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News: Nottingham College wins national Festival of Learning Award for holistic ESOL provision and BEGIN Project

Nottingham College ESOL and BEGIN
Nottingham College ESOL and BEGIN

Nottingham College has been honoured with the President’s Award at the Festival of Learning awards ceremony held in London on 3rd July, for its innovative and comprehensive ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) service across the city and communities it serves.

The Festival of Learning awards, organised by the Learning and Work Institute, were first launched during Adult Learners’ Week in 1992. These prestigious awards celebrate excellence in adult education and lifelong learning across England.

We stood out among a select group of winners nationwide, including students, tutors, employers, and other educational institutions. We received recognition for its transformative partnership with local stakeholders to deliver a holistic, multi-agency ESOL service to its learners.

Linda McDonald, Head of ESOL at Nottingham College, stated:

Our programme unites Nottingham College with voluntary organisations and providers to create a comprehensive one-stop-shop’ for potential ESOL learners. We host and fund a central ESOL referral service, BEGIN,’ which operates independently to minimise duplication of referrals and support across the city. This ensures that limited funds are maximised by frontline services, directly benefiting learners.

This truly unbiased brokerage model has bridged gaps between neighbouring providers and organisations, reaching an additional 3,800 ESOL learners and reducing local waiting lists by 64%.”

Learners accessing BEGIN are guaranteed a place on an accredited ESOL course at Nottingham College or through one of its community partners, with support to progress into further accredited learning or volunteer placements.

As part of its innovative approach, the college offers a unique 10-week ESOL Plus programme, which integrates core vocational skills and contextualised language instruction, co-designed with employers and linked to live vacancies within the local economy.

A video courtesy of the Learning and Work Institute

Disclaimer: This video content is from an external source. It may not comply to certain accessibility requirements required for public sector bodies.

The vast majority of our ESOL learners complete and achieve their programme. Many progress to further learning or vocational training, and some secure paid employment. This reflects our commitment to promoting in-work progression for disadvantaged learners. We are absolutely thrilled to be recognised with this national award. It fills us with pride to see our students grow in confidence, advance to higher levels of learning or employment, and improve their future prospects. 

Linda McDonald — Head of ESOL at Nottingham College
Diana Kassim

Nottingham College was the place where I first realised the extent of my significance. I can, I will, and I’m free to pursue whatever I desire. 

Diana Kassim — Former Nottingham College ESOL student from Yemen

To find out more about our ESOL courses at Nottingham College then please contact BEGIN (Basic Educational Guidance in Nottingham) on 0115 978 0942 or via their website.

Published on:
  • 4th July 2024 (12:00 AM)
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