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Case study: Helping diverse learners at Sandwell College 

Read about how CACHE qualifications are helping staff at Sandwell College to ensure learners can achieve their goals one learning outcome at a time. 

Many learners at Sandwell College don’t want to study qualifications with exams. They prefer achieving their goals one learning outcome at a time, and CACHE qualifications allow them to succeed this way. They’re also turning theory into practice through vocational experiences.  

The college has accessed information essential for delivering qualifications quickly, and says the availability, accessibility, adaptability and flexibility of our team makes for a good working relationship.   

Opportunities to progress 

Sandwell, Birmingham has a population of 16 – 18-year olds who aren’t sure which education route to take. They may have struggled with traditionally academic qualifications and want to try alternatives.  

‘‘Our mission is to build a bridge for the gaps within the education system and give opportunities to students who would otherwise be disadvantaged in terms of future life prospects,’’ says Anna Tchamba, Curriculum Lead for Health and Social Care at the college. 

‘‘We want to make sure every young person has the chance to progress career-wise or academically, and achieve a better life.’’ 

Accessible for learners  

The college is delivering the CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. Anna explains: ‘‘It’s more accessible because of the breakdown of learning outcomes. We can welcome learners on an outcome-by-outcome basis, and they don’t have to submit a fully written essay or assignment to pass in a holistic way.’’ 

Learners can achieve goals one step at a time, and they appreciate this. ‘‘We can say ‘this is a big chunk of the assignment. Go and write and bring it back. Then you can move on to the next thing.’ It's very agreeable to most of our learners who don’t want exams.  

‘‘The other key component is that vocational experience. It gives learners the opportunity to get into real work settings and relate theory to practice. They can't lose.’’ 

Adaptable and flexible  

Anna says the college has a great relationship with us. ‘‘There's been constant communication. When we were just starting to deliver the qualification, we needed an overview of what this entailed in terms of teaching, learning and assessment requirements. Our development manager immediately contacted the people who would run the training and support.  

‘‘Our external quality assessor (EQA) attended the initial induction to the qualification, and that showed a level of interest from the organisation really wanting to support us. The relationship with our EQA this academic year has been very supportive. So that availability and accessibility, and adaptability and flexibility, makes for a very good working relationship.’’ 

The qualification is agreeable to most of our learners who don’t want exams. The vocational experience gives them the opportunity to get into real work settings and relate theory to practice. They can’t lose.

Anna Tchamba, Curriculum Lead for Health and Social Care – Sandwell College