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Celebrating successful beginnings with Priestley College

Preparing for success 

The foundations for Priestley College’s T Level success had been planted long before the first T Level student stepped foot in the classroom in September 2020. Keen to maximise the wealth of support available to them throughout the 12 months leading up to their delivery, staff and tutors at the college engaged with various CPD and training events. This included attending online and in-person sessions hosted by NCFE, the Education Training Foundation, and the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute). In addition, the college delivered their own parent and student engagement events to explain these new Technical Qualifications, the course structure, and the progression opportunities that they offered.  

In the lead up to their T Level launch, the college had also already begun proactively reaching out to local employers to discuss T Levels. Through these conversations, the college was able to further expand its network of prospective placement settings, gauge interest, and demonstrate the value that industry placements could offer. 

  

Adapting and collaborating 

As the pandemic progressed and stricter lockdown measures were introduced, many private early years settings were forced to close. This included several private day nurseries that had agreed to offer industry placements to the T Level students at Priestley College. The college’s early preparations ensured it was in a strong position to quickly react to this challenge. By reaching out to its well-established network of providers, the college was able to secure new placements for all of its T Level students - at schools and preschool - whose doors remained open to cater for children cared for by key workers.   

This ensured the students were able to gain the vital hands-on experience they need to underpin their theoretical understanding.   

  

Ensuring successful outcomes 

Before carrying out their placements, each T Level student was provided with a thorough induction with a focus on maintaining professional standards. The college also carried out additional face-to-face visits to support the students in building professional relationships. These visits offered an opportunity for the students to gain a full understanding of their placement setting’s individual COVID safety guidelines, helping to ensure students felt safe and confident before their placement began.  

  

From students to key workers 

It has never been more apparent how essential highly trained Childcare and Education practitioners are to our society. Through their industry placements, Priestly College’s T Level students were able to work side-by-side with key workers and gain a unique insight into the impact a career in the sector can have. The feedback from providers was glowing, with many commenting on how vital the students had been in supporting them during such an incredibly challenging time.  

  

T Levels with NCFE 

To find out more about T Levels visit ncfe.org.uk/t-levels  

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