South Staffordshire College News

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National Apprenticeship Week – 9th to 13th March!

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 12:34

Top reasons to start an Apprenticeship: Your training is paid for by the Government and your employer – meaning zero cost to you! You will receive at least 20 days holiday a year, plus 8 bank holidays. Just like any other student, you will be entitled to hundreds of discounts with an NUS -Extra Card! Discounts include: Topshop, Spotify, Amazon, New Look, Jack Wills and many more. You don’t need to wait until September to get started – we take on Apprentices all year round! With an increasing number of employers welcoming apprentices, there are more opportunities than ever to get inside some of the most exciting and innovative companies in the country! Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study, it’s a great way to earn while you learn. As an apprentice you’ll: Work alongside experienced staff Gain job-specific skills Earn a wage and get holiday pay Study towards a related qualification   An apprenticeship has an equivalent education level and can be: Intermediate – equivalent to 5 GCSE passes Advanced – equivalent to 2 A level passes Higher – can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a foundation degree Did you know… Did you know that an apprentice earns, on average, over £100,000 more throughout their lifetime than other employees? Did you know since 2010, there have been over 2 million apprenticeship starts in England? Did you know over 90% of our apprentices stay in employment after finishing their apprenticeship? Did you know in 2014 the most popular apprenticeship was health and social care? We currently offer apprenticeships in: Accountancy* Agriculture Animal care Business Administration Bricklaying Carpentry Customer Service Engineering Equine Health and Social Care Hairdressing Horticulture IT professionals Logistics and Warehousing Management Multi-Occupations Construction Painting and Decorating Plumbing Team Leading Veterinary Nursing Trees and timber Wall and Floor Tiling *You must have held a position in Accountancy for a minimum of 12 months to qualify.

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Para Olympian Lee Pearson at Rodbaston Equine Centre

Wed, 25/02/2015 - 09:53

Para Olympian Dressage rider Lee Pearson, holder of 34 medal’s from the European, Olympic and World Para Games, was at the Rodbaston Equestrian Centre to hold training sessions for riders on Thursday 19th February. Lee also trains Emily Murdoch, a student at South Staffordshire College on the NCFE employability course and the level 3 Extended diploma in Equine. Emily also keeps her horses here at Rodbaston’s DIY as the facilities ensure she can train all year round. Emily is a Grade 3 Para rider and has recently been selected to go for FEI grading in Deville in April. Lee has such a strong belief in Emily that he is supporting her and financing the trip to the grading himself. The grading will enable Emily to compete internationally, and highlights her as a 2016 hopeful for the Para Equestrian Olympics in Rio. Emily is also the 2014 summer Grade 3 restricted champion, has qualified for the winter championships and also competes her horse successfully in able bodied dressage competitions at medium level. Lee will be returning to hold another clinic in April and also in the meantime Emily will continue to train with him on a regular basis. We wish her very good luck. For more information on Equine courses at South Staffordshire College, visit: Or to visit our Rodbaston Equestrian Centre website, visit:

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New Building Opening at South Staffordshire College

Mon, 16/02/2015 - 11:25

New Building Opening at South Staffordshire College South Staffordshire College will be opening a dedicated building to provide specialist education, care and employment services to young people with disabilities or learning difficulties in Staffordshire. Students who attend the campus will have access to personalised study programmes in the safe and secure setting of the Rodbaston Campus. The new development will include facilities for students with complex needs, including classrooms, a skills kitchen, chill-out zone, ICT room and drama area. Courses at the campus will cover a range of content including mobility, communications, speech and language therapy, as well as personal, social and health education. Students will get work experience and qualifications in academic and vocational subjects including: Animal and Equine Care, Business Administration, Catering & Hospitality, Construction, Customer Service, Horticulture, Maths, English and ICT. Chief Executive Principal of South Staffordshire College, Graham Morley, says: ‘The new building will be an important and welcome addition to the South Staffordshire College family. It will allow us to widen our provision for people needing to access suitable education and training in Staffordshire.’ For more information about the development and courses at South Staffordshire College, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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Lambing Weekend at Staffordshire Animal Zone

Thu, 12/02/2015 - 15:42

The Animal Zone, based on the Rodbaston Campus at South Staffordshire College, will be providing the public with the opportunity to meet the new spring lambs next month. The Meet the Spring Lambs events will take place for two consecutive weekends, starting 21st and 22nd March. The event is always popular so early booking is recommended. Visitors to the event will be able to hold and bottle feed the new arrivals, as well as see the rest of the animals on site. The Animal Zone is home to around 750 types of animals, including meerkats, monkeys, reptiles, companion animals and exotics. Supervisor of the Animal Zone and Visitor Centre, Julie Burdett says: ‘We all look forward to the lambing weekends! It’s very rewarding to see how much excitement children and adults alike get through the close interaction with the farm animals.’ For more information visit or call 01785 710560 to book.

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Students Raise Money for Caudwell Children’s Charity

Mon, 09/02/2015 - 10:59

Childcare students from South Staffordshire College, Cannock Campus, organised and ran fundraising events to raise money for Caudwell Children’s Charity. A representative from the Caudwell Children’s Charity recently visited the college to speak to students about the charity and the impact they make on the local area. The presentation inspired students to raise money for the cause. Harriet Shaw, a Childcare student from Featherstone, was so impressed by the work of the charity; she now volunteers there and offers practical help. £154.07 was raised for the charity that supports children who have a disability, as well as their families across the UK. The money was raised within the college, through cake sales, a sponsored silence and other games and prizes. Sharon Penzer, Childcare Lecturer, says “I’m so proud of my learners and their passion for supporting children with disabilities.” To find out more about the College’s Open Events and courses, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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South Staffordshire College Hosts Careers Event for Local Schools

Thu, 29/01/2015 - 15:00

South Staffordshire College will be holding a Careers Event at their new Torc Campus in Tamworth on Friday 13th February. Students from six local Tamworth High Schools, including Landau Forte, Tamworth Enterprise College and Wilnecote High School will be attending the College to find out more about post 16 courses and the different career paths on offer to them. It is expected that over 140 students will be attending the event. As part of the event, students will select taster sessions on courses which match their interests and goals. The aim of the sessions is to provide students with an insight into college life, and see what opportunities are available in their local area. Local businesses will also attend to answer student’s questions on how to access the industry and what future opportunities are available. Karen Burley, Head of the Torc Campus, says: ‘We hope students will find the event valuable when it comes to making decisions about their future. As a college, we aim to ensure students are aware of all options available to them, including Apprenticeship routes and Higher Education.’ To find out more about the College’s Open Events and courses, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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Animal Care Students Take Part in Sponsored Walk

Thu, 29/01/2015 - 14:52

Fifty five Animal Care students from South Staffordshire College recently took part in a sponsored 10km walk around Penkridge to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance. The students raised a total of £664.50 and recently presented a cheque to Jo Bailey from the Midlands Air Ambulance. Jo also held a presentation with students which informed them further about the service and the impact they make. Students chose to raise money for Midlands Air Ambulance following conversations in lessons about how valuable the service is, especially in rural areas, such as Staffordshire. Curriculum Team Leader, Gill Collins, commented: ‘This was probably the furthest a lot of our students had walked in one session! They were a credit to the College and made an enormous effort in raising money for Midlands Air Ambulance. I’m really proud of their achievement”. To find out more about the College’s Open Events and courses, call 0300 456 2424 or visit

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Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Visits Students at South Staffordshire College

Tue, 13/01/2015 - 13:10

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Visits Students at South Staffordshire College South Staffordshire College is once again the location of choice for opposition and Government Ministers engaging with the FE sector. The latest visitor from Westminster was the Rt Hon Ed Balls, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, who met with staff and students at the Cannock Progress Centre on Thursday 8th January. Mr Balls was particularly keen to meet with students, including apprentices, and see examples of their work in the Motor Vehicle, Construction and Carpentry industries. Welcomed by Deputy Principal Rob Boucherat, the Shadow Chancellor enjoyed a tour of the Progress Centre’s purpose built facilities, including the construction tent, painting and decorating studio and motor vehicle workshop.                 Students had the opportunity to demonstrate their work to the Shadow Chancellor and also encouraged him to have a go at various trades including tiling and painting. Amy Walker, Motorsport and Motor Vehicle Co-ordinator and Lecturer, explained to Mr Balls: “Our practical courses give students real life responsibilities to prepare them for the working world. They will apply the skills and experience they gain here in the workshops to their chosen industry throughout their career.” Mr Balls asked students how they would like to progress in their careers and where they would see themselves in the future. Kieran Sinn, aged 16 from Hednesford said: “I would either like to have my own business, or teach the next generation of students at South Staffordshire College.”               The event follows on from last month’s visit from Stephen Twigg MP, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, following an invitation from Trudie McGuinness, Director of Learner Journey at South Staffordshire College. Trudie says: “We were delighted to host the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, and Janos Toth, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cannock Chase. Both engaged really well with our students and were great sports at trying their hand at tiling and painting and decorating.” “Our visitors were both keen to find out about the different study routes and how we work with employers to ensure that we equip our students with the very best career opportunities after college. Students and staff alike thoroughly enjoyed the visit.” The College is holding an open event, at all campuses, on the 24th January between 10am and 2pm where anyone in the community can come along and see what’s on offer.

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2015 Taster Days at South Staffordshire College

Mon, 12/01/2015 - 16:54

Running in February and available to book now, our Taster Courses are for year 10 and 11 students who want to experience a taste of what life is like as a student @southstaffs. Whatever your interests or career ambitions, a taster course will provide you with the opportunity to try your hand at an exciting range of activities, from Construction and Animal Care, to Adventure Sports and Performing Arts (plus many more). Mon 16th February 2015 – All Campuses Tue 17th February 2015 – Rodbaston, Cannock, Lichfield & TORC Wed 18th February 2015 – Rodbaston, Tamworth, Lichfield & TORC To find out more, download the leaflets below, or call 0300 456 2424 to book your place.

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Open Day at South Staffordshire College

Fri, 09/01/2015 - 14:21

South Staffordshire College campuses will be open to prospective students and the community for an Open Day on Saturday 24th January. All five of the campuses including Tamworth, Cannock, Lichfield, TORC and Rodbaston will be open from 10am until 2pm. Visitors will be able to speak to expert tutors and find out what life is like in industries such as Technology, Business, Construction, Engineering, Hair and Beauty, Health and Social Care, Land-based subjects and many more. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about life at the college, including information on trips and wider social activities including sports events and more. The South Staffordshire College Team are also on hand to provide information on finance, applications and support available. Animal Management Student, Ryan Eddowes says: “South Staffordshire College is a great College for education and an amazing place to learn and study what you’re passionate about.” As well as finding out about courses starting in September, the college is offering the chance to start full-time courses this January. With a wide range of inspiring courses on offer and Apprenticeships for those who want to learn whilst in employment, there is something for everyone at South Staffordshire College. Open Days offer a relaxed and friendly environment in which to find out more. To find out more, visit, or call 0300 456 2424

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Adult and Community Courses Starting This January at South Staffordshire College

Wed, 07/01/2015 - 16:08

South Staffordshire College has launched a set of new inspiring community courses providing opportunities to try something new in 2015. The guide features a wide range of courses taking place during the spring and summer, including health, fitness and dance, computing and technology, horticulture and floristry, languages, photography, beauty, and many more. For anyone needing to enhance their employability potential and upgrade their skills for the workplace a range of accessible courses are also on offer. Many courses and workshops are free to people receiving jobseeker’s allowance and other benefits and delivered at numerous times and locations. Principal and Chief Executive of South Staffordshire College, Graham Morley, says: “It’s always fun to learn something new. Whether you want to improve your career prospects or learn a new skill, get in touch and let us do the rest.” To request a copy of the new guide visit, or call 0300 456 2424 for more information.

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South Staffordshire College Lays Foundations for the Future with Redrow

Mon, 05/01/2015 - 11:58

South Staffordshire College has launched a new construction course to provide one of the UK’s leading residential property developers with trainees who have the skills to become site managers of the future. The College has partnered with NHBC to re-launch Redrow Homes’ trainee site assistant programme, which provides participants with formal qualifications and is the first scheme of its kind to be backed by NHBC (National House-Building Council). The FTSE 250 housebuilder and South Staffordshire College have created a new course that combines classroom learning and practical, ‘on the job’ experience. Delivered in-house by Redrow, the first intake of 24 students has started the programme. Each will now work towards a BTEC Level 3 in Construction & the Built Environment, developed by South Staffordshire College, and a NVQ Level 3 in Contracting, developed alongside NHBC.             A range of candidates has been promoted onto the course including apprentices, labourers and forklift drivers. John Renshaw, Apprenticeships Manager at South Staffordshire College, said: “As an organisation we work with lots of private and different public sector organisations to train and up-skill their work forces but this is the first time we’ve created a course of this kind for an employee in the construction industry. Working with Redrow, our aim is to provide the knowledge and professional qualifications site assistants need to do their job, as well as the skills to motivate a team and boost morale on site.” Karen Jones, HR director for Redrow Homes, said: “This programme has been developed with our partners to provide site workers with the skills, knowledge and attributes to eventually supervise their own building sites. It’s a springboard towards management, giving our most promising employees the opportunity to grow with our rapidly changing business and put down solid foundations for a successful career.” The participants will combine their learning, done on block release, with working on site at one of over 100 Redrow developments in England and Wales.

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Thu, 18/12/2014 - 16:28

South Staffordshire College Fashion student Megan Brookes age 17 from Tamworth has had her work featured for Tworld photographic studios in Weeford, Lichfield. Megan’s work, a stunning white fascinator, has become the showpiece for the college, and now Tworld Studios has added its professional styling and photography to Megan’s outstanding fashion design and will use the resulting images on its website and other advertising material.  South Staffordshire College will also be highlighting the work with a poster size print prominently displayed at Lichfield Campus.   Hayley Brooks is Course Leader in Fashion & Textiles at the College.  “We’re proud of all the students’ efforts and Megan’s success has capped an enjoyable and fruitful collaboration between our photography and design courses.  It has also enabled us to forge another close relationship with a respected local employer and we look forward to working with Tworld on a regular basis in future.” Following Megan’s successful shoot, a second creative collaboration at the Lichfield Campus of South Staffordshire College saw Fashion and Photography students team up to produce a shoot entitled ‘Winter Wonderland’.  Collaborations between creative industry courses are highly encouraged at the college and the work of students celebrated. For more information about courses within the creative industries, please refer to

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Make 2015 your best year yet!

Thu, 18/12/2014 - 15:33

  Why wait until September to start a course? We’ve got a wide range of full time and part time courses starting this January in a variety of subject areas. As well as full and part time courses we offer apprenticeship roles in a variety of industries. You can apply online in 25 seconds, call our enquiries team on 0300 456 2424 or email us at View a list of all our courses here:

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Thu, 18/12/2014 - 11:51

South Staffordshire College continues to be the area’s first choice for government and opposition MPs intent on communicating with the FE/HE sector. The latest visitor from Westminster’s ranks was Stephen Twigg MP, Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, following an invitation from Trudie McGuinness, Director of Learner Journey at South Staffordshire College. In addition to being a former president of the National Union of Students he has also been Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Mr Twigg was particularly keen to speak to the students and apprentices at the College’s Cannock Campus about the importance of its contribution in helping young people into employment. He received a warm welcome from Graham Morley, Chief Executive Principal at South Staffordshire College and enjoyed a tour of the newly refurbished Campus, which included the 4D immersive learning space, an interactive creative space created through LED lighting, giant projection and surround sound. Mr Twigg was given a presentation by Steve Wileman, E-Learning Manager, on how the College engages learners through the layout of the immersive learning room, Augmented Reality (AR) and tablet devices.  Students also used the opportunity to ask Mr Twigg questions in a Q & A session in the 4D room, which suitably set the scene with images of the House of Lords, on why voting was so important, given the party’s recent commitment to votes at 16 and on how he first become involved in politics. Trudie McGuiness said the visit was a great success. “At South Staffordshire College, we work hard to empower our learners and we see it as one of our duties to engage them in all aspects of citizenship, including politics, society and voting. We are delighted that Stephen Twigg MP was able to come and along and debate with our learners why voting matters. Over half of those aged 16-19 have confirmed that if they were able to vote at 16, they would.”

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Tue, 16/12/2014 - 11:49

South Staffordshire College’s Workforce Development team has celebrated another successful partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, providing 25 of its staff with work-based diplomas in Horticulture.   The employees, who achieved Level Two and Level Three qualifications, are responsible for maintaining and enhancing the city’s public spaces, parks and crematoriums. They will use their newly honed skills to improve the appearance of Stoke-on-Trent, supporting the Mandate for Change by making the city more attractive to visitors, businesses and investors.   A celebratory event took place at South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Hall, where Council staff received their NVQ certificates recognising their achievements from the College’s Chief Executive Principal Graham Morley.     South Staffordshire College has worked with Stoke-on-Trent City Council since January 2009 and to date has completed 5 groups of Level 2 and 4 groups of Level 3 Horticulture through Apprenticeships.   John Renshaw, Apprenticeship Manager at South Staffordshire College, said  “The success, dedication and commitment from both the learners and relevant staff over the past 6 years has been fantastic and the staff at the College have thoroughly enjoyed teaching, assessing and up-skilling these learners.”   Michelle Tinsley, Business Operations Manager at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, commented “I would like to thank all the staff at South Staffordshire College for their hard work in delivering the NVQ courses over the years. They have been a great success and our staff have gained so much from them.”



Tue, 02/12/2014 - 12:09

South Staffordshire College has been recognised for its work in training the bookkeepers of the future with a Gold Centre award from the International Association of Book-keepers (IAB). At the “Top Centre Awards” ceremony held at the House of Commons recently South Staffordshire College’s Course Tutor for Business Studies and Accounts, Donna Abrahams and Debbie Ross, Bookkeeping Tutor, received the award from Malcolm Trotter, Chief Executive of the IAB. Donna and Debbie were responsible for overseeing the success of the students and proudly accepted the award, saying “It is a pleasure to receive the award on behalf of the College demonstrating our continued high standards. We appreciate how much hard work the learners have put in to enable us as a College to be recognised in such a manner and are proud to be part of their team spirit of working together”. The College has been an IAB accredited centre for 12 years and was commended for its high performance, based on an overall assessment of pass rates over an extended period of time and across a range of IAB qualifications. Malcolm Trotter acknowledged the winners, saying “As an organisation the IAB are committed to promoting the highest standards of competence and excellence among bookkeepers, a body of professionals who play a key role in the day-to-day management and financial health of businesses of all sizes.  Our accredited centres play a crucial part in our work and those that have received Gold Awards have demonstrated consistently strong results over a long period of time.  I congratulate them all.”

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Mon, 01/12/2014 - 14:33

A group of Sports students from South Staffordshire College has been treated to a guided tour of Wembley Football stadium as part of the curriculum. The visit was organised by UCFB Wembley – a university campus based at Wembley stadium, and included a tour of the ground, campus and workshops.  The 35 students, accompanied by three members of staff, also enjoyed a Careers in Sport workshop, personal statement writing and had an opportunity to talk to students studying at UCFB. Jamie Chapman, Quality Coordinator for Sport at South Staffordshire College, said  “The trip provided the students with an excellent opportunity to see the splendid University facilities and give them motivational ideas towards future career prospects.” South Staffordshire College’s Tamworth and Cannock Campuses offer Diploma and fast track courses in Fitness Instructing, Personal Trainer, Sports & Exercise Science and Sport, preparing students for a range of jobs in the sports, exercise and fitness industries. Football training sessions are run by FA qualified coaches, with opportunities for students to go on stadium tours and taster days at the UK’s biggest clubs.  The College also runs its own football academy, where students play against other colleges across the country and were runners-up in one of the British Colleges of Sport leagues in 2013. South Staffordshire College’s Sports Lecturer, Helen Condron, accompanied the students to Wembley.  She said it was a very interesting day that was useful for the learners considering University after completing college. Charlotte Penwright, studying Sports and Exercise Science at the College’s Cannock Campus, enjoyed the visit, saying  “It was great meeting the UCFB students and having the opportunity to discuss what the university is like. The facilities were really good and I’m now seriously considering going to the campus next year to study.” Jack Stafford, also studying Sports and Exercise Science, reflected “I really enjoyed the visit to the Wembley Campus, it has given me some ideas of what career options are open to me after finishing college.”

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Mon, 01/12/2014 - 11:36

The Horticulture Department at South Staffordshire College is encouraging anyone interested in gardening, especially retirees or those looking for hands-on work experience, to become a volunteer at the 180 hectare Rodbaston Campus estate grounds. Sarah Davies, Head Gardener, said the team is looking for people with a keen interest to work in the gardens and grounds of a large-scale estate all year round, providing a valuable experience to both enthusiastic amateurs and those wishing to pursue a career in horticulture. Volunteers can expect to work on ground maintenance, pruning, watering, weeding, digging garden beds, planting a variety of flowers and shrubs, potting-on, propagation, seeding, mowing lawns and landscape construction. They will also have an opportunity to work in the formal gardens, the arboretum and walled garden, a variety of vegetable plots, an area of themed landscape sections and large scale glasshouses. Sarah says the volunteers will receive expert advice from the South Staffordshire College Estates team and can go on to acquire accredited NPTC certification if they desire, at a discounted price. “We will provide on-the-job training as part of the volunteer experience, including training on the use of hedge cutters, mowers and strimmers, with certificates available to take away. We would love to see people come along for however long they can spare but ideally we would ask for a minimum of 5 hours a day between 9 am and 4.30 pm. It is open to anyone 18+ – everybody is welcome and encouraged to participate, whatever their level of experience or ability.” The Volunteer programme is ideal for those looking to return to work, offering a gentle path back to employment in beautiful, stress-free surroundings. “We also want to encourage people to come along, as working in green spaces is a proven tonic, together with the camaraderie of working with new friends in an open air environment,” Sarah continued. Kevin Hart is a shining example of what South Staffordshire College’s Volunteer programme did for him. After 32 years Kevin was made redundant and decided on a career change, enrolling in an evening RHS course in Horticulture at Rodbaston Campus before signing up as a volunteer. He said “As a volunteer the hours and days are completely flexible, the gardens staff and other volunteers were really friendly and within 6 months I was offered three opportunities for paid employment.  If I had not been a volunteer I would probably have never known of these opportunities. For anyone looking for employment or a change of career volunteering is definitely a route to consider.” Transport is available to and from the Rodbaston Campus during term time and will be free to volunteers provided there are spaces on the buses. Volunteers will have a 30 minute induction talk covering Health & Safety, manual handling and fire procedures and lunch is provided for all those that work five hours a day. Steel toe cap boots must be worn at all times, together with waterproof, warm clothing for colder spells and a free DBS check is carried out by the College to protect vulnerable learners. South Staffordshire College’s Rodbaston Campus specialises in providing further and higher education courses for many land-based activities such as Agriculture and Gardening. For further information please contact Sarah Davies at Rodbaston Campus on 07917 073324.

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“Life’s for Learning” brochure earns South Staffordshire College print publication award

Thu, 27/11/2014 - 11:29

South Staffordshire College has won a Silver award at the annual College Marketing Network FE First Awards, an event showcasing the excellent and imaginative work that is being achieved by Further Education colleges across the UK. The College won the award in the Print Publication category for its excellent ‘Life’s for Learning’ brochure which features courses in Creative, Floristry & Horticulture, Hairdressing & Beauty, Health Fitness & Dance, IT, Languages, Professions and English & Maths, is proving popular and successful in attracting new learners. The College Marketing Network awards are recognised as the most influential in the FE community and took place as the climax of a two-day national conference at the Hilton Hotel, Bracknell earlier this week. Marketing Officer at South Staffordshire College, Katie Hall, says the team is delighted to scoop the Silver Award. “This publication is an outstanding piece of design and includes a huge amount of information for adult and community based learners about the wide range of courses we have to offer. It looks great and most importantly of all, it inspires the community to continue learning and try something new.” The College will be launching the Spring/Summer edition of the Adult and Community prospectus next month which details hundreds of new community courses starting in January 2015. Visit to request your very own  copy of the publication!    

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