The Henley College is today announcing plans to improve and streamline their service in order to ensure they adapt to the current educational landscape and continue to offer the very best opportunities to their students.
Their underpinning aim is to build a sustainable college, which is focused on preparing students to be highly successful in a global economy through a unique blend of academic, technical and professional pathways.
After examining the key strengths of the College and potential areas for development, the College will be redesigning and streamlining their curriculum timetables as well as their teaching and learning strategies, which will deliver key benefits and help the College to be proactive in preparing students for the future. This will also enable students to manage their study time better and attend industrial work placements, all of which will improve their employability skills, aligning well with the forthcoming academic framework set by the Department of Education.
The new curriculum will mean that supervised periods are recorded and free time between classes minimised. This will help students to reduce travel costs and the time taken getting to and from College. This will also help to embed independence, discipline and conscientious planning in their programmes. The cost reduction and the increase in employability will be very attractive to both students and parents.
Across the country colleges have come under increasing financial pressure due to successive education funding cuts, which have averaged 30% over the last 10 years. At the same time, costs have increased dramatically. The College has been active in raising government awareness, with the Principal participating in a march to Westminster last October to lobby for an increase in funding. Alok Sharma, MP for Reading West and Minister of State for Employment, has visited the College to discuss the impact of these issues. John Howell, MP for Henley-on-Thames, has met with Principal Deol on several occasions, including at Westminster and at the college today. They have both stated that they are happy to represent these matters on behalf of the College to the government.
Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, addressed the situation in a letter to the Public Accounts Committee on 30 October 2018, where she wrote:
“I have expressed my concerns before, based on our inspection evidence, that the real-term cuts to FES funding are affecting the sustainability and quality of FES provision. My strong view is that the government should use the forthcoming spending review to increase the base rate for 16 to 18 funding.”
Principal and CEO of The Henley College Satwant Deol states, “Despite this national context, the College has worked hard to put students at the forefront and continues to provide an excellent learner experience. Our student evaluation survey shows that satisfaction levels are high and our successful alumni are evidence of the excellent work by our dedicated staff. We still offer a much broader range of subjects than other sixth forms, our pastoral care and careers guidance are very important to support students to achieve to the best of their ability and we will continue with our dedicated tutorial system, which already has proved very effective in this academic year.”
“There will be some teaching posts and subjects affected, but these will be kept to a minimum through strategic planning, ensuring we still have a highly competitive number of courses across a broad range of subjects. Students entering the second year of any discontinued courses in September 2019 can be assured of continued effective provision to complete their programmes. Although these decisions have not been made lightly, they are reflecting the decreased demand for some courses. We offer our full assurance that our students’ education is at the centre of everything we do and that there will be minimal disruption.”
“We are proud of our 400 year history and our position in the heart of the wonderful community in Henley-on-Thames. We are also proud of our committed staff and students and the contribution we make to the local economy and skills force in the Thames Valley. We are determined to innovate and preserve the College for generations to come, as a fantastic place to learn which fosters the independence and resilience for which our students are known.”