By Sally Alexander, CEO and Group Principal of MK College Group
Merry Christmas to all of our partners, sponsors, employers and supporters from everyone who works at MK College Group!
2022 has been a year of changes, challenges and successes and I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for the partnership and passionate commitment to Fairer Futures.
We’ve seen some real success this year, whether that’s our elite men’s football team winning the Spartan South Midlands League Division 2 Cup in May, to the opening of the Chaffron Centre, providing a hub where businesses and learners can come together and create opportunities for students to gain meaningful employment, and for businesses to grow their skills.
Academically too, there has been fantastic news to report. On GCSE results day, we bucked the trend of national achievement rates, delivering success for hundreds of students in MK. Our GCSE results have kept pace with last year with an achievement rate of over 82%, despite a predicted national fall of 5-10%. This is particularly impressive, given that many students taking the exams at the College will have previously not achieved a pass grade, and now more than 360 students achieved high GCSE results (grade 4-9).
On the 17th November, we celebrated our Graduation in person for the first time since the pandemic and saw 86 of our class of 2022 receive their awards at the Stables, where we were entertained by three of our fantastic student performers.
We’ve seen a focus on innovation as we look at where we can expand and improve our offering to our learners. We announced a partnership with Silverstone to place 30 catering students, alongside the racing circuit’s events team from September 2022 as part of their training. The partnership has become part of the College’s new T-level offering for Catering from September 2023.
We’ve also been one of the first providers of prison education to take advantage of the change in rules that means apprenticeships can now be offered to prisoners. Working with RMF Construction, our Prison Services team had vacancies ready to go when the scheme came into force in October. I hope all our teachers in prisons feel a great sense of pride that the government has taken this decision, because it’s most definitely a reflection of their dedication and professionalism.
Looking forward, there’s more to come next year. We’ve already seen our first Open Event for 2023/24, where more than 1,000 people visited both campuses, and a record number of applications for this early in the year. We’ve won a government contract to raise standards in English and maths. We’ve been awarded a million pounds to run the Greater Than > Network, a scheme which will benefit young people across the south and east of England, across London and the southeast, the east midlands and the east of the country.
I’d like to close my first Christmas message as the CEO and Group Principal by thanking you again for your support through the year and wishing you a very happy and restful Christmas.