CCCG welcomes new board members

Capital City College Group welcomed three new governors on Friday 13 March.

Sanna Jordansson, Sharon Saxton and Anthony Impey have joined the existing board of eleven governors to help bolster our expertise in training and apprenticeships, in line with our aim to become the first choice training provider in the region.

Sanna Jordansson joins us as a board member of young person’s charity Making the Leap, and as Global HR Director for Broadway Maylan. Having built a career around social mobility and finance projects, Sanna makes an important addition to the team with experience of education settings abroad.

Sharon Saxton worked as Group Director of People and Organisation Development at vocational education provider City & Guilds until 2019, and is currently a freelance HR Consultant, Trustee and Leadership Coach. At City & Guilds, Sharon helped increase revenues from £98m to £150m with the design of a new strategy, and joins us with familiarity of the Further Education sector and its challenges.

Anthony Impey has an extensive track record of board and advisory positions in a number of sectors, working to analyse London’s skills shortages, and advising the City & Guilds council on strategy. Anthony’s experience in tech led to the launch of Tech City Stars and Tech Up Nation, providing employer-led training for young Londoners to kick-start a career in technology

We are delighted to welcome our new board members to Capital City College Group.

Principal Kim Caplin bids farewell to Westminster Kingsway College

Kim Caplin bid a final farewell to students and staff on Wednesday 18 March after three years as Principal and seven years as Vice Principal at Westminster Kingsway College, and twenty-eight years in the further education sector.

With a series of successes under her belt, Kim is retiring and plans to spend her time focusing on new interests, including fundraising for the charity Myeloma UK and joining the London Symphony Orchestra Community Choir.

During her time at WestKing, Kim oversaw many pivotal moments in the college’s history, including the opening of the King’s Cross Centre in 2010, attended by alumni Ainsley Harriott, Trevor Nelson and Steve McFadden, winning the Careers and Enterprise Award and three successful Ofsted inspections, where teaching and learning was rated consistently good throughout the college.

Kim said: “Westminster Kingsway College is unique: it is creative, innovative and highly inclusive, with a culture of mutual respect and tolerance throughout staff and student communities. While I was at the college, we produced a Key Stage 4 provision which transforms lives; developed a strong career-focused ethos that won two AOC Beacon Awards for Careers and for Mental Health and become a Careers College for Health & Social Care and Digital Skills. We have developed an award-winning creative media department and a multiple award-winning global Institute of Culinary Arts.

“All of this I will dearly miss, but I feel confident that it will only go from strength to strength as it continues its mission to open minds. Thank you for all the support you have given me and the college over the last 10 years and may the spirit of WestKing continue with passion and success!”

Kim was highly esteemed by colleagues. Gary Hunter, Deputy Principal for Westminster Kingsway College said: “Kim always placed students and learning at the heart of every decision that she made as a leader of WestKing, and I know that the college’s senior managers hold this aspect dear as we take up the challenges of further education into the future. I would personally like to thank Kim for her mentorship and confidence to share her experiences with me, in her support of my development as a senior manager and leader.”

Curriculum Director, Amanda Whelan said, “Kim was a truly inspirational Principal. When she arrived as a Vice Principal, she had a very clear vision and strategy of what she felt the 14-18 provision should be. One of the most important aspects of this was her passion and interest in the type of work I do; the vulnerable low-level learners and the Special Educational Needs (SEN) work in Foundation Learning. This work is unglamorous and largely unnoticed, and I always appreciated her championing of these learners.”

CEO of Capital City College Group, Roy O’Shaughnessy said, “Kim is a consummate professional who represents the best of further education (FE) and inclusive education. Kim has worked tirelessly on behalf of her learners and staff whilst building deep relationships with external stakeholders including local authority partners, local businesses, and civic society. Kim also mentored several of the emerging leaders within the college staff and has seen those individuals progress within the college and move on to senior roles in the larger FE community.

“Since the merger to create Capital City College Group, Kim has worked with her fellow Principals and the other members of the Group Leadership Team to integrate cross-group services whilst also speaking out on behalf of her staff and students, when improvement was required. I am grateful to Kim for the expertise she has provided to me since I joined the organisation, her professional approach and, most importantly, her absolute commitment to our learners and staff.”

Respected by staff and students alike, everyone at Capital City College Group would like to thank Kim for all the hard work and energy that she has tirelessly given, to make Westminster Kingsway College one of the capital’s leading FE institutions.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Updated: 27 March 2020 – 5pm

Following the Government’s announcement on Monday 23 March of more restrictions on people’s movements, all teaching, learning and working is now being delivered online and all our college sites are now closed.

Online delivery of lessons started last week and I am pleased that we have had very positive feedback from staff and students. I am especially impressed with the maturity and commitment displayed by our students during this time and I am confident that together we will maintain our high standard of teaching and learning.

Students that qualify for them will continue to receive their bursary payments, and their Free School Meal allocation will be added in cash to their bursary payments going forward.

Cancellation of Summer exams

We know that the cancellation of this year’s summer exams (including A Levels, GCSEs and other qualifications) is very unsettling and we want to reassure you that affected students will be able to move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, whether that’s starting university, college or sixth form courses, or getting a job or an apprenticeship.

On Friday 20 March, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that it plans – before the end of July – to give each GCSE, A and AS level student a ‘calculated grade’ which reflects their performance as fairly as possible. They will work with the exam boards, and with schools and colleges, to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. And to make sure this is fair for everyone, the Government will provide clear guidance to us on how to do this.

If any student or their parent feels that the calculated grade doesn’t reflects their performance, they will be able to sit an exam once schools and colleges are open again. Students could also choose to sit exams in summer 2021.

Universities have been asked to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.

The Government still has a lot of work to do, and a lot more detail is needed on how all the above will work in practice. They will keep us updated, so when we get more information, we will share it with you.

The Government’s full announcement is available to read here.

If you are studying a vocational qualification, things will be different for you too. For example, Pearson (the awarding body for BTECs) have said: “We feel confident we can award grades for students finishing this academic year by working closely with teachers to collate completed student grades, taking into account student progress on assignments and course work to date and by sampling and verifying student work. We are working to understand the implications of the current context for BTECs and other applied general qualifications and will communicate with learners as soon as we can.”

Staff and student safety is our main priority, and we continue to follow advice from the Government, Public Health England and the Department for Education. We very much hope to be able to reopen our sites as soon as it is safe to do so, but we must take our lead from the Government. We will provide further information as soon as we can, and will keep our college websites and social media feeds updated in the meantime.

Useful links

Thank you for your continued support and keep safe.

Roy O’Shaughnessy
Capital City College Group, Chief Executive