Message from the Chair

Karen Stockham
Dr Karen Stockham
Chair of Governing Body

As Chair of the Governing Body at South Devon College, it gives me great pleasure to introduce the Annual Report for 2015-16.  This report provides an opportunity to celebrate South Devon College as an ‘Outstanding’ College and what it continues to achieve in partnership with students, staff, governors, schools, employers, friends, other partners and stakeholders. On behalf of the Governing Body I sincerely thank you for your superb support throughout 2015-16.

The College continues to enjoy and sustain its ‘Outstanding’ status and remains a top college, verified by National Achievement Rates, satisfaction indicators and awards.

In 2015-16 we extended our role at the centre of the education and economic skills agenda regionally, working in partnership with the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSWLEP) to continue to raise aspirations and create opportunities to progress into employment and/or higher study. We consolidated our 14+ curriculum offer, working in partnership with the College’s High School, the Devon Studio School, the South Devon University Technical College (UTC) and our Higher Education and other partners. I am delighted that 2015-16 was another ambitious and successful year for the College, a year in which the College strengthened its focus on its core business of continuing to secure and deliver outstanding teaching, learning and learner achievement, building on our excellent Higher Education review the year before. 

The College is ambitious for Torbay and its wider South Devon communities.  To this end, in 2015-16 we worked with our Higher Education Manager, Senior Leadership Team and Governing Body to make necessary changes to governance and teaching quality assurance to enable us to make a submission for Foundation Degree Awarding Status to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in the early part of 2016-17, a development which will enable us to increase our undergraduate Higher Education portfolio in order to develop high quality provision which will meet the economic needs of our local communities. 

The College is an employer of choice and a key contributor to the local economy.  We are delighted to hold the Investors in People Gold Standard since 2014 and now intend to progress with achieving Platinum status which will recognise our commitment to providing the highest quality, supportive learning culture allied to a best practice professional careers information, advice and guidance service. As a large, but values-based employer, the College is also committed to demonstrating good employment practice, with apprentices, trainees and interns contributing to the work and success of the College. This was recognised in winning the Herald Express’s 'Apprentice Employer of the Year' in March 2016.  

The College continues to invest in its Estates and is currently working with local private and public sector partners to secure the on-going development of its Vantage Point campus and regional centres of provision.  With a widely anticipated successful funding bid to the HEFCE, this places the College on a positive trajectory to remain at the heart of success and achievement in its local and regional communities.  It will continue to work in partnership to meet the needs of the communities we serve and deliver the best possible outcomes for all our learners.

In 2015-16 we also invested in additional teaching, learning and support in many areas of the College’s portfolio, including the key priorities of English and maths.

Finally, we have also been proud, in 2015-16, to receive the Association of Accounting Technician’s Training Provider of the Year Award as well as the British Marine Training & Development Award 2016, just two examples of the sector-leading work at South Devon College.