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Chesterfield College is shortlisted for a national award for a new teaching and learning initiative.

Chesterfield College has been shortlisted for a Tes (Times Education Supplement) Further Education Award for Best Teaching and Learning initiative.

The college recently introduced a programme called ‘Aspire’ designed to complement and enhance teaching and learning. All students at college now take part in the programme, designed to develop happy, healthy, confident and capable students and apprentices. This impressed judges and earned the college a place on the shortlist alongside other further education providers across the country.

The Aspire programme, which started before the pandemic, has been developed over the last year. It has already had a huge impact on learners. Attendance, retention and achievement rates have significantly improved. The quality of student work has also improved. For example, there was a 56% increase from merit to distinction in hairdressing, and a 25% increase from merit to distinction for beauty students.

The programme works by:

  • Enabling students to feel hopeful and optimistic about their future. It helps to identify their purpose, develop their voice, influence and place in society so they reach their full potential.
  • Providing a holistic wrap around service that effectively prepares students for destinations that meet their needs and interests. This enables them to thrive, flourish and succeed in their future lives and careers.
  • Enabling students to learn well, progress and succeed in all aspects of their development. This includes their personal, social, educational and employability skills, physical and mental health and wellbeing, and their ability to stay safe.

Jackie Rossa, executive director for quality improvement and assurance said: “The impact of the Aspire programme is profound. By developing skills as part of the programme, students have made better progress in their vocational areas. It has enabled us to realise our ambition for our students and apprentices. We look forward to building on this success. I am delighted we have been shortlisted for this award and I am very proud of the way students and staff have embraced Aspire over the last year. ”

Tes head of FE Julia Belgutay said: “Further education providers have excelled in what has been a truly challenging year, and the amazing individuals, teams and institutions on our Tes FE Awards shortlist showcase that. Our judges were highly impressed with the calibre of entries and I want to congratulate everyone who has made the shortlist – it is a brilliant achievement.”

Winners of the Tes awards will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on 28 May.

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.