Tyne and Wear,
|Type||Further Education Higher Education|
|Department for Education URN||130552 Tables|
|Enrolment||c. 45,000 (2013–14)|
Newcastle College is the largest college in the North East of England, with over 16,000 students. The College specialises in vocational education.
The college provides Further Education, Higher Education, Apprenticeships and Adult courses and has five schools: The School of Creative and Digital Industries, The School of Engineering, The School of Health, Childcare, Business and Science and the School of Construction, Leisure and Sport and Newcastle School of Education.
Newcastle College is a division of NCG, one of the largest education, training and employability organisations in the UK. Ofsted currently grade the college as 'Requires Improvement'.
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Newcastle College can trace its roots back to 1894, when it was established as Rutherford Memorial College, becoming Rutherford Grammar School in 1945. In 1930, the President of the Board of Education Charles Trevelyan founded the Trevelyan Building for girls. In 1962 the college was divided into two separate divisions, the college of Further Education and the Charles Trevelyan Technical College. In 1972 the two colleges merged and became known as Newcastle College.
According to The Journal, the college was falling into disrepair in the late twentieth century. Dame Jackie Fisher, who joined the college as principal in 2000 and later became chief executive of the group, suggests that the buildings were in a poor state due to lack of investment in the 1990s and that the structure of the college was wasteful. The restructuring took Fisher and her team three and a half years, with the college, as of September 2011, turning over £150m a year, compared to £45m in 2003.
In 2013, Newcastle College appointed new Principal, Carole Kitching.
Newcastle College is a division of NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group). With a turnover of more than £155million, NCG is one of the largest education, training and employability organisations in the UK.
Intraining was formed in March 2008, following the acquisition of TWL Training in December 2007, and the purchase of the troubled training organisation Carter & Carter in March 2008. This led to the introduction of the Newcastle College Group (NCG).
In November 2011, the group also acquired the British youth charity Rathbone Training. The college attempted to merge with Northumberland College, but the Ashington-based college rejected the merger plans in response to feedback from their staff, students and local MPs.
In November 2005, the Times Educational Supplement reported that lecturers who rebelled, "against new contracts, were defeated after they faced losing their jobs." Following cuts by the coalition government, the college reorganised its curriculum structure leading to 200-equivalent full-time job losses, with 188 new jobs created in 2011. The restructure lead to the grade, and therefore salary, reduction of many teaching staff. Shortly after redundancies were announced, The Guardian reported that NCG's chief executive, Dame Jackie Fisher, "enjoyed a pay rise, including bonus and retention payment, of almost £73,000." However, the report mentions a spokeswoman's defence of the pay rise, pointing out "that Fisher is responsible for three divisions with an annual turnover of £152m in 2009-10." Also in 2011, allegations of workplace bullying were publicly made against college management and reported on the BBC's regional Inside Out programme in January 2012. NCG vehemently refuted these allegations stating that “it takes any allegation of bullying extremely seriously and has a clear and transparent process for dealing with staff concerns. All reported allegations are always thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately.
Ofsted downgraded the college from 'outstanding' to 'good' following an inspection in 2012. It was widely reported that college management had ejected the inspection team from the premises, and that some inspectors were offered counselling as a result of the process.
In 2017, NCG merged with Lewisham and Southwark and Carlise College.
Also in 2017, NCG CEO Joe Docherty was featured in The Chronicle's 'Most Influential List'. Alongside his role as CEO, Joe is also a Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – a charity which supports education, arts, environment and social change, and is also a Chairman and co-owner of Crosby's, a fast growing SME providing services and equipment to the catering industry.
In 2018 Ofsted downgraded NCG from good, to requires improvement. Ofsted took the unusual decision to extend the inspection period by an extra day. This was agreed amicably between NCG and Ofsted as it was the largest and most complex FE inspection Ofsted has had to undertake, involving six colleges and a training organisation.
NCG was the first Further Education provider in the UK to be awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers, meaning it is now able to validate its own degrees.
The main campus is situated at Rye Hill, close to Newcastle city centre, and there are 4 satellite sites belonging to the Colleges School of Engineering. Newcastle Aviation Academy is located next to Newcastle International Airport. and Newcastle College Rail Academy is located in Gateshead. The Energy Academy is based in Wallsend and the Automotive Academy-based off Scotswood Road.
Work started on the construction of a new Sixth Form college at the Rye Hill campus in August 2011. Designed by international architects RMJM, the building was scheduled to open in 2013. The college was official opened in 2014 as Newcastle Sixth Form College and is no longer part of Newcastle College, but instead a separate division within NCG.
Performance Academy: Opened in November 2004, the £21m Performance Academy at Newcastle College is one of the UK's leading training centres for music, performing arts and media. The facility comprises a 250-seat theatre; ten recording studios; acting, music and dance studios; and its own record label. Former students from the Performance Academy include Joe McElderry and Perrie Edwards from Little Mix who won The X-Factor in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
Lifestyle Academy: September 2006 saw the opening of the "Lifestyle Academy", for students studying hospitality, beauty, hairdressing, travel and tourism, and sport.
Energy Academy: The Energy Academy in Wallsend is a centre of innovation, training, and development for the offshore wind sector. Opened September in 2011, the 20,000 sq ft centre provides skills training to employers within the renewable energies sector and to young people in the region.
Newcastle Sixth Form College: In 2013 Newcastle College opened a new building to the sixth form which was new to the college.
Rail Academy: Opened in September 2014, Newcastle College Rail Academy (located in Gateshead) was built to address significant skills shortage in the rail industry, developed in conjunction with the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSAR) and key employers such as Network Rail. The £5 million site features on-site overhead lines, switching, crossings, telecommunications, multiple P-way set ups and electronic PLC testing and monitoring equipment.
Aviation Academy: This £3 million facility is located next to Newcastle International Airport the facility consists of a 12 000m aircraft hangar and ground-training aircraft such as a BAE Jetstream, Boeing 737 & Jet Provosts.
Parsons Building: Opened in March 2016 this £18 million building features on site retail units; hospital training wards; childcare training rooms; science laboratories; learner zones and social spaces.
Mandela Building: This building features painting & sculpture studios; MAC suites; 3D design workshops; digital photography suits; an exhibition space and a black & white darkroom. The foundation diploma for Art & Design has also been registered as a University Arts London (UAL) Approved Centre.
Automotive Centre: This centre includes a number of automotive workshops.
Rutherford Building: This building includes CAD workshops; CNC machinery; construction workshops; paint & decorating suites; welding & joinery facilities and electrical and pubmbing workshops.
Newcastle College also offers HE qualifications. These include foundation degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. The college has over 3,000 HE students and is one of the biggest providers of HE in FE. These students have access to HE-only facilities such as Space.
The college previously offered foundation degrees validated by universities, including Leeds Metropolitan, Northumbria, and Sunderland. In July 2011, Newcastle College was awarded Foundation Degree(FD) Awarding Powers, allowing it to develop and validate its own FD programmes.
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