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Outstanding staff development honoured with Princess Royal award

Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion have received a royal commendation for their innovative approach to staff development and training with a Princess Royal Training Award.

The award is presented for institutions and companies that implement outstanding training and development programs and the college is one of 47 other businesses including worldwide renowned healthcare giants Glaxo Smithcline, construction conglomerate Bouygues, steel giants TATA, the Coop, Royal Navy and Wilko, to receive an award this year.

The colleges have been recognised for their sector-leading Teaching, Learning and Staff Development Strategy, which empowers teaching staff to take ownership of their personal and professional development leading to changes in practice that has real impact in the classroom.  Driven by a self-evaluation of current practice, a programme of staff action research and the personal interests of individual staff, the strategy and approach has led to greater motivation amongst staff, inspiring improvements in professional practice and the raising of standards in teaching and learning.

 Furthermore, an Excellence Pathways programme has been developed which aims to celebrate success in teaching and learning and to share expertise through a learning development and mentoring team, which ensures that best practice is shared in an annual interactive conference.

Implementation of the programme has resulted in self and peer assessments which has helped provide tailored training and a programme that stretches and challenges staff, supported by appointed mentors.

With teaching as its primary workforce, Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion, which are two brands within one college, aim to provide meaningful and motivational training to its 420 teaching staff across two counties.

The Princess Royal Training Awards are delivered by the City & Guilds Group, to highlight the value of training and employee development and celebrate examples of best practice. Applications are assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, which comprised of HRH The Princess Royal and seven leading figures in the business and training community.

Amanda Daniels, assistant principal for curriculum and quality at the colleges has been the driving force behind the initiative. She said: “Many institutions fulfil the annual requirement of 30 hours continuous professional development by providing large scale compulsory training events and whilst this is time efficient, it’s not always effective due to its lack of personalisation.

“Our model empowers all teachers to reflect on their teaching, aided by an online self-assessment and evaluation tool to enable them to access individualised training.”

An online interactive repository has been built by the colleges to provide staff with an innovative solution to provide support and development across its seven campuses. The use of online classrooms to create digital learning communities over the two counties has also been shared as excellent practice with other further and higher education providers.

What it means to the college

Dr Andrew Cornish
Principal & CEO Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion

Amanda Daniels
Assistant Principal Coleg Sir Gar and Coleg Ceredigion