Colleges Week 2023

Why we Love Our Colleges at RNN Group

9 October 2023

Once again, RNN Group will be supporting the Love Our Colleges campaign which runs between 9th – 20th October.

The annual event, organised by the Association of Colleges, is the chance to showcase how colleges across the country transform lives, build communities, and boost businesses.

We’re using Colleges Week 2023 to shout about some of our achievements over the last year and celebrate what we love about our colleges.

We Love: Providing futures for everyone

Did you know that RNN Group is the region’s biggest provider of further education?

There are over 17,000 students who are studying with us across our three campuses: Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College. We also have another 3,000 apprentices who are getting on-the-job training in their chosen industries.

We believe education should be open to all. As well as welcoming school leavers, our courses are also open to adult learners who want to retrain in a different industry, boost their skills, or progress in their organisations.

We Love: Delivering exciting and varied courses

Students at RNN Group have access to a huge range of learning opportunities. We specialise in vocational courses that have been designed with employability in mind.

From September 2023, we expanded our range of courses by introducing T Levels. These technical based qualifications are an alternative to A Levels and are assessed using a mixture of practical tasks, projects and exams. T Levels in Construction, Digital, Education & Childcare, and Health & Science are now available at Rotherham College and North Notts College.

We know many of our students go on to be highflyers. But this academic year, Rotherham College has also launched a brand-new Aviation course. The level 3 BTEC course is run in partnership with Quiet Tiger Aviation and students will study one of two pathways: flight elements or aviation operations.

We Love: Our award-winning students

All of our students here at RNN Group are amazing. But over the last academic year, there have been many who have been nominated for or won prestigious awards for their achievements, talents and commitment to learning.

Plumbing apprentice, Nathan Knowles, was awarded the National Equans Apprentice award in the Level 2-3 Operations category.

Bricklayer apprentice, Christopher Robinson, was awarded a silver-plated trowel for being the first RNN student to achieve a distinction in all three City and Guilds 2022-23 end point assessments.

Mechanical engineering HND student, Alex Wheeler, was awarded the Feeoffes Apprenticeship Award For Higher Apprentice.

Media make-up students, Darcey Armstrong and Jessie Roberts competed in the national finals of the World Skills UK (WSUK) competition.

Adult barbering student, Darren Hopkinson, was shortlisted for Student of the Year at the VTCT Excellence Awards.

Hair and beauty student, Molly Jeffcock, placed in the Top 10 in the ‘Nail Technician of the Year’ category at the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

RNN Group’s proudest achievements in 2023

Silver standard teaching award

We were recently awarded the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver rating for our HE provisions. This means that our higher education courses are of a very high quality and standard. The TEF rating ranges from Gold to Requires Improvement and helps prospective students judge the level of teaching when choosing where to study.

This follows on from the Group being rated as Good by Ofsted at the beginning of the year. Ofsted inspectors found that ‘Learners and apprentices value their learning and can see how it is developing the skills and attributes they need to achieve their aspirations.’

Investment at North Notts College

Our North Notts College has been awarded £4million capital funding for its T Level courses. The College can now invest in improving campus buildings, equipment and resources for students on the T Level pathway to support their skills development and progression into employment.

This latest investment follows on from the opening of the £3.5million Bridge Skills Hub at Worksop which offers higher education courses in subjects like business, childcare, and health sciences.

Launch of Employer Academies

We’re proud to have established strong working relationships with employers and external partners. But earlier this year we launched our new Employer Academies to keep improving skills and job opportunities for learners and employers.

There are 13 companies signed up to sponsor a sector-specific Employer Academy in industries like construction, health and beauty, sport, animal care, and engineering. Over the course of the year, these businesses will lead activities for our learners such as masterclasses, site visits, or work placements. They will also run projects and competitions that our learners can take part in, testing their knowledge and skills in a real business context.

Opened office space for local businesses

As well as supporting our students to achieve their future goals, we’re also invested in the community around us. This summer, we launched two new office spaces that can be used by businesses in Rotherham and the Dearne Valley.

Business Centre Rotherham (BCR) is a co-working space based at our University Centre Rotherham Campus. It is aimed at small businesses, sole traders or freelancers who don’t want or need to commit to a fixed-term office lease and can be hired out for meetings, interviews, brainstorming sessions, or staff training.

Over at our Dearne Valley campus, there is 7 Enterprise Way, a self-contained business centre has four fully serviced offices available on long-term leases. Rental agreements start at six-month terms and includes fast-speed internet, utilities, and cleaning.


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Categories: Blog