Friday, 7 April 2017

Guest blogging for a fantastic social action campaign

I recently got the opportunity to write a guest blog for the #iwill campaign. Anyone's who has read this blog before will know I'm passionate about social action at our Colleges, so I jumped at the chance. For any of you who may have missed the blog, I have posted it below. If you want to keep up to date with news from the #iwill campaign, make sure you sign up to their newsletter here.

How EKC's most recent Ofsted has really given the spotlight to youth social action

There’s little doubt of the positive impact that social action has on young people’s lives. It develops them as individuals, gives them greater resilience, inspires them and helps build a bridge into their local communities.

This is something I’ve become increasingly passionate about during my time as Principal of East Kent College and our social action programme has recently been given a spotlight by none other than the Government watchdog, Ofsted, in its recent inspection of the College.

Our College delivers social action during our three Community Days each year. These days enable the students to take part in an activity which enhances their communities, and the lives of those around them. They also give the students a chance to do something meaningful that also uses the specialist technical, vocational skills they are developing as part of their course. I always give the example of some of our construction students, who, seeing a damaged wall in the community rebuilt it. That developed their skills, while also leaving a lasting legacy in the community, which is far better than them just knocking down something they built in their workshop.

Building Services students helped do up a local charity centre
And it’s just this type of social action which Ofsted praised in their recent inspection report. The report highlighted that the students work, alongside professionals, helped them practise their vocational and team-working skills in a real world environment, while also allowing them to take pride in enhancing the lives of others in the heart of their communities. It brings the students into the community, and allows them to take ownership of a little part of it. I know that it builds pride as well, having seen students showing off their work to family and friends.

Hair and beauty students ran a pamper day for community members recently
It was a wonderful feeling for the whole College to have social action highlighted in the inspection report, and fantastic to see recognition of the value of social action for our students from Ofsted. It is this kind of promotion of social action which will mean more College leadership teams are willing to say #iwill and develop opportunities like these for their students, benefiting not just the learners, but also their communities for years to come.

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