Walsall College Wins Prestigious Beacon Award!
Walsall College is celebrating after receiving an Association of Colleges Beacon Award at a presentation ceremony in Westminster, London (9th February), for revolutionising its information and data processes.
The College was presented with the Becta Award for Efficiency through the Effective use of Technology in Further Education and Skills by John Hayes MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning. The Award highlights how new technology can have a positive impact on both students and the workforce.
Walsall College won the Award for revolutionising the way it manages information and processes, including enrolment data, performance reports and key performance indicators. We have introduced an intranet tool that collects personal information about students and staff. For students this has meant feeling empowered to take ownership of their progress, attendance, punctuality, timetable and assignments as all this information is recorded electronically. Staff also use this system to monitor students’ performance and attendance, amongst other things.
Efficiency savings have also been made across the College, both in terms of staff time and paper and photocopying costs, which has saved the College £120 per week on paper for staff meetings alone. The meetings are now held via the intranet and the papers are circulated electronically.
John Hayes said: “I am pleased to be part of the AoC Beacon Awards which recognise and celebrate the greatest successes of the further education sector. The Awards highlight the exceptional ability of many Colleges to respond to the needs of students and local businesses and revitalise the communities they serve.
“It is right that these Colleges are recognised for their hard work. These are precisely the sorts of achievements I want to see continue so further education can fulfil its potential as an engine of social and economic progress.”
Director of Learning Technologies and Innovation at Walsall College, Jayne Holt, said: “We are thrilled to win such a prestigious award and have our achievements recognised on a national scale. We have been on an incredible technological journey over the last few years and are starting to realise our e-maturity for the e-services we offer to the entire College community. We wanted to change the way we work, teach, learn and operate our business, and although there is much more work to do, the hard work of our staff and the involvement of our learners has meant that the technological progress we have made has been embraced by all.”
The UK-wide Beacon Awards, now in their 17th year, provide national recognition for excellence and innovation as well as acknowledging the talents of staff at all levels. They highlight the breadth and quality of education in the College sector.
Chair of the AoC Beacon Awards, Dame Patricia Morgan-Webb said: “Beacon winners blaze a trail in finding new ways of doing things; they contribute to social justice and are instrumental in local economic and social regeneration, essential during these turbulent times. Whilst the winners this year are located all across the UK, what they all share are the key traits of innovation, creativity, responsiveness and a collaborative approach. I am delighted on behalf of the AoC Charitable Trust to reward the contribution that these Colleges make; they are the pillars of our communities”.