Educate North Awards
Oldham Sixth Form College are thrilled to have won the Educate North Awards, Community Engagement Award – HE/FE Sector for all our work covered by the comprehensive Essential Life Skills Project the college supports.
OSFC is dedicated to ensuring that its students lead purposeful and successful lives. The Essential Life Skills project has provided a real impetus to help us achieve this mission over the past few years. The project has allowed the sixth form to be outward facing and build strong, sustainable relationships with local and national groups and individuals that has helped to enhance the lives of so many OSFC students. The college is very proud that the hard work and passion from the team leading on the project has been recognised with the award.
Oldham is currently an Opportunity Area. As a result, Oldham Sixth Form College’s Essential Life Skills project has been developed with the aim of helping students to become more confident, resilient, creative, curious, moneywise and aspirational. With a focus on these skills, and through community-based initiatives, the work recognised by this award has enhanced students potential and opportunities within college and beyond.
As well as investing in a professional style climbing wall, theatre visits and delivering an accredited Equality and Diversity qualification for students, the Essential Life Skills project has sought to raise the cultural and political awareness of OSFC students through a number of high-profile visits. We’ve welcomed the Poets Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage, Minister of State, James Cleverly MP and Sir Keir Starmer MP, Party leader for Labour. We’ve also had the pleasure of hosting Angela Rayner MP on International Women’s Day and Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, who participated in an exclusive Q&A session with students.
Rosie McLaren, Essential Life Skills Coordinator at OSFC, was elated with the news of the award and shared how the project for her goes beyond the fantastic fundraising events and guest speakers she’s had the pleasure of working with: ‘I’ve seen first hand the impact these opportunities have had on so many OSFC students and how opening up conversations around mental health, LGBT+ rights and real world issues has given so many an opportunity for their voice to be heard, recognised and reflected.’
The evidence that the project has had, and continues to have, a positive impact on students is compelling. In both October 2019 and 2020, 80% of our second years progressed to university – an amazing 1648 students. In 2020, this included 154 moving onto a prestigious Russell Group university – the highest in our 27-year history. OSFC will continue to support its students in this way, and they have shown commendable dedication throughout the Coronavirus pandemic when many events and enrichment sessions had to be postponed or adapted onto an online/virtual platform to adhere to the Covid safety measures.