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  • News

    Our latest news.

Leeds Sixth Form College introduces new branding to reflect renewed set of values

Our member, Leeds Sixth Form College, has launched its new branding, to reflect a renewed set of values and vision for the future.

In 2019, we officially announced Leeds Sixth Form College as a member of the group in its own right, highlighting its commitment to invest in quality A levels and academic study, adding to Leeds City College’s offer.

The re-brand coincides with the development of Pudsey Sixth Form College, signifying our investment in Level 3 provision, particularly increasing capacity for the growing demographic among 16-year-olds in Leeds.

It also provides a stronger connection between the two sixth forms as well as better reflecting who Leeds Sixth Form College is, what it does and where it’s going.

We want the sixth form to be known for providing young people in Leeds with ‘limitless futures’. With more choice and more opportunities, the experiences learners could have are endless.

With this in mind, they have committed to three key values:

Confident – encourage learners to be independent and resilient, so that they have the confidence to set their aspirations high.

Straightforward – provide students with a clear and direct pathway to the next step in their futures, whether this is higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

Forward thinking – inspire all learners to be innovative and progressive, and in turn celebrate student success in all forms.

For more information about Leeds Sixth Form College, visit leedssixthform.ac.uk

Keighley College students enjoying their Camp America placement

Keighley College teams up with Camp America to give students a chance to work overseas

Earlier this year, Keighley College teamed up with Camp America to offer up to 90 students across Luminate’s further education colleges a once-in-a-lifetime work experience opportunity in the United States over the summer.

The placements were offered through the Turing Scheme, a UK government programme for overseas study and work. The trip, designed to hone students’ employability skills as they look after and become role models to children at the camp, included travel, accommodation and living costs.

Keighley College’s principal, Kevin O’Hare, travelled out to see how the camp counsellors were getting on across the various sites they were sent to, what they were learning from their experiences and what their plans were following on from their placements.

His trip took him to Camp Laughing Waters in Gilbertsville, East Pennsylvania; Camp Herrlich on the border of New York state and Connecticut; and French Wood Sports & Art Camp in Hancock, NY. In each, he found the students who have taken advantage of the offer having the time of their lives.

Alongside teaching and sharing skills and knowledge with young campers, they have been making friends with the international cohort of camp counsellors and planning a number of subsequent adventures.

In a world in which, as it becomes more global, there can be seen a parallel stream of parochialism rising to the surface, making these connections with other cultures and people is an essential experience which we are proud to have been able to offer our students.

Luminate Education Group logo

Luminate Education Group secures £51 million to transform its buildings

We have received £51m funding from the government to replace and upgrade some of our buildings.

The investment will ensure that we can create great spaces for our students so that they have access to modern, fit-for-purpose facilities.

Work will begin at Mabgate later this year and part of the expansion will include the development of new higher level technical and apprenticeship courses. There will also be a purpose built Adult education building, which will replace Leeds City College’s Enfield Centre.

As demand for student places continues to grow, the expansion programme for Mabgate will create much-needed community facilities and will add to the group’s portfolio of city centre bases. 

The campus will also create space for University Centre Leeds and Leeds Conservatoire – bringing together the group’s further and higher education provisions.

There are also significant refurbishment plans for Park Lane Campus. Major works will also be carried out at Harrogate College and plans include the demolition of the old A block building, which will be replaced with a net zero, purpose-built building.


Independent board marks a new chapter for University Centre Leeds

We are pleased to announce that, from September 2022, University Centre Leeds (UC Leeds) will have its own stand-alone board to oversee decision-making on statutory, financial, quality and curriculum matters.

The creation of an independent board symbolises a new chapter for UC Leeds and is a reflection of the ongoing commitment to higher education from Leeds City College and Luminate Education Group.

With 1,400 students and 58 courses, the curriculum teams at UC Leeds have dedicated significant time and effort to ensure they are meeting the needs of learners. In response to this, Luminate has won a bid to invest £12m for a new HE space at Magbate, which will further improve student and staff experiences, as well as allow for growing capacity.

Earlier this year, UC Leeds’ ongoing commitment to creating and providing quality learning experiences was recognised by the National Student Survey results, in which they once again achieved the highest overall student satisfaction level of all of the city’s higher education providers.

Such successes, alongside what is happening in the sector in relation to the Office for Students’ (OfS) requirements, means that now is the perfect time to invest in a dedicated board. This will enable more focus and resources to be committed towards helping UC Leeds achieve its goals, which include becoming a higher education institution with awarding body powers, as it forges ahead.

Governance in education is incredibly important as it not only holds UC Leeds to account, but also helps them be even more strategic and forward-thinking within the communities they serve. It enables them to more closely scrutinise the quality of the education that they offer to students, so they can be more competitive and outcome-focused. At the centre of this decision is ensuring that the university centre continues to offer quality educational experiences for students.

Having a specialist board is an exciting development for UC Leeds that will result in governors contributing to strategic planning and decision-making, as well as advising on curriculum to ensure they maintain the highest standards.

The independent board will be responsible for oversight of quality and standards, as well as overseeing a strategy for continuous improvement. A Chair of Governors has already been appointed – Mark Garratt, who has over 11 years’ experience in senior roles at a number of UK universities.

He said: “Having been on the board of Leeds City College as the higher education link governor since 2017, I’m delighted to now become chair of the newly formed University Centre Leeds Board.

“These are exciting times for higher education in the UK, with universities taking an active and important role in helping to prepare students for an increasingly diverse range of careers.

“I look forward to working with the executive team to support students from all backgrounds in transforming their lives.”

The board will be made up of members from a broad range of professional backgrounds, to represent UC Leeds’ core curriculum offer of healthcare, STEM, legal and creative arts subjects. A student member of the board has already been identified, and nominations for a staff member to join will soon open. We will share further information on this with you soon.

Luminate Education Group ‘unlocks potential’ at second teaching and learning conference

We held our second  teaching and learning conference on Monday 4 July focused on learning and development for teaching staff and co-professionals across Luminate Education Group.

This year’s conference theme ‘Unlocking Potential’, was an opportunity for colleagues from across all member organisations to come together with a common purpose around their collective passion for high-quality teaching, learning and assessment. 

More than 1019 delegates from Leeds City College, Keighley College, Harrogate College, Leeds Sixth Form College, University Centre Leeds and Leeds Conservatoire attended the conference that addressed topics such as climate change, work-based learning, leadership and management development,  supporting learning and excellence in teaching, learning, assessment.

Conference organiser, Jennifer Miccoli, said: “It was wonderful to see colleagues coming together from across the group to network and share best practice.

“Our fundamental role as an education group is to ensure our learners are accessing excellent education from driven, well-trained teachers and co-professionals who are consistently transforming lives. We have so many members of staff across the group delivering ground-breaking projects that are making a real difference to students’ lives.

“An event such as this was a chance to not only come together as a group, but to reflect on what we have achieved.

The conference was  opened by keynote presentations from: 

  • Jaz Ampaw Farr –Human First  leadership strategist 
  • Jo Smedley – SMED talks 
  • Alison Smith – artist and educator
  • Professor Alison James – national teaching fellow
  • Charlotte Bonner – sustainability expert

‘The power of everyday heroes’

Jaz Ampaw Farr

Well respected motivational speaker and life coach, Jaz’s keynote spoke about what it means to be a ‘human first’. She also gave insight on how educators can learn how to unleash their true potential, be more resilient and drive change.

What it takes to Unlock Potential

Jo Smedley, meanwhile, spoke about the importance of overcoming barriers and the three keys to unlocking potential.

She said: “There are three keys to unlocking potential; awareness, willingness to change and adapt, and the growth zone.

“We are now living in a world where we have to cope with an ever-changing landscape. 

“Often we lock ourselves away and get on with ‘comfort and safety’. But, there is power in being vulnerable and we have to be more open now so that we can embrace a ‘growth mindset’.” 

‘COP 26 Climate Canopy’ Experience the science

Alison Smith – artist and educator

With sustainability practice high on the agenda across Luminate Education Group, Alison Smith’s session gave insight on how to become a climate advocate, and how to have positive conversations with students and colleagues, who work in a wide range of settings, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. 

She said: “If you’re an artist, incorporating STEM subjects is really crucial – art is a brilliant way of expressing those ideas and telling those stories.”

There was also an opportunity to explore the five metre long, interactive artwork.

Dispeling what we think we know about autism

Dean Beadle

Other highlights included motivational speaker Dean Beadle, who shared his experiences of living with autism and the myths and misconceptions associated with it.

Breaking down barriers and tackling key issues

While the conference hosted a wide range of external speakers, a number of speakers across the group engaged with delegates, with Advanced Practitioner, Laura Kayes, sharing her current research on poverty informed practice and Sixth Form Teaching & Learning Programme Manager, Olivia Bowers’ session on helping students to retain, reuse and recall. 

Overall, the conference gave colleagues the opportunity to access workshops and sessions that helped develop creative thought, in line with the group’s strategic priorities and in fulfilling the vision of the TLA Strategy 2021-23 ‘The Power of Potential.’ 

It also highlighted the key role that educators across the group are undertaking in the community, and in the region.


Resources from all five sessions are now available here

How did we do?

We would love to hear your feedback about the conference – what we did well and what you would like to see at next year’s Teaching & Learning Conference.  Fill out the evaluation form here.

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