KFE News & Social Media

KFE in the news

Colleges Week 2020

October 19, 2020

This week is national Colleges Week! The week will mark various activities led by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and colleges locally which highlight the critical contribution made to communities and the economy by further education colleges.

Now more than ever with Covid 19 still causing huge national disruption to lives and business FE colleges will play a vital part in recovery. This is especially at local level. In Kent we're proud to confirm the role our colleges will play in supporting the Kickstart Scheme with Kent Invitca Chamber of Commerce.

For activities colleges are undertaking linked to Colleges Week, check out the links to each on the Our Colleges page. For more about Colleges Week and their contribution visit the AoC site via the button below. #LoveOurColleges 

KFE Colleges Kickstart with Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce

October 14, 2020

The Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce (KICC) is set to deliver a countywide Kickstart programme to help get young people into work placements after agreeing to partner with all of Kent’s Further Education Colleges; EKC Group, MidKent and North Kent.  Launched by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the Kickstart programme is part of the Government’s three-pronged approach to helping restart the economy. 

Find out more in the full press release available at the button below or via the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce Kickstart scheme web page by clicking on the image.

David Walliams to Celebrate Staff at Virtual KTAs

October 13, 2020

It was almost cancelled for 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but like all great things, the show must go on! So on Friday 16th October at 6pm a virtual Kent Teachers' Awards event will take place soon a Facebook Events platform. Not only that, but it will be supported by none other than David Walliams as a special guest!

This year KFE added a new category for FE staff so that our amazing academic support staff that so often are critical to the achievement of our learners could be recognised. Therefore, they along with FE and HE teaching staff will be celebrated with those from schools across the county's districts. 

KFE college staff have a good record so far at the KTAs and we know we have seven winners, but it is always a surprise to find out who the overall winners for certain categories are. So tune in Friday and enjoy the event and to celebrate our FE colleges' academic teaching and support staff.

It is hoped that the event will resume to a traditional format in 2021. To find out more click the picture and for the link to the event the button below.

KFE 2021 Events Confirmed

October 11, 2020

KFE is pleased to confirm that our core events, the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference and the KFE4Skills Competition will go ahead in 2021! This is despite the negative impact of Covid 19 on so many of mass participation events in 2020 and likely ongoing Covid Safe controls expected to last into next year.

Things will however be different as the TLA Conference (TLAC), will be planned as an entirely virtual event. This will mean that KFE can maximise the number of participants and accommodate more external guests than in previous years. It will also mean we can plan for an exciting range of virtually delivered workshops, seminars and keynotes around a range of topical themes. One of which will certainly be around the impacts, good practice and QA/QI developments for full digital and blended learning delivery of skills provision.

KFE4Skills is clearly a very complicated event, but we are planning to connect locally hosted industry competitions and connect them into a single day live event through a portal approach. It is hoped that this will enable a possible blended approach to the event which would be a real first and again will enable the maximum engagement of students and staff in demonstrating a wide range of skills and the incredible abilities of our students in Kent and Medway's FE colleges.

So note the diary dates below and keep check on progress via the Events and Competitions pages at www.kentfurthereducation.org and our social media updates...

- TLAC 21: Wednesday, 10th February 2021

- KFE4Skills 21: Friday, 5th March 2021

Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation Day!

October 01, 2020

It's finally here! The virtual Apprentice Graduation day takes place from 12 noon as a 'live' transmission on 2nd October 2020...(Updated: PDF copy of the event programme available here).

Following last year’s first ceremony which saw apprentices, employers and supporters gather in Rochester Cathedral, Kent, the organising team have adapted a face-to-face ceremony to an online event. 

Apprentices will be personally congratulated by keynote speakers Minister for Apprenticeships and Gillian Keegan MP and entrepreneur Anthony Impey MBE.

Paul Winter, Chair of Wire Belt Company Ltd and part of the project team says, “These apprentices have continued their work and study through a very challenging time. It is right that their efforts are recognised, so I for one will be watching and congratulating them from my home office.”

Nicola Everett kmfm newsreader and this year’s event host says, “This virtual ceremony means that friends, family, employers, training providers – anyone with access to the internet can join in, celebrate and support the Apprenticeship Class of 2020. It is ray of positive light in this stormy year.”

Deborah Turner, FSB Kent Area Leader says, “FSB is a proud sponsor of this digital ceremony. Small businesses from all sectors benefit from hiring an apprentice - improving skills and increasing overall productivity within their firm. With the global pandemic affecting young people’s career options like never before, apprenticeships offer a positive solution for both a business owner and a young person. Each apprentice and employer is getting well-deserved recognition through this innovative ceremony and we wish them all the best for the future.”

The ceremony will take place via a bespoke platform usually reserved for university graduates, designed and built by Graduation Attire. Despite it being an online event, apprentices can order souvenirs including a personal certificate, apprenticeship badge and celebratory brochure which includes the apprentice’s individual name, employer and training provider. 

Financial sponsors and supporters behind the event include the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Apprenticeships Ambassador Network South East, Kent County Council, Kent Association of Training Providers, Medway Council, Careers and Education Company, Wirebelt Ltd, Leigh Academies Trust and Kent Further Education. 

Watch via the link to the livestreamed ceremony at https://kandm-apprentice.graduations.live

Find out more about the event at kandmappgrad.org . You can also follow the hashtag #KandMAppGrad and the Twitter account @KandMAppGrad

Apprentice Graduation Virtually Here

September 17, 2020

The 2020 Apprentice Graduation is just weeks away! The 2nd October will see one of only a handful of apprentice graduation events for 2020 nationally due to the Covid 19 pandemic. However, in Kent the organising partners, including KFE, have opted for a unique virtual event.

Over 125 apprentices will be acknowledged in a special virtual graduation ceremony which will be hosted by local news reader and presenter Nicola Everett. VIP guests including Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills Gillian Keegan MP and entrepreneur Anthony Impey OBE will be making inputs too.

 

Nonetheless, the main focus will rightly be the apprentices themselves from a wide range of employers. The second ever Kent and Medway graduation ceremony will include an impressive array of apprenticeships from Level 2 to L4+ higher apprenticeships delivered by the county's colleges, local authority and independent training providers.

Of the 125 graduates 25 will apprentices receiving their training from EKC Group and another 8 will be from MidKent College. To watch the event's live transmission tune in via the live link information posted at the dedicated event website.

KFE Accesses Year 2 SELEP Bursary Project

September 09, 2020

KFE is pleased to confirm that the South East Local Enterprise Partnership has confirmed continuation funding for the FE Teacher Bursary Project. Kent FE colleges and ITPs will be able to access a one third share of the funding allocated to the region with Essex and East Sussex.

As in 2019/20 this year's funding will support teacher training programmes on a match funded basis for staff at FE institutions. This includes Level 4 to HE and Level 3 training. Criteria applies as funding is primarily aimed to support recruitment into priority industries. Interested colleges and individuals can gain further information and details on how to apply for the funding bursaries via the FE Sussex Website link using the button below.

The project will also support ongoing development of the become a lecturer website which seeks to promote a broad range of teaching vacancies across the region's FE providers. Funding will also support production of more videos highlighting the benefits of working in further education as teachers, tutors, assessors and all associated roles in teaching delivery.

General information is also available on the current bursary project promotional flyer.

North Kent College Transfer Completes

August 16, 2020

North Kent College successfully completed the transition process which sees Hadlow College and West Kent College (and the Greenwich Equestrian Centre) become part of the college from 15th August 2020.

The process has taken a huge amount of work and positively secures the Kent FE offer in a sustainable way, which will enable greater strategic cohesion and development of the technical skills offer in the county and region generally.

For KFE this means that there are now three main college entities in Kent and Medway operating 12 campus sites (including the Spring Lane land based site which has been part of the EKC Group at Canterbury College since January 2020). 

KFE colleagues have worked during the transition phase over the last year, to ensure staff from Hadlow College and West Kent College have continued to engage in the collaborative activities of the colleges' partnership.

 

Therefore, KFE extends congratulations to NKC in its new form and is pleased to see completion of the transition, which will enable full participation for all of NKC's staff in activities such as the TLA Annual Conference and KFE4Skills student competitions as well as KFE network and project work-stream groups.

The formal statements and press release from NKC can be found via the button below or by clicking the NKC logo image.

DfE Confirms FE set for September Return

July 08, 2020

On the 2nd July the Department for Education updated its guidance for FE colleges and providers in relation to what they will need to do to prepare for September term start.

The expectation is that colleges will be able to provide education and training to all learners including adults. This will be in the context of institutional Covid-19 risk planning mitigations and national requirements as detailed in the guidance.

Kent and Medway's FE colleges commenced phased reopening from 15th June. All college campuses opened to provide on-site provision to prioritised learners including those needing to complete critical practical assessment work, aspects of qualifications and those that might be vulnerable learners now able to return to an educational setting where appropriate and possible safely.

The county's FE colleges have throughout the lockdown period continued to maintain contact with all learners, apprentices and employers through remote means. This has included digital interfaces, support resources and assessment tools. It is expected that from September there will be an increased volume of digital communications and provision delivery as on-site volumes of learners are carefully managed.

College staff will also increasingly attend campus sites, however it is expected that many staff will continue to work remotely whilst CV19 remains a risk and DfE and NHE guidance advises social distancing measures. Colleges and their staff have been quick to adapt to new means of teaching, learning and assessment. So although things may look different for the start of 2020/21 Kent and Medway colleges fully expect to be able to provide a quality learning experience for all learners from September 2020.

AoC Launches 'Rebuild' A Skills Led Recovery Plan

June 30, 2020

The Association of Colleges has published its 'Rebuild' plan which it hopes will influence the Government to respond to challenges highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis. It argues that, to avoid the mistakes of past recessions, government should focus on skills to get the most at risk 764,000 people back into secure work.

 

The plan warns of increased demand for college places as high unemployment crowds young people out of the labour market; large numbers of young people needing support to catch up as a result of lost learning in lockdown; reductions in apprenticeship places, a large number of apprentice redundancies and a shortage of new places for apprentices; and large numbers of adults requiring training to help them move from struggling sectors into those that recover more quickly, or even grow.

It also states that, a £3.6 billion package of incentives for business, support for students and investment in colleges would help the 760,000 people most at risk of suffering economically in this recession. It would: guarantee a high quality, education or training place for every 16 to 18 year old, funded to meet their needs and the learning lost; offer a suite of work focussed training programmes, including expanded traineeships and apprenticeships designed to get young people into jobs as soon as they become available; provide support for adults who lose their jobs to train or retrain flexibly up to higher level technical / professional level, aimed at getting them back into the workforce as quickly as possible, with additional training to manage their transition once back in work.

You can view the short version of Rebuild via the button below, or go to the AoC site page with further information and resources plus a downloadable full version by clicking here or on the Rebuild image.

EKC Group wins AoC Beacon Award

June 08, 2020

Staff and students have been celebrating across East Kent after EKC Group was announced as the winner of the coveted ‘Pears #iwill Award for Social Action and Student Engagement’ during the 25th annual Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Awards 2019-20 on Thursday 4 June. 

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrates innovation and outstanding practice in Further Education. The ‘Pears #iwill Award for Social Action and Student Engagement’ was presented to EKC Group in recognition of its pioneering social action initiatives in the communities it serves. 

Chief Executive Officer Graham Razey said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to win such a prestigious award in such a hugely relevant category right now. The current context has shown just how important social action is, and the activities that our students do within our communities has real importance attached to it. This win really celebrates those projects that our students have led, and recognises the passion shown to enhance our communities and make the whole of East Kent that little bit better. Well done to all of the staff and students who’ve been involved!”

During its biannual ‘Community Weeks’, students and staff members from across the Group’s family of six Colleges and three Business Units engage in a wide range of projects, from providing workshops and activity classes, through to rejuvenating community spaces and supporting local businesses. 

In the previous academic year alone, students clocked more than 40,000 hours of volunteering to deliver over 400 individual social action projects. Chair of EKC Group, Charles Buchanan, said: “Many congratulations to all of the staff and students across EKC Group’s family of Colleges and Business Unit for winning this award. It is testament to the huge amount of transformative social action projects which they deliver within the communities we serve, and is a real endorsement of the Group’s ethos as a socially conscious organisation which wants to make a difference.”

MidKent College Covid Community Lessons

June 02, 2020

KFE's final profile on how our Kent and Medway FE colleges have responded and acted to support their communities during the Coronavirus crisis focuses on MidKent College. Like all the other KFE college partners the staff teams at MKC have been busy supporting their local communities and NHS organisations through a variety of means.

MKC ICT staff worked with NHS tech staff to help equip NHS frontline staff with laptops at the Medway Maritime Hospital, which even involved working alongside some of the college's former students now in NHS roles. Read more here

MKC staff have also been busy acting as community volunteers, the college has redistributed PPE to healthcare organisations and the Oaks Restaurant at the Maidstone Campus has operated as a Fairshare Kent & Family Foodbank distribution centre, whilst the McLeods Restaurant at the Medway Campus has been preparing 100 meals a day for Street Angels. Read more here

 

MKC staff have been working everyday to help members of their community in need and during the crisis and like the other colleges as organisations, a huge amount has been learnt about digital communications and the overall value of community interaction and communication between staff, students, businesses and local community organisations.

As all of the KFE colleges prepare for phased reopening plans from 15th June, we are confidently proud of how all our colleges and their staff have reacted at this unprecedented and on-going challenging time. A huge thanks to all KFE colleges and their staff and especially to those that took on frontline roles to help.

Apprentice Graduation to Go Ahead in New Format

May 12, 2020

The Kent & Medway Apprentice Graduation event for 2020 is to go ahead as planned on 2nd October 2020, but in a new virtual format. The organising group have made the following press release so get ready to support and engage in this socially distanced version of last year's wonderful celebration of apprentice achievements!

The organising team behind the first Kent and Medway Apprentice Graduation ceremony held last October have confirmed that a celebration will still take place on 2 October 2020 but in a new format.

Wire Belt Chairman and project team member Paul Winter says, "Due to COVID-19 we, like so many other people, have had to take a look at future plans and events. Last year we were lucky enough to congratulate 100 apprentices in Rochester Cathedral together with their employers, friends and family but this no longer seem viable. We are determined to continue to show our support of apprenticeships so we are pleased to say we will adapt and hold a virtual celebration on Friday 2 October."

Plans are underway to develop an online event showing the benefits of apprenticeships. Apprentices are invited to take part on the day, be personally recognised and receive a certificate of completion. The event will include keynote speakers and wide coverage on social media, enabling firms, apprentices and supporters from across the county to take part online. Who can be nominated?

Any apprentice who has successfully completed their qualification at any level or discipline between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 and is Kent or Medway-based or has a Kent or Medway-based provider can be nominated.

Applicants can be nominated by their employer, apprenticeship provider or can nominate themselves. Applications will be verified. When nominations are made it is essential that all parties involved - apprentice, employer and provider - are informed. Apprentices are invited to reserve a virtual place. Please email their name, apprenticeship level and company to Alison.parmar@fsb.org.uk.

NOTES TO EDITORS
*         The Kent and Medway partners who are organising and funding this event are: Careers and Enterprise Company; The Education People; The Education and Skills Funding Agency; Federation of Small Businesses; Kent Association of Training Organisations, Kent County Council, Kent Further Education, Leigh Academies Trust; Medway Council, CXK and Wire Belt.
*         The event is funded by organising partners and sponsors.
*         Follow @KandMAppGrad on Twitter and the hashtag #KandMAppGrad

 

West Kent College Student Scrubs Up Production

May 06, 2020

In our third story on how Kent and Medway FE colleges are working to support their communities and responding to the Covid-19 crisis, we take a look at a student led story from West Kent College in Tunbridge.

Third year BA(Hons) Fashion & Textile student Finn Wicks hasn’t let Covid-19 hinder his progress on the practical elements of his course work at home. Finn has been busy producing garments for his course and also to support the NHS, whilst preparing for an interview with Central Saint Martins to study an MA, having been shortlisted after submitting his digital portfolio. 

 

His NHS support started after a family friend involved in setting up a Covid-19 unit for the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, got in touch with a request to see if Finn could make a bulk order of hospital scrubs. They only expected Finn to produce around 20 pairs. He produced 50. After the friend shared his startling productivity on a Facebook group post, individual nurses began getting in touch with Finn to order scrubs for themselves.

You can read the full story via the link button below and naturally we all thank Finn for his hard work supporting healthcare staff at this time, and wish him best of luck on his next adventure after his successful course at WKC!

KFE Combats Covid-19 - EKC Group Gives Support

April 30, 2020

In our second feature on how the Kent and Medway FE colleges have stepped up in supporting their communities in combating Covid-19, focus is on some of the amazing actions of the EKC Group Colleges. With 6 colleges spread across the south-eastern part of Kent, EKC Group's geographical range takes in one of the UK's largest NHS Hospital Trusts with 3 major acute care hospitals and several smaller hospital services and a multitude of other healthcare facilities.

 

Staff working in departments across the Group’s Colleges in Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Sheppey have donated thousands of pieces of essential protective equipment and resources to local NHS organisations, including: disposable gloves and aprons, electronic hand sanitisers, soaps, disinfectants, paper hand towels, waste disposal bags, P2 dust masks and toilet rolls.

Many EKC Group students are also making significant contributions by delivering food and medicines to those most in need. Elsewhere across the Group, key Care Workers continuing their professional development and education at the Group’s Colleges, are working tirelessly to support the NHS and local communities, whilst many other students have been volunteering their time to support local charities, organisations and community services.

Read more about two of EKC Group's activities by clicking the linked text:

- EKC Group's Yarrow Hotel in Broadstairs has also donated hundreds of meals in the Thanet area to help those in need.

- One of the WorkHigher team has been busy making full sets of scrubs which are being donated to local health care facilities.

KFE Colleges Rally in Support of Covid-19 Response

April 28, 2020

KFE colleges have stepped up in the face of the Covid-19 crisis in support of their local communities, healthcare services and the NHS as well as national efforts to combat the pandemic.

In the first of our KFE case studies we highlight North Kent College who have several examples of pro-active support especially for their local NHS Hospital. You can read the full details of NKC's activities via the linked text below and button link:

- Production of PPE equipment for key workers

- NKC delivers PPE to Daren't Valley Hospital in Dartford

- Go Fund Me donation page for NKC's PPE fundraiser

- NKC Blog page on Mental Health and other help during social distancing measures

Keep checking back at the KFE newsfeed for updates on NKC and the Covid-19 response actions of other EKC Group Colleges and MidKent College as well as Hadlow and West Kent College during this challenging time.

 

All KFE colleges are actively working within the current Government guidelines for Coronavirus and are maintaining contact with learners, employers, key partners and prospective learners for the 2020/21 academic year, through all means available. You can use the contact links on the KFE site to get to the home pages and localised information for each Kent and Medway college campus.

EKC Group Adds Ashford & Spring Lane Campuses

April 02, 2020

As of this week EKC Group has grown taking on two of the former Hadlow Group campus sites. The addition of Ashford College and Canterbury Spring Lane to the EKC Group family strengthens the Group’s education and training provision in the East Kent area, equipping local students with the skills and knowledge needed to prepare them for successful careers or further study, and enabling the Group to boost the social and economic prosperity of a new community now served by it. EKC Group’s acquisition of Ashford College is in response to recommendations made by the Further Education Commissioner in 2019. The Group has also welcomed Hadlow College’s former Spring Lane site, based in Canterbury, into the fold. 

 

Chief Executive Officer of EKC Group, Graham Razey, said that this would usher in a new era of technical and vocational education within the whole of East Kent for the first time. He said: “Now that our Group has incorporated both the Canterbury Spring Lane site, and Ashford College, into its family of Colleges and Business Units, we can begin to systematically plan skills delivery across the whole of our area. Having both Ashford College and the Canterbury Spring Lane campus within our Group will enable us to better serve our local communities, ensuring that we are able to truly deliver on the skills priorities needed to enable us to achieve our mission, of enhancing the social and economic prosperity of the communities we serve.

“Despite the current challenges we face, we know that our county’s employers will be well positioned to face them, and I am really proud that we’ll be there to support the whole of East Kent’s recovery once the UK has beaten coronavirus.”

Chairman of EKC Group’s Full Governing Body, Charles Buchanan, said: “We have a strong track record of bringing new provision into our Group, and I am confident that this transaction will see us grow and develop the provision which is currently delivered within the Ashford College and Spring Lane campus. “I am looking forward to visiting both of these sites once we have beaten coronavirus and welcoming these new colleagues so that we can move forward as a truly East Kent provider of technical and vocational education.”

KFE4Skills 2020 Breaks Records

March 19, 2020

KFE4Skills 2020, the KFE inter-college skills competition, broke all records at its 4th March event hosted by MidKent College Medway Campus.

Over 200 students competed in 26 industry competitions, supported by over 100 student helpers including models and event management public services students. A total of 104 staff helped co-ordinate and develop the competition industry specifications which ranged from automotive to welding. This year automotive was hosted at North Kent College's Gravesend campus, but all other rounds took place at the main event venue at MidKent College.

The medal tables are now published on the KFE site as are the event's finalist and medal winner photos, which were captured by our media partner KM Media Group. A total of 49 gold medals were awarded in addition to 36 silver medals and 37 bronze medals (the differences are due to various team sizes in some categories).

Every student competing was already a finalist selected by their colleges in qualification events and selection processes. We'd like to congratulate them all and thank our numerous sponsors (notably key sponsor City & Guilds - see programme for all sponsors / judging organisations), judges, student helpers and staff for making this year's even a great success. A quick extra note of thanks to Anthony Westcott and Electraweld Ltd for an additional prize donation of the latest welders' safety mask.

We look forward to organising the 2021 event in due course, but in the meantime if you were involved in KFE4Skills 2020 and have not done so please complete the Survey Monkey evaluation via the link on our site and in this news item...

KFE to sponsor KEiBA 2020 Small Business Award

March 04, 2020

KFE are delighted to confirm that they will be sponsoring and judging the Best Small Business Category at the 2020 KEiBAs. 

This hugely popular category will see the colleges collaborate for the first time in supporting a KEiBA category. The small business category is a hugely important and relevant one to the county's FE colleges with each college having over 600-800 SME business partners annually, many of which work with colleges on apprenticeships as well as provision of professional technical skills qualifications.

The category has received 42 entrants this year, so our judges will be busy. In terms of an update we are aware that KEiBA 2020 is to be delayed due to Covid-19, but we look forward to the event being rescheduled and judging completed to enable finalist visits and selection in due course.

KFE4Skills 2020 Finally Here!

March 02, 2020

It's been nearly 6 months of planning but KFE4Skills 2020 is happening this week on Wednesday 4th March at MidKent College's Medway Campus!

There will be 220 competitors and about another 100 students helping the event. Added to our super students is the large contingent of academic and support staff, external guests and judges for the various rounds, making this KFE's largest annual event by far.

In fact KFE4Skills is probably the biggest inter-college skills event of its kind in the SE if not England! Only the World Skills UK regional heats and naturally the national WSUK event are bigger in terms of breadth or numbers of participants.

With over 25 industry skills competitions taking place from automotive to welding, we're excited to see who this year's medal winners will be? KFE will publish a news update soon after the event and a photo gallery for 2020 will be added to our skills competition page. 

Finally, a huge thank you to the students and staff across all KFE colleges for engaging with and making this event happen. A further special thanks also to our external judges and round sponsors and to our overall sponsor City & Guilds. Good luck everyone...!

TLAC20 Teases with Neuroscience

February 17, 2020

KFE's annual teaching, learning and assessment conference took place on Friday 14th at MidKent College's Maidstone Campus. A full programme attended by 170 delegates, included a dynamic and fascinating keynote by Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE on TLA - insights from neuroscience. There were also 17 individual workshops across 6 thematic strands delivered by Ofsted, AoC, ETF, NCFE, the KFE TLA Network and the Kent Safeguarding Children's Multi-Agency Partnership.

This was the third annual TLA Conference delivered by KFE and the second on this scale of programme. MidKent College again hosted the event and provided superb refreshments and a great lunch, all delivered by their internal staff teams and students on the day. The Valentine's date also provided a great theme for the event based around the AoC's #LoveOurColleges campaign and heart logos.

Many thanks to all the staff (including for the first time some external partners and ITPs), for attending the event, and to all the workshop leads and to our keynote Susan Greenfield. The presentations from the day are now being added to the KFE site's TLA Resources page (quick link at photo) and the event questionnaire is now live to 1st March via the button below.

 

KFE's next event is the KFE4Skills competition day on 4th March at MidKent's Medway Campus.

KFE Co-Launches Become a Lecturer

February 07, 2020

KFE has co-launched the 'Become a Lecturer' website with our partners in Essex and Sussex. The new website aims to support the recruitment of specialist staff into further education colleges and with other independent providers across the SE Region.

The website is part of a project funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership. The overall project has utilised bursaries to attract people working in various industries to consider working in the FE sector. It has had a special focus on hard to recruit industries. This includes roles such as lecturers, tutors and assessors. Essentially all the forms of teaching roles in education and skills.

The site is now live and can be found via the button below and by clicking the become a lecturer logo. It includes introductory information about the various roles in FE and a set of industry sector based videos created with the help of existing teaching staff across the region.

 

If you want to make the jump to teaching in FE, either in a full or part time capacity, or indeed whilst still working in your industry employment check out the new site now where you'll also find useful links to the college and provider vacancy pages in your area!

Maximum Mutley for KFE4Skills 2020

January 23, 2020

We're super excited at KFE to preview the 2020 medals for KFE4Skills... If you're like Mutley it is almost too much when so many medals turn up at once!

 

This year's multi college industry skills competition is taking place at MidKent College's Medway Campus on 4th March 2020. There will be 29 industry competitions across 20+ sectors from Automotive to Welding, involving approximately 200 student competitors, 100 student models, helpers and event guides and a staff team from all of Kent and Medway's colleges coming together to deliver KFE's annual major event.

Registration is now open via the button below and information is on the KFE site's dedicated skills competition page at www.kentfurthereducation.org  . The competition is open to college students from EKC Group colleges, MidKent College, North Kent College, Hadlow College, Ashford College and West Kent College.

 

All entrants are selected by their colleges and through the competition gain valuable confidence skills, competitive skills, communication skills, employability skills and enhance their CVs at the same time as simply enjoying an energising day. Oh yes, and there's winning one of the overall top 3 medals for each industry competition. Everyone at this stage is also a winner and will receive a finalist certificate. Competitors may also enhance their chances of progressing to World Skills UK Regional Heats in the spring / summer and even the national finals in November 2020.

This year we're also delighted and grateful to have the support of City & Guilds as our key sponsor and category support from NCFE, Reflect Digital, Adobe, Edge Gain and others to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

TLAC 20 for Valentine's Day

January 14, 2020

It's countdown to #TLAC20, KFE's annual teaching, learning and assessment conference, which is planned to show how much we 'Love Our Colleges' by being held on Valentine's Day!

This year the event will be at MidKent College's Maidstone Campus UCM Building. The provisional programme is now complete and ready for publication and details are on the KFE events page, including the Registration portal link.

The 2020 programme promises to be full and varied, featuring Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE as our keynote and a wide range of Strand based workshops throughout the rest of the day, including the latest from Ofsted on FE Inspections, Apprenticeships, T-Levels, English & Mathematics, ungraded observations, effective tech use in TLA and safeguarding and Prevent.

Registration is now open and closes at noon of the 7th February 2020. Each college grouping has 50 places allocated by their senior TLA and Quality managers, so check now and register!

KFE Helps Launch KTAs 2020 With New FE Award!

December 02, 2019

KFE joined the launch event for the Kent Teachers' Awards 2020 on 2nd December 2019 at the Ashford International Hotel. KFE announced its plans for three awards including a new academic support staff category for Kent and Medway's FE colleges.

The KTAs will go live shortly with nominations officially opening on 1st January 2020 and closing on 1st March 2020. The nominated staff from schools and FE colleges will be judged later in March, culminating in the awards dinner and event in May at the Ashford International Hotel.

2020 will be the third year of KFE as a main official key sponsor of the Awards which see around 500 staff across the county's schools and colleges nominated for the District and Overall Awards. The colleges have had 21 finalists over the last two years including the winners of the FE specific awards and the overall prestigious KTA honours across all sectors!

For 2020, KFE will be promoting three categories:

- Best FE College Technical and Vocational Teacher (includes Apprenticeship and other FE assessors)

- Best FE College Higher Education Teacher (includes Higher Apprenticeship assessors)

- Best FE College Academic Support Staff Member

This last award is new and is aimed at those staff that make a direct contribution (as support staff to academic teams), to the education and skills achievement and outcomes of 16-19 and / or adult learners. KFE has recognised that these roles have been recognised in the schools categories for the KTAs, and is keen to ensure that the brilliant FE staff that support learners every day, get similar attention and appreciation.

For this new category staff undertaking roles such as: direct classroom or skills training setting learner support to teaching staff; provision of welfare and / or additional support to learners; and even extra-curricula organisation would make ideal nominees. These definitions are not exclusive and all nominations will be reviewed and considered provided the type of support is directly related to academic or skills training delivery.

For more information keep an eye out for promotional materials which will be circulated within each college and visit the KTA website!

KFE4Skills 2020 Registration Open

November 22, 2019

KFE is pleased to confirm that the registration portal for the KFE4Skills 2020 event is open. Following the hugely successful event held at Canterbury College during March 2019, which saw 200 students compete in live inter-college skills competitions, KFE has confirmed that it will run another large scale single day skills competition - this time at MidKent College's Medway campus.

Preparation is already underway with 25 industry skills specifications already in draft on the KFE site. These will convert to 'live' status in December with final amendments in the New Year. Meanwhile, students from all of Kent and Medway's FE colleges are now beginning the selection processes locally to become finalists at #KFE4Skills20.

Competition day is 4th March 2020 and KFE is looking forward to building on and show casing the skills and talents of our amazing vocational and technical skills students, across a huge range of industry skills. For 2020 a greater emphasis will also be placed on engaging more employers and other organisations in the competitions as judges and / or sponsors of individual industry rounds.

 

If you're interested in getting involved with #KFE4Skills20 in any capacity contact us now at Kent Further Education! For more information about KFE4Skills click the button below and for more information about forthcoming and previous KFE events click here.

KFE Loving Colleges Week

October 14, 2019

It's colleges week from 14th October 2019! KFE colleges are all active this week in various ways, celebrating the work of the sector and importantly the impact on the thousands of learners and employers Kent and Medway's colleges deliver vocational and technical skills training to every year.

KFE has updated its home page to show several of the impacts we know our colleges make on the county and our region. In the end there's nothing greater than seeing first hand the meaningful difference FE colleges make every day to people's lives and futures.

 

If you haven't already go to your local college to realise your education and training goals, or even to make a change in your career by becoming an educator or support staff member in a further education college...

Inaugural Apprentice Graduation Success

October 07, 2019

KFE is delighted to have been part of the hugely successful Kent and Medway inaugural apprentice graduation ceremony, held at Rochester Cathedral on 4th October 2019. Over 100 graduates across dozens of apprenticeship specialisms and from levels 2 to 5 attended the prestige event, witnessed by over 400 family members and employers.

The event was compered by Nicola Everett (KMTV and KMFM) and Paul Andrews (entrepreneur and business radio presenter), with speakers including David Ward (CEO Ward Securities) and local MP and Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst. 

The event was supported and organised by a core group of representative organisations including the FSB, KATO, KCC and The Education People, Medway Council and the Leigh Academies Trust as well as Paul Winter from the Wire Belt Company and of course KFE.

The first of its kind in Kent and Medway the event was a huge success with so many apprentices and parents evidently and rightly very proud of the achievements made and recognised in an appropriate way on the day. Graduation ceremonies are normally the preserve of university graduates, but apprenticeships at all levels including at higher education levels, are being promoted as an excellent route into work and careers underpinned by knowledge and competence based learning and on and off the job training - and all whilst getting some income!

KFE colleges are proud to be collectively the largest providers of apprenticeships, delivering training to over 2,000 apprentices each year in Kent and Medway, with each college working closely with hundreds of employers to meet their needs whether through use of Apprenticeship Levy funding for employers with a £3m+ paybill, or direct ESFA funding for smaller employers. To find out more about KFE colleges' apprenticeships visit their sites via the links on the Our Colleges page.

KFE Colleges' Open Days

August 19, 2019

With all our colleges gearing up for the start of a new academic year, we've published the open day and other useful dates for all of our colleges for the 2019/20 academic year. Many of these dates will be for those considering entering and starting a college study programme or other course in 2020 or 2020/21.

Despite this it's not too late to seek open enrolment opportunities at many of our colleges for this academic year.

Check out the dates via the button below and get in touch with your local college of choice to check finalised times and your future options!

KFE Set to Benefit from Teacher Training Bursary Funding

August 06, 2019

KFE's colleges have successfully accessed additional funding to support teacher training places, through SE Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) funded bursaries. The initiative is formally called SELEP Delivering skills of the Future through teaching - Teaching for Growth Project.

Working with FE Sussex and the Federation of Essex Colleges the three counties are to receive funding for approximately 35 bursaries of up to £4,000. To access this funding the colleges must co-finance the training for Cert-Ed and PGCE level training through a £1,500 contribution per new teacher trainee. 

The project is being co-ordinated by FE Sussex on behalf of the three counties and KFE is part of the project's steering group with the FES, FEDEC and the Independent Training Provider representative organisations in Kent and Sussex. The funding has been allocated as part of a strategy to support recruitment into FE teaching roles, especially in hard to fill industry sectors.

 

Recruitment is a major challenge in the FE sector. Therefore, an additional aspect of the project will be the creation of promotional videos for each county and an overall professional standard video which will aim to support future recruitment by demonstrating the benefits of working in further education.

 

To find out more click the button below which will link to the FE Sussex site page that includes the Project Flyer, Bursary Application Form and Bursary Process Flow Chart...

K&M Apprenticeships Graduation Gains Pace with KFE

August 06, 2019

KFE is one of a number of partners promoting and supporting the inaugural Kent & Medway Apprenticeships Graduation event, to be held on 4th October at Rochester Cathedral. KFE colleges have already started encouraging nominations from their employer networks and it is hoped that the colleges will demonstrate a strong presence at the event given the huge contribution to apprenticeships made by each of the county's colleges.

As well as providing sponsorship support KFE is proud to be giving extra support this year in terms of logo design and the event's programme design (thank you to the team at EKC Group). We hope that for 2020 this could become a project brief stemming from our very own KFE Skills Competition winners, which would reinforce the contribution made by FE students and apprentices to the vibrancy of our local community!

 

Check out the latest press release via the button below...if you meet the criteria for this year's event and haven't nominated yet, then act fast as there will be 200 graduates attending for this first year! 

KFE4Skills 2020 Confirmed for Mid Kent

July 09, 2019

KFE is delighted to announce that it will be supporting its highly successful KFE4Skills Industry Competition event once again as a major single day skills and talent fest! 

Following on from Canterbury College's excellent hosting of the 2019 event back in March, KFE4Skills 2020 will be held at Mid Kent College's Medway Campus site. The date for the diary is Wednesday 4th March 2020!

The 2020 event is expected to be bigger still with more industry categories and several reworked competition specs linked to real post event opportunities as well as setting up finalists with critical experience for World Skills UK Regional Heats during the spring and summer and National Finals in November 2020.

With over 25 industry categories providing the widest ranging single day skills competition in the South East and more than 200 student finalists taking part on the day, KFE is confident that it can deliver another success for Kent's FE college students! Keep up with #KFE4Skills20 announcements via our Twitter feed @kentfurthered and on our site's dedicated Skills Competition Page.

KFE Supports Kent's First Apprentice Graduation Event

June 03, 2019

KFE is delighted to confirm that it is one of the key partners supporting Kent's first ever Apprentice Graduation event, which will take place on 4th October 2019 at the Rochester Cathedral.

The Graduation will combine a VIP business reception organised by the FSB with the formal graduation later in the afternoon. The graduation will be a full-scale event similar to a traditional university degree ceremony. It will give Kent's apprentices and employers the chance to show the real value of apprenticeships to the individuals undertaking them, to the businesses that benefit from them and to the local economy. 

All of Kent's FE colleges offer a comprehensive range of apprenticeships and indeed employ many apprentices in a wide range of roles from essential administrative and technical posts, through to those on leadership and management apprenticeships. 

To read the joint partner's press release which contains all the links for employers and apprentices wishing to participate, please click the 'press release' button below. To read the KM On-line feature on the event click on the photo of the Cathedral's magnificent interior. Click to be directed to the nomination portal on KATO's site.

Kent & Medway's FE College Teachers Win at KTAs 2019!

May 12, 2019

Friday 10th May saw a fabulous celebration of Kent's award winning teachers at the Kent Teachers Awards 2019. The event was held at the Ashford International Hotel and for the second year featured FE college winners from across Kent and Medway's colleges. All four KFE colleges enjoyed wins this year across a range of categories.

There were a total of 76 FE nominations this year and overall the quality of nominations was high. The college area winners were: Canterbury - Ruth Anderson HE Teacher of the Year (EKC Group Canterbury College); Dartford & Gravesham - Lucy Flack FE Technical Vocational Teacher of the Year (North Kent College); Dover - Daniel Ridge FE Apprenticeship Assessor of the Year (EKC Group Dover Technical College); Maidstone & Malling - Ellie Bentley FE Technical Vocational Teacher of the Year (Mid Kent College); West Kent - Anthony Stockwell FE Apprenticeship Assessor of the Year (Hadlow College Group) and Sancha de Búrca HE Teacher of the Year (Hadlow College Group).

Lucy Flack, Anthony Stockwell and Sancha de Búrca also won the overall Kent Teacher of the Year Awards in their categories! Winners received their awards from Olympian Jack Green. KFE wishes congratulations to all our nominees and finalist winners. A link to the event gallery is at the button below and the event video can be found via clicking on the photo. The news item picture features Lucy Flack and Rhiannon Hughes of North Kent College clearly happy with the win for their college with Jack Green. Click here for the event digital booklet which explains why each winner received their awards.

KMTV Video Hits the Mark & KFE4Skills 2020 at MKC

April 17, 2019

We've just completed the evaluation of our KFE4Skills Competition and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from student participants and staff involved alike! Thank you all for competing or helping with KFE4Skills 2019...we have to give a special mention too to our student ambassadors on the day from Canterbury College and all the models that came from each college for some of the industry competitions.

You will be delighted to know that KFE has agreed to run the competition again in 2020 and this time it will take place at Mid Kent College's Medway campus. We'll update you all later this year but for now if you have not seen it, take a look at the event video made by and aired on KMTV. This is a great video which captures a great deal of the essence of the day and shows what can be done when colleges collaborate to the benefit of their students!

 

Finally, good luck to all those that are now progressing to World Skills Regional Heats! 

KFE4Skills Live 2019 - 26 Competitions 134 Medals!

March 08, 2019

KFE4Skills Live 2019 was a great success! KFE thanks all the colleges, competitors, staff, our sponsor City & Guilds and media partner KM Media Group for making the county's first single day, multi-industry inter-college skills competition a fantastic day.

Nearly 200 students took part in 26 industry competitions which led to 84 competition category medals and 134 individual medals being awarded to students from all four college groups in Kent and Medway.

An especial thanks goes to our event host Canterbury College and to their staff and students that helped with the organisation on the day.

The summary medal tables are now available on our skills competitions page. Photos and videos and the full named medal list will be published w/e 15th March. For the KFE4Skills evaluation click here or the medals picture above.

Finally - congratulations to all our amazing FE college students that were finalists and medalists who clearly showed that Kent Further Education is 100% for skills!

​​

KFE TLA 19 Conference Success

March 01, 2019

KFE's second major teaching, learning and assessment conference took place on 15th February 2019. TLAC19 was hosted by Mid Kent College at their Maidstone campus. 

One-hundred and sixty staff attended and enjoyed an introduction to the impacts made by KFE and Kent's FE colleges by Mid Kent College Principal Simon Cook. This was followed by a fantastic key note by Matt Bromley. This energised the academic staff audience before they went onto industry sector networking sessions.

The afternoon comprised 7 workshop themes delivered over 2 repeat sessions to enable staff to enjoy as wide a choice as possible of topics. These ranged from sessions on digital skills, engaging higher and lower level learners, Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment, supported experiments, effective target setting, integrating competition into the curriculum by WSUK and routes to careers by local business woman and award winning entrepreneur Becky Simms of Reflect Digital.

A special resources page has been added to the KFE site which includes the slide packs from the conference and an evaluation of the event which closes on 18th March 2019.

KFE would like to thank the host college Mid Kent College and its staff for helping stage a great day for our county's FE staff, and special thanks to all our workshop session leaders and keynote Matt Bromley of Bromley Education.

KFE4Skills Gimme a Medal

February 07, 2019

It's just one month to KFE4Skills Live 2019! We're pleased to preview the industry competition medals which will be awarded on the day to the top three competitors in each of the 20+ industry categories.

Each college's lead staff need to register their KFE4Skills competition students now! The deadline for registrations is 18th February so don't let your students get left out! 

All the info you need to register is on the competitions page at www.kentfurthereducation.org and just to confirm all competitors must arrive for sign-in at Canterbury College between 8:45 - 9:15am. All competitions start at 9:30am and all competitions and awards will be completed by 5pm.

#KFE4Skills Live 2019 Registration Open

January 17, 2019

Registration is now open for KFE's major skills competition KFE4Skills Live which is taking place on 6th March and will be hosted in 2019 at Canterbury College. Over 200 students from all four of Kent and Medway's FE colleges will engage in 24 industry based skills competitions. KFE4Skills Live builds on the partnership's successful separate industry competitions and is intended to provide greater impact, wider student and curriculum area engagement and increased successful progression to World Skills UK regional heats and the national finals held in November.

 

The event will be supported by a number of industry judges drawn from a range of employers, agencies and sectors. The key partner is City & Guilds and KM Media Group is the event Media Partner. Registration closes on 18th February 2019 so don't miss out. Qualifying students are to be registered by their college leads.

KFE TLAC 2 Planned for 15th Feb 2019

January 03, 2019

KFE will host its second Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference (TLAC 2) on 15th February 2019 at Mid Kent College's Maidstone Campus. KFE held its first TLA Conference in 2017. It proved very popular and given all the developments in the sector and especially across the KFE member colleges since then, the KFE Curriculum and Quality Network (CQN) and KFE Principals' Group resolved to hold a second event.

This will be open to approximately 50 delegates per college group. A draft programme is already prepared including a keynote and an afternoon of workshop sessions focusing on topics including lessons learnt from observations, digital skills development, effective apprenticeship EPA, integrating competitions into the curriculum, introducing supported experiments and target setting for maths. There will also be dedicated time for sector networking for delegates keen to share their experiences and good practice with colleagues across the Kent & Medway College network.

The programme will shortly be published on this site along with registration instructions. So watch this space for TALC 2! Don't miss your opportunity to be part of KFE's 2019 activities...

Kent Teachers' Awards...Nominations Open for 2019!

January 02, 2019

Following a very successful Kent Further Education debut in the Kent Teachers' Awards last year, we are again celebrating expertise and dedication in our Kent and Medway FE Colleges in 2019! Nominations are open now and close on 1st March 2019...

 

The categories are again:

- FE College Apprenticeship Assessor of the Year

- FE College HE Teacher of the Year

- FE College Technical / Vocational Teacher of the Year

The search is now on for stars from all of our KFE colleges. We are looking for nominations for teachers and assessors who make a real difference to the success of your college. Nominations can be made by students, parents, businesses and staff. We actively encourage peer to peer nominations - so why not nominate a colleague today!

All KTA winners will be invited to the awards dinner at the Ashford International Hotel on 10th May 2019. They will also receive recognition in KM Group newspapers and at KentOnline. 

The FE KTAs will also recognise exceptional FE teachers and assessors by District areas and there is even potential to be picked as one of Kent's best overall teachers across both the FE and the school sector. 

Successful nominations will be judged in March by a wide and independent panel of experts, so get nominating now to ensure our FE stars shine on the night! Nominating is easy and can be undertaken via the button link below or directly at the KTA's website nomination portal at www.kentteacheroftheyear.co.uk - where you'll find links to the FE categories on the nominations page.

From all at KFE...Good Luck for 2019!

Mid Kent College - Ofsted Good

December 06, 2018

KFE is delighted to report that Mid Kent College has been rated as 'Good' by Ofsted. The College was inspected in November and has improved its overall grade since its last inspection 2 years ago.

To find out more the Ofsted Report has now been published and is on-line on the Ofsted site.

Congratulations to all the staff at Mid Kent College in what is very positive news for the individuals, communities and businesses served by the College through its Maidstone and Medway Campuses.

Winter's Coming...KFE College Open Days - Live

December 06, 2018

Winter might be coming, but all KFE colleges are now busy with open days for the 2019 academic year. However, some are also recruiting January starts for some programme options, whilst apprenticeships can start at various points in the year!

To find out more click the button below to go to the KFE site's Our Colleges page where links to all our partner colleges can be found.

Colleges Week is Live #LoveOurColleges

October 15, 2018

This week is the Love Our Colleges campaign week, which is an opportunity to highlight the brilliant work that goes on in colleges, and the brilliant staff that make it all possible. It is also the sector's opportunity to call on government for better investment in colleges, and fair pay for college staff.

Colleges and college staff transform lives – they help people make the most of their talents and ambitions and drive social mobility; they help businesses improve productivity and drive economic growth; they are rooted in and committed to their communities and drive tolerance and well-being. They are an essential part of England’s education system – educating and training 2.2 million people every year.

 

Follow the link below for more information at the Association of College's campaign site page and even sign-up to the petition for fairer funding for FE colleges...If you tweet then don't forget #LoveOurColleges...!

EKCG & KFE Add Up Nicely