week and study for one day at College, T-Levels are structured to follow the format of 80 per cent classroom work, and 20 per cent industry placement with a local employer. T-Levels accrue UCAS points, and completion of the 2-year course is the equivalent to three A Levels. Inspire Education Group will introduce six T-Levels to its curriculum in September 2023.

Thank you to all those that attended the ‘Spot the Difference’ Breakfast Event. We hope that you found it inciteful, and look forward to further developing our partnerships with local schools in the future.

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