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21st November 2018

Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) are celebrating today after national recognition in two separate sector-based initiatives.

At the Association of Colleges (AoC) annual conference in Birmingham on 20 November 2018, NSCG were ranked in joint second position nationally in the NICDEX league tables.

NICDEX is an annual league table of colleges published by FE Week, a leading specialist publication for the further education sector.

Over 180 colleges are ranked in the league table which is compiled using a point-based system, with points awarded against a number of key criteria published by the Department for Education (DfE). The index includes scores for student and employer satisfaction, as well as taking into account information about 16-18 and adult progression.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG said: “This is a fantastic achievement for NSCG. We’ve claimed our position as ‘college of first choice’ for some time locally, but it is great to now be recognised at a national level. Across the Group, an extraordinary amount of hard work goes on behind the scenes to ensure our students enjoy their time with us and progress to higher education, an apprenticeship or employment and our strong working relationships with a wide range of regional employers continue to go from strength-to-strength. Whilst we will always strive for improvements, being ranked second in the country is an accolade that the whole college can be proud of.”

On the same day, it was also revealed that Principal and Chief Executive of NSCG, Karen Dobson has been shortlisted in the category of FE Leader of the Year in the prestigious 2019 Tes FE Awards.

Tes, formerly known as the Times Educational Supplement, is a leading world-wide teaching publication which was launched in the UK over 100 years ago. The annual Tes FE Awards celebrate and reward the dedication and expertise of the people and teams who continue to make a significant contribution to improving the skill levels of young people and adult learners.

Tes FE Editor, Stephen Exley said: “Excellent practice exists right across the further education sector, and those shortlisted for the Tes FE Awards are the cream of the crop. Our judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of entries. We had more entries for this year’s categories than ever before, and the standard was higher than ever. To be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement.”

NSCG Chair of Governors, Simon Leech added: “Karen is an unsung champion in the FE sector who epitomises all one might expect of the winner of this category. She has been with the Group since 2002 and during this time has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to ensuring the young people of Stoke and Staffordshire get the best possible opportunity to develop, progress and prosper. She is an outstanding leader of one of the best all-round colleges in the country by any measure – academic, progression, employability, sporting, financial or reputational and is a highly respected figure both in the college and in the wider community she serves. I am delighted for Karen and wish her every success at the awards ceremony in March.”

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