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the curriculum

Staff wellbeing:

How we’re

supporting you


plan: Your




the driver



Hello, everyone

Welcome to the third edition of ONE – the newsletter

that gives us the opportunity to share some of the

incredible things happening across The City of

Liverpool College.

Get in touch


Phone: 0151 252 3000

Email: emma.walsh@liv-coll.ac.uk

Twitter: @COLCollege

Instagram: @COLCollege

Design: Agent.

Editorial: Agent.


No part of this magazine may be

reproduced in whole or in part

without written permission of the

distributor. The articles in this

magazine are for informational

purposes only. The City of

Liverpool College assumes no

liability or responsibility for any

inaccurate, delayed or incomplete

information; nor for any actions

taken in reliance thereon. The

information contained about each

individual event or organisation has

been provided by such individual,

event organiser or organisation

with permission. The opinion

expressed in each article is the

opinion of the author and does not

necessarily reflect the opinion of

The City of Liverpool College.


It goes without saying that the past couple of years

have been challenging for everyone, and I want to start

with a huge thank you to each and every one of you for

continuing to persevere and pull together as a team. It

cannot be overstated just how valuable your hard work

and dedication have been in ensuring our College has

been able to continue providing students with the best

possible experience.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve been proud to

see how much our teams have supported one another,

overcoming adversity to embody our ‘One College, One

Mindset’ ethos. I truly believe that if we can overcome

everything the last two years have thrown at us and come

out of the other side stronger, there are no limits to what

we can achieve. The pandemic has reshaped our world in

ways with which we are going to have to grapple for a long

time, but I’m confident that we’ll rise to the challenge.

In this edition of ONE, we hear from Debbie Walsh, HR

Business Partner, on how we’re continuing to support

staff wellbeing; why it’s so important, and how we will

continue to do so, learning from the past two years.

You’ll hear about individual student journeys and our new

strategic plan, setting out our ambitions for the College

for the next five years – something I hope you’ll be as

excited by as I am. We also speak to Jen Schears, who

is a great example of how our staff are contributing to

the College becoming an inclusive, diverse anti-racist

ally organisation, with her work on decolonising the


In addition, we’re incredibly proud to share images of our

refurbished Academy Restaurant, following the work that

was done over the summer. I’m sure you’ll agree it looks

amazing – and I know I’m not the only one who has taken

the opportunity to see our students in action and enjoy

the incredible food they offer. Plus, some brilliant news

for Executive Chef, Ian Jaundoo! We also introduce a

number of new team members and share some exciting

promotions across the College.

Remember, ONE is your newsletter, so get in touch if you

have any stories you want to share with us. You can send

us your stories by emailing emma.walsh@liv-coll.ac.uk.

Thank you.

Elaine Bowker

Principal and Chief Executive



Getting to know...

Lauren Smith, Mental Health Advisor

How long have “I began my role at the College

“provide psychoeducation, coping

What does a “A typical day generally starts with

“someone on standby for when a

you been at The just over a year ago, which was

strategies and techniques, and a safe

typical day in checking my appointments for the

student needs urgent support – this

City of Liverpool a time when we were all working

space for the student to work through

your job look day and reminding students they

could be a student who’s having a

College? and studying from home, so this

their issues. We liaise with tutors and

like? have assessments or appointments

psychotic episode, has self-harmed

meant adapting to new ways of

teachers so that other professionals

booked. For our younger students,

or is expressing suicidal ideation.

communicating and supporting

involved with the student’s education

the transition from school to college

If this is the case, then we have

students. How we work has changed

can support the individual and are

comes with a greater degree of

flexibility to attend the site the

a lot in the last two years, so it’s been

better equipped to put into place any

independence, and with this comes

student is based at so that we can

a journey having to navigate new

recommendations for classroom

being accountable for your own

assist until they receive external

ways of supporting people.”


development. This is something

mental health crisis support.”

students can initially need a little

What does your “I work in the mental health team,

“Where appropriate, we work

extra support with.

Who else sits in “The Wellbeing Team is comprised

role involve? which is part of a larger wellbeing

alongside external mental health

your team and of mental health, counselling

team. My role involves working

professionals to ensure our students

“From here, I will see students for what do they do? and safeguarding. The team has

closely with students on a one-to-one

are supported and given the best

mental health assessments or oneto-one

expanded across all three areas over

and group level, to listen, understand

opportunity to thrive both in and

support sessions throughout

the last year, giving us more flexibility

and support those who are struggling

outside of college.

the day. I’ll be monitoring what new

with how we support our students

with their mental health, to minimise

referrals are being sent in and making

and a larger presence across the five

the impact this has on their learning

“We also support students who are

initial contact with new students to

College campuses.

and to promote wellbeing and

in crisis. It is our duty to safeguard

arrange face to face support. It can

personal development.

and protect our students, so when a

be quite daunting for a young person

The mental health team works

student is in crisis and needs urgent

to reach out for help, especially if

closely with the safeguarding team

“We assess the student’s current

support, we are there to ensure they

it’s for the first time, so introducing

to protect and empower our more

mental health and the presenting

receive the right help.”

ourselves in the right way is really

vulnerable students, so that they are

issue, whether it be anxiety,


equipped to make positive choices to

depression or another mental health

enhance their overall wellbeing and

concern. From there we’ll work with

“Within the mental health team,

their educational experience.

the student on a one-to-one level to

we share responsibility for a duty


rota, which means there is always



What is your top


What do you

enjoy most

about your job?

“We will often refer to and receive

referrals from the counselling service,

so that the individual can gain

therapeutic intervention in multiple

different ways, depending on the

nature of the concern.”

“Our top priority is making sure

students are safe and empowered to

improve their overall mental health.

There has been such a cultural

emphasis on improving mental health

in recent years, which has helped to

break down a lot of old stigmas. We

still have a long way to go, but we

aim to inform our students that if

they do need help, they can without a

doubt reach out and talk to someone.

Improving and maintaining good

mental health is an ongoing process,

and so our priority is to promote this

and support it in every way possible.”

“The positive impact I can make on

a person’s life. I think it’s a privilege

to get so close to someone’s internal

world and to be able to guide and

coach someone through their issues,

so that they are better equipped to

Why is it

important for the

College to have

mental health


make new choices and feel different.

When a student has made progress

and they’re embodying their version

of success, it has a ripple effect on

everyone around them, and I really

enjoy that.”

“Statistically, half of all adults

struggling with mental health

experienced their first struggles

before the age of 14. One in six

children struggle with mental health,

and the compounding impact

of the pandemic and lockdowns

means we’re still yet to see the

long-term consequences on young

people’s wellbeing. Education is the

foundation of empowerment, yet the

process of learning takes place when

a student is in a healthy and positive

mindset. It’s vital that we take a

holistic approach to education, and

this means supporting the individual

to achieve and succeed in all ways,

not just academically.”

Can you share

an example

of something

you’ve been

really proud of

during your time

at the College?

What is the plan

for the future of

your team?

“I set up group meditation sessions

last year. This was on a drop-in

basis, at a set time each week.

Students could turn up to learn

about mindfulness practices and

meditation, and then engage in a

20-minute meditation session. It was

great to see students turn up and

express an interest in preventative

work, as is this so important in

maintaining our mental wellbeing.”

“As the team has recently expanded

and we have a larger capacity to work

in different ways, we are soon to start

delivering workshops across each

site. These group sessions will be

focusing on different themes each

week, such as anxiety, depression,

motivation vs procrastination, sleep

hygiene and stress. These sessions

are open to all students to attend and

aim to educate and offer solutions to

these issues.

How can people

get support?

“We are also in the process of

creating a mental health podcast,

with editing support from some of

the media students. Students will be

able to tune in and listen to episodes

relating to different mental health

issues and how to manage this. We

hope to invite guest speakers in the

future and discuss a whole range of

mental health and self-development


“Students who wish to be referred

into the mental health team can do

so by speaking with their progress

leaders or teachers – there is a

referral form to complete by logging

onto CPOMS.

“Alternatively, if the student wishes

to self-refer, they can email us at


Students who wish to attend

preventative workshops across the

different sites can drop in when

they wish to – keep an eye out

for the workshop posters with the

information about dates and times.”

6 7





Could you tell us

a bit about your


“I am currently working permanently

on site between two large schemes in

the city centre of Liverpool to change

the Strand outside the Liver building

and outside of St George’s Hall/ Lime

Street Station. My role on site is to

keep a site diary and check on the

general progress of the schemes,

problem solving for example finding

unexpected underground services

and on-site drawing changes on


What has the

support been like

from The City of

Liverpool College

during your


What are your

plans for the


“The support from the college has

been great I have had regular visits

and contact from my NVQ assessor

and the teachers have always been


“My plans for the future are to finish

my HNC and hopefully continue

to university to get a degree, after

this I will then be going on to get

recognised as a chartered engineer

and hopefully become a project

manager at Amey.”


Meet the Employer


We have a long-standing partnership with The Sovini

Group, providing skilled apprentices across a range

of trades. We caught up with Chloe Ellison, Head of

Organisational Development, about apprenticeships.

We are incredibly proud to be Liverpool’s leading provider of apprenticeships,

helping hundreds of people to start their careers across a wide range of

industries every year, and helping businesses find incredible people to help

them grow.

Our unrivalled industry links, state-of-the-art workshops

and facilities, expert tutors (many of whom started their

career as an apprentice!) and fantastic support, mean our

apprentices have the chance to gain the knowledge, skills

and experience needed to be successful in their careers.

It’s a really exciting time to be an apprentice at The City of

Liverpool College – a huge amount of work has been done

to diversify our offer, broadening our subject sectors and

the levels we cover, and we continue to grow this. There

has also been significant investment in our facilities at

Vauxhall Road, which look fantastic.

In addition, we have created an integrated approach

between our practical and theory teaching techniques –

we’ve had some incredible feedback from our students on

this new delivery method.

The apprenticeships we offer can benefit individuals and

employers alike. Here, we share a couple of examples of

the success stories we’ve seen so far.

Meet the Apprentice

David McComb is a Level 4 Construction Site Engineering

Technician with construction company, Amey. Here, he

shares more about his role and his apprenticeship journey

so far.

Why did you

decide to

undertake an


How long have

you been at the


“I decided to do an apprenticeship so

that I could learn skills both inside

of college and outside in a job role

in the industry I had chosen. Also

being paid to learn and work is also

a bonus.”

“ I have worked at Amey for over

three years now and started as an

apprentice at 21 years old on a Level

3 course. Since finishing my Level 3

BTEC I have gone on to start a level

4 HNC in Civil Engineering at the


How long have

you been taking

on apprentices

from The City


and shape our leaders for the future.”


of Liverpool


What kind

of roles do

you recruit

apprentices for?

Why do you think

it’s important

to take on


“We have been working with The

City of Liverpool College for many

years. We have built positive

working relationships with senior

management to ensure we are

able to shape and enhance our

apprenticeship programme.”

“Mainly in Gas, Joinery, Painting

and Decorating and Plastering.

However, we do offer a wide range

of apprenticeships opportunities in

additional areas such as, business

admin and HR to Finance and Sales.”

“As the UK’s Best Place to Work 2020,

The Sovini Group proudly supports

and invests in apprentices each year.

We support individuals to fulfil their

potential, develop professionally and

personally and to ensure they are

able to learn key life skills that will

transform their lives. Our bespoke

programme enables us to develop

a motivated, skilled and qualified

workforce. This helps with workforce

planning which allows us to mould

What kind of

opportunities do

you offer after

their training?

“Our main aim is to offer permanent

positions upon completion of the

apprenticeship. We have a really

high success rate of apprentices

who complete their apprenticeship

remaining with the organisation.

“Here are some more of the brilliant

apprentices who have started

their career journeys with us at the


“If you know someone who

would be interested in doing an

apprenticeship, we have a number

of vacancies currently available,

including pharmacy, joinery, business

administration, hairdressing,

construction crafts and plumbing,

from Level 2, all the way up to degreelevel.

You can see the full list of

current vacancies here.

For more information, email



Alan Horton:

Gaming his way into the digital industry

We caught up with Alan Horton, who studied on our HND Games Design course,

about his current role at leading Liverpool-based games developer Lucid

Games. Alan talks to us about his experiences of the College and attending

Game Jams, which helped him break into the industry…

Above: EGX 2019 Gaming Event

When did you study at the College?

“I studied at the College from September 2016 to June

2018, enlisting as a mature student on the Higher National

Diploma (HND) in Games Design. The course had 16

modules in total, covering all areas of games design from

animation, programming, character creation, modelling

and much more.”

How did the College prepare you for

your role now?

“When I first started the qualification, I was unsure about

which area of games design I wanted to move into but

having a lot of modules covering all the different areas of

games design helped me narrow down and find an area I

wanted to focus on for my career.”

What was the support like at College?

“The support I received at the College was great. I have

dyslexia and that put me off going back into education for

years. My tutors and support staff helped me with writing

essays and blogs, which in turn helped me to become

more confident.”

What were the opportunities like?

“The gaming industry is very competitive and is hard

to get into. I found entering competitions, going to

networking events and joining projects was extremely

beneficial to my development. It helps you to get noticed

within the industry but also helps you to improve your

skills in your chosen specialism.”

Could you tell us a bit about the ‘Game

Jams’ and how they helped you to get


“Game Jams are a great way to work on your skills within

a limited timeframe. They can last anywhere from 24

hours to a couple of months and usually involve a team of

up to five people. Within your teams and the designated

time period, you’re required to develop a game based on a

theme provided. Everything is usually made from scratch

and by the end of the jam you will have a small playable

game. I’ve entered a number of these before getting into

the industry properly and was lucky enough to win one

of them.”

What is your role now?

“I’m currently employed as a technical designer at Lucid

Games in Liverpool. Usually, part of a production design

team, a technical designer is a game or level designer by

training and is known for their technical skills. It’s my job

to create and implement complex technical and system

design elements into the game.”

What are your greatest achievements

so far?

“My greatest achievements so far have been getting a

job in an industry that I absolutely love, winning the Game

Jam and having the game shown on Channel 5’s The

Gadget Show. I’m also very proud of a game I created with

my friends that we showcased at EGX 2019.”

What things do you enjoy about

working in the digital/gaming


“I enjoy being part of the creative process and producing

something that many people will see, play and enjoy.”

Do you have any advice for students

interested in digital careers?

“If you’re interested in a subject, try it. Like most things

you might find it difficult at first but keep practicing and

learning about your subject and you will no doubt improve

over time.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Alan’s work,

click here.”

Above: Iron Impact - A Third-Person Video Game

10 11


Below: Jen Schears


the curriculum

Jen Schears, former City of Liverpool

College student and History &

Education Lecturer in our Access

department, has recently done some

important work to diversify our offer

for students when it comes to the

history curriculum.

We spoke to Jen about her plans for the course and just

why decolonising the curriculum is so important.

When did this work start for you?

“When I was interviewed for my current position, I

remember being asked “what will you bring to the Access

department?” and I said that my aim was to bring more

diversity and inclusivity to the study of history. So, the

idea started when I first got the job, but as I was a newly

qualified teacher, I wanted to find my feet first before

embarking on this ambition as it was important to me to

get it right.

“I began the planning and research for the course in 2019

and was liaising with one of the history moderators from

Ascentis, the awarding body, working closely with her to

try to ensure that the content I wanted to deliver could

be applied to the subject set. Once that was confirmed

in June 2020, I was able to select the ‘exploring history’

subject set for the following academic year of

September 2020.”

What prompted it?

“I am a former Access student who studied at the

College myself and I studied History, English Literature

and American studies. I had always loved history and

the American studies course was excellent as it offered

a diverse curriculum that I had never studied before.

Studying the US Civil Rights movement ignited my interest

in learning about the injustices and inequalities that Black

people have endured.

“I went on to study this in more depth in university,

selecting modules such as transatlantic slavery, British

colonialism, the exploitation of Black people in film

and the US Civil Rights movement to name a few. My

academic studies and my own further research have

motivated a strong passion and desire within me to share

my knowledge of this example of history that is not so

widely taught.”

How did you put your idea into practice and how has the

College supported you?

“I presented my idea to the Deputy Head of Access, Liam

James, who was so supportive and with me 100 per cent.

Liam has ensured that I have had access to the time

and resources that I needed to create the content for the

course. He has also kept me motivated as creating the

course has been a long and challenging process with

hours and hours of research and planning, so his support

and encouragement has been invaluable in enabling me to

create the course that I wanted.

“The Senior Leadership Team have also been very

supportive as I was given the budget to purchase books

and online resources to support my own research and

the students’ wider learning, demonstrating the College’s

commitment to this work. The librarians have also been

so helpful by emailing me useful links to materials for the

students to access.”

What is your overall aim for the work you are doing?

What do you hope it will achieve?

“My overall aim is to educate students on the more

controversial periods of British, African and American

history that are typically hidden from history curriculums

in schools. I hope that the study of slavery and

colonialism will enable students to understand the origins

of racism and how it was used to justify the accumulation

of wealth for a minority of people both in Britain,

and America.

“I hope that students will begin to understand the impact

that racism has had on society and the Black and Asian

communities. I believe that racism in the modern day is

perpetuated through ignorance and at its worst extreme,

through feelings of superiority and hatred.

“The study of history can help to remove the ignorance

part of this dynamic. Knowledge is power and I intend

to empower the students who come into the access

history classrooms with the truth, which will hopefully

motivate them to challenge racial injustice whenever they

encounter it, as it is only by challenging inequality that we

can make real changes in society.”

What does decolonising the curriculum mean to you and

why is it so important?

“Decolonising the history curriculum means giving a voice

to those who are not represented in history curriculums

in Britain. It means not looking at history with a top-down

approach that portrays it as the result of decisions made

by ‘dead white men’.

“Britain has been a multi-racial country for centuries. For

example, Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in

Europe and there was also a large community of Black

people living in England during the Elizabethan era, as

evidenced by Miranda Kauffman’s research in her book

Black Tudors: The Untold Story.

“So, this begs the question: why are history curriculums

in schools not celebrating this diversity and bringing the

stories of those Britons from different racial groups into

the history curriculums? I would argue it is because the

most researched British historical events that involve

Black people, for example, are periods of time such as the

era of transatlantic slavery and British colonialism, which

reveal the darker side of British history.

“This history needs to be taught to bring this into the light.

It is wrong to not include these histories in curriculums as

it denies all students the ability to understand their shared

history and learn from the mistakes made in the past.

This is one of the key objectives of the study of history:

to understand the present through the study of the past.

How can we understand racism that still exists today if

we do not know how it originated? Decolonising history

curriculums sheds light on this and is so important to

create positive changes for the future.”

Why is it important that we decolonise curriculum

outside of history?

“I think it is essential that we begin to decolonise all

curriculums outside of history. We live in a very diverse

city that is a melting pot of all different races and cultures

and our curriculums should celebrate this by integrating

the study of Black and Asian culture, through literature,

authors, theorists and other cultural forms such as music,

fashion and dance.

“Our students should feel that their race and culture

are being represented in what they are learning,

which will in turn make them feel more included in their

learning journeys.”

What do you want to do next?

“I am really looking forward to next year as we plan to

form a strong relationship with the International Slavery

Museum and students will be taken there to explore the

primary sources in the museum and receive guided tours.

“Additionally, I am hoping to get some further enrichment

activities organised such as inviting expert speakers to

share their insight with students. I also plan to arrange

places on Laurence Westgaph’s guided tours which

he does around the city, to allow students to observe

the historical legacy of slavery that is present in the

monuments and buildings of Liverpool, as well as gaining

valuable insight into Liverpool’s role in slavery through

Laurence’s extensive knowledge.

“I would like to use as many resources and platforms as

possible to make the delivery of the course interactive and

engaging for students. History does not need to be taught

solely in a classroom, especially when we are here in

Liverpool, which is so rich in primary sources and its own

diverse history.”




Tackling the driver shortage

After winning a competitive tender

process, we’re delighted to have

begun delivering Skills Bootcamps

in HGV driving, in partnership with

Northwest Education and Training Ltd

(NWEAT), to help bridge the HGV skills

gap, which has been estimated at

100,000 drivers across the country.

The Skills Bootcamps have been commissioned by the

Department for Education to support with the training

and licencing of HGV drivers, in a quick response to the

national shortage in the road haulage industry. According

to reports, because of the shortages, salaries have

increased to attract new drivers, with typical wages now

between £35,000 and £50,000.

The Bootcamps are part of our work towards addressing

the needs of employers and the wider economy, delivering

targeted interventions to meet demands to fill vacancies

and drive productivity.

What’s even better is that each trainee will be offered a

guaranteed interview with an employer on completion of

the course.

It’s great to be able to deliver this training in a sector that

needs support, especially with the shortages this vital

sector is currently facing. It is incredibly important that, as

a college, we play our role in getting people the skills they

need to be ready for the world of work, so it’s fantastic

that we’re able to provide this opportunity.

The Bootcamps are available to anyone who has no,

or limited, prior experience. The training includes CPC

training and verification, theory, hazard perception and

case studies, practical training and a guaranteed interview

on completion of the course.

If you know of anyone who would benefit from this

training, please send them our way!

14 15


Staff wellbeing: How we’re

supporting you

After the challenges of the last two years, it’s never been more important for us

to look after our mental health, check in with each other and provide support

wherever we can.

We spoke to HR Business Partner, Debbie Walsh, about the initiatives that we have in place at The City of Liverpool

College to ensure the wellbeing of staff at the College, and just why providing support is so important.

What initiatives are in place to support the wellbeing of

staff at the COLC?

“We have a comprehensive and professionally delivered

Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in place. The

service, Validium, offers a wide range of support methods

for staff.

“This independent and confidential service supports

staff through any crisis they may be facing or persistent

work and personal issues, with highly experienced and

professionally trained counsellors.

“In addition to mental health and wellbeing advice,

staff can also access guidance on debt, health and

legal matters. The service offers online and telephone

support 24/7, as well as structured counselling support

sessions. The freephone number to access is 0800 358

4858 or online via www.validium.com. The VClub app is

also available via AppStore and Google Play. When first

accessing the service, employees will need username

CoLC and password eap4support.

“We have also partnered with Remploy, a service that

offers workplace mental health support services. This

service is available to any employee of the College in

permanent or temporary employment who has a mental

health condition that is either preventing them from

being in work or making work difficult. This structured

workplace support programme is in place for a ninemonth

period and provides individuals with coping

strategies and a wellbeing plan.

For additional information on this service, staff can call

0300 456 8114 or email a2wmhss@remploy.co.uk.”

Has the approach to staff wellbeing changed as a result

of the Covid-19 pandemic?

“Yes, we have always had the support available to staff

and provided encouragement for individuals to talk with

colleagues and line managers, but the pandemic has

changed the way we communicate and promote the

services that are available. The use of digital platforms to

share content and encourage discussions has enabled us

to get messages out to all staff, ensuring support is easily

accessible and regularly publicised.”

With many staff working from home over the past year,

has this impacted the way in which staff are supported?

“I personally feel it is harder to ‘check in’ with others

when working remotely, as you do not have the same

face to face interaction, bumping into others in corridors

or having conversations in the staff room. It is harder to

spot when someone may be struggling when you don’t

see them regularly, which is why I always make a point

of speaking directly to people where possible rather than

relying on email communications. Asking someone how

they are often leads to a response of “fine”, “okay” or

“busy”, but taking a moment to ask the same question

again – #asktwice – can give people an opportunity to

open up and reach out for support.”

Why is supporting the wellbeing of staff so important to

you personally?

“I have struggled personally in the past with my mental

health, and it took me a long time to appreciate the

importance of asking for help, understanding that

sometimes it is okay to not be okay. I now choose to talk

openly about my personal experience and became

a Mental Health First Aider in the hope that doing

so would encourage others who may be struggling,

to seek assistance.”

Why is supporting the wellbeing of staff beneficial for

the COLC as an employer?

“Having a proactive approach to wellbeing provides

many benefits to employers. Staff who feel valued and

are listened to are more likely to be engaged and to work

together positively to best support our students. Having

the right wellbeing strategies in place can help to increase

staff resilience, improve attendance and retention.

“The benefits to individual staff, however, are the most

important. We all spend a substantial amount of our

time at work and doing this in a supportive and inclusive

workplace provides us with an environment where we can

be happy and thrive.”

Can you tell us about plans for the future to continue to

support staff wellbeing? Are new initiatives being put

in place?

“Last year, we launched a brand new online Wellbeing

Hub, which is accessible to all staff through the College

SharePoint. The Hub provides access to wellbeing

support materials as well as training sessions, and we’re

always adding new information and resources.

“We have recently introduced FIKA, which is a mental

fitness skills development platform that is available to

all staff and students. There is now a FIKA e-learning

module which is accessible on ‘My Professional Learning’

platform. This module is an excellent introduction for

those who wish to use this app to build and maintain their

mental fitness.

“In addition, we will be looking to introduce wellbeing

coaches across all centres to support staff wellbeing

and offer additional mental health first aid support.

“Mental Health First Aiders are a point of contact if any

member of staff or someone they are concerned about

is experiencing a mental health issue or emotional

distress. The Mental Health First Aiders are not therapists

or psychiatrists, but they can give initial support and

signpost to appropriate help if needed.

Any staff who would like to refresh their Mental Health

First Aider skills or would like additional information on

how they can become a wellbeing coach should contact

me directly at debbie.walsh@liv-coll.ac.uk.”

If staff need support, what should they do?

“In addition to the employee assistance programme and

workplace mental health support services detailed above,

staff can contact our internal Mental Health First Aiders;

debbie.walsh@liv-coll.ac.uk, spencer.brew@liv-coll.ac.uk

and anthony.dunne@liv-coll.ac.uk.”


Debbie Walsh,

HR Business Partner

16 17


Social media and

press highlights

Here we share some recent highlights

from our social media channels and

in the press, sharing how we’ve been

keeping people up to date with news,

events and information from across

The City of Liverpool College,


February was a busy month across our social media

channels! We celebrated National Apprenticeship Week,

Children’s Mental Health Week and Race Equality Week. It

was also LGBTQ History Month. We took the opportunity

to share some of our students’ incredible stories and the

initiatives we have in place at the College.

We celebrated World Hijab Day, with our Student Union hosting a stall to

educate people about the hijab and why it is so important. We love it when

our students share and learn about each other’s cultures.


We were incredibly proud of our students who took part in a photography

competition with Morgan Sindall – they produced some amazing work!

Our own Helen Farrow, Head of School, Hair & Beauty shared some of the

fantastic courses we have to offer, ahead of the new year.

It’s always amazing to see our students supporting worthy causes in their

spare time. These students raised an incredible £423.66 for Marie Curie!

During the festive period, which can be a difficult time for so many, we invited

Liverpool’s homeless community into the College, where our students were

able to offer free haircuts and beauty treatments, as well as refreshments. It’s

so important that we give back to the community wherever we can.

We opened the doors to prospective students in December, inviting them to

learn more about what we can offer and what life at the College is like – it

was a fantastic turn out!

We announced the launch of our HGV Skills Bootcamps, as part of the

Government’s drive to bridge the HGV driver skills gap, which is estimated at

around 30,000.

If you have something you’d like us to share on social media, such as an

example of exceptional student work, collaboration, innovation, or a success

story, we want to hear from you! Please get in touch with Emma Walsh at




A new look for the

Academy Restaurant

We are so excited to have completed a full refurbishment

of our student-run Academy Restaurant!

We are so excited to have completed a full refurbishment

of our student-run Academy Restaurant over the summer!

This is the first time the restaurant has been refurbished

since it opened at Duke Street in 2002, so it has been a

long time coming.

The College commissioned ABW Architects to design the

new restaurant to provide our students and customers

with a space that is current, modern and reflects the same

level of quality that is expected from the industry and that

is seen in other high calibre restaurants.

We now have a restaurant that has an impressive, modern

look with top of the range equipment, which will enable

our students to learn and train in first class surroundings.

The new space looks incredible, and it has been fantastic

to welcome guests back into the space for lunch, dinner,

functions and special occasions. It’s proving to be very

popular, so get in there quick and book a table!

The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday – Friday:

12.00 – 2.00pm and a special Tasting Menu dinner is

available every Thursday evening: 6.00 – 9.00pm

The restaurant has some exciting new features such as

viewing windows into the kitchen to allow customers to

see our talented trainee chefs in action, and a top bar

made from sustainable, reconstituted concrete sourced

from Granby Stone, a local Liverpool company.

Click here to book a table.

In more good news, we would like to congratulate our

own Executive Chef, Ian Jaundoo, who has become the

first chef in Liverpool to be inaugurated as a Disciple of

Escoffier. Ian joins this prestigious association which

is dedicated to promoting the cooking profession in

educational establishments – what an achievement!




Strategic Plan:

Your questions answered

The strategic plan, launched last year,

will be really important for us over the

next five years, acting as the anchor

which drives us forward, setting out

our ambitions and aspirations for

the future.

Here, our Principal, Elaine Bowker, answers some of our

most frequently asked questions about the strategic plan

and how we can all work together to achieve our goals.

How was the strategic plan created?

“There are a number of factors that have come together

to create the contents of this plan. The common themes

that feature in the strategic plan had been coming up for

some time through conversations we had been having

with people from across the organisation, as well as the

pandemic bringing into sharper focus the things we need

to be focusing on. We’ve also got to know the College at

a more granular level through the transformation work

we have been doing across the organisation, which has

allowed us to get to know our students and our staff

much better, and their needs and priorities.

“As well as gathering insights internally, we also looked

at the external landscape in terms of government policy,

local economic policy and the themes emerging across

industry – all of which have combined to inform the plan.

“We had also worked with governors to develop the

strategy, focusing on ensuring that our vision and purpose

moving forward is one that we can all support.”

Why does the College have a strategic plan? What is its


“It’s the golden thread that runs through our organisation,

from the Board to every individual member of staff. There

isn’t anything else that is so consistent and relevant to

each and every person within the College.

“It’s where we set out who we are, what we stand for,

what’s important to us and what our priorities are. It’s our

guiding principle and our common purpose that we can all

contribute to. We’re putting it out to the world to say: ‘this

is who we are, and this is what we stand for’.”

How do you hope we’ll achieve these goals for the


“We will be implementing an actionable plan which looks

at what we can be doing now, in one year’s time, in three

years and in five years. This will be relevant to everyone

– everyone across the College will know what their

contribution is, and how they can help make it happen, as

well as how it all fits together.

“It isn’t something that will happen overnight, and there

are already some really important things happening that

will contribute, but it’s vital that we put the right building

blocks in place so that we can deliver our strategic plan

well, and with confidence. It’s not just about what we

deliver – the order in which we deliver it is fundamental

to its success, too, so that we can build on what’s gone

before and has the maximum impact as part of our

longer-term vision.”

What can individuals do to help towards the strategic


“Our strategic plan is centred around our learners, so

we want to get really close to our students. We want to

understand the holistic student and we want to be able to

respond as a holistic organisation, so that as they move

through the College, we all understand the needs of that

particular student.

“We know that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach –

each and every one of our students has different needs,

and that doesn’t just apply to the curriculum. So, get to

know your learners to find ways that work better for them,

and speak to colleagues across the College about how we

can do things differently, to meet those needs.”

What has been done so far?

“Every day I see more changes that are happening as a

result of the strategic plan, which is fantastic. People are

thinking and talking about what they can do and how they

can contribute.

“One of our priorities under our strategic enabler, ‘turning

disadvantage into advantage’, is around the need for the

attuned classroom. With the Liverpool Way, we’ve looked

at research informed strategies that help students to

catch up on missed and interrupted learning. We’ve also

looked at best practice to help the social and emotional

aspects that students are having to come to terms with,

so that the classroom itself is helping students through

the environment, the attitude of the teacher etc.

“We’ve also been doing a huge amount of work around

equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) through our EDI

strategy group, which involves people from across

the College and also sees us working with external

organisations to accelerate our progress in that area.

More recently, we have had feedback from staff who have

shared that they’re delighted about the work that’s going

on, but we haven’t been sharing that work as much as

we would like, so you’ll be seeing much more of it going


“There are so many more examples, such as our work

toward overcoming digital poverty during the pandemic

and our response to safeguarding and mental health

support. We can see aspects of this plan coming alive.

“We know that there’s so much happening across the

College, but we also need to be sharing that work, so that

everyone can feel part of it – this is something we’re going

to be doing much more of.”

How does the strategic plan impact staff?

“This strategic plan impacts all of us, at every level, across

all aspects of the College. Part of the way in which we’ll

achieve our goals is by actively questioning everything we

do with compassion, and that includes questioning each

other, but also ourselves, becoming critical thinkers.

“It’s really important that we become more conscious

when we carry out our work – whether it’s being conscious

of our learners or their circumstances, or the ramifications

this might have later down the line.

“It can be really hard, when you’re busy and you have a

long to-do list to tick off, to think about the bigger picture

– but it’s really important that we all take time to do this,

to reach that next level and truly make that transformative

change and have an impact.

“We want our students to have a positive experience with

every part of the College that they interact with, so we

need to work together to make that happen.

“So, please talk about the strategic plan with your

colleagues and in team meetings – bring it alive and

consider how you might be able to help improve the way

we work as an organisation.”

Where should people go if they have questions or want to

get involved?

“If you have any questions or want to learn more about

how you can get involved, speak to your manager, or

contact me directly – I really want to hear what people

have to say and the more people who are actively

involved, the more we can achieve together.

“The feedback that we have had following the launch of

the strategic plan has been overwhelmingly positive. Our

staff and stakeholders are excited about it, which is so

important. It’s authentic and it reflects what we all want

The City of Liverpool College to be.”

22 23


Building the next

generation of talent

In some very exciting news, we’ve re-opened our ground-breaking Construction

Hub at Collingwood Dock – welcoming employers and learners back to the site.

The Hub, which was forced to close its doors during the

Covid-19 pandemic, was originally launched in 2019 after

we were successful with our bid for a CITB construction

Hub, to help employers gain access to the skills they need.

Through the Hub, employers have the opportunity to

find the talent they need for their business, as well as

upskilling their existing teams. In addition, learners have

the chance to work with high-profile contractors such

as Laing O’Rourke and Lovell Homes, as well as gaining

access to level one, two and three study programmes,

Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National

Diploma (HND) programmes, part-time programmes for

adults and opportunities for ACS Gas Accreditation.

We’re working in partnership with Liverpool Waters, Peel

L&P’s £5 billion waterfront development scheme, to reopen

the Hub and welcome learners back to Collingwood

Dock. By working together, we’ll enable employers to

find their future workforce, as well as giving learners the

opportunity to work closely with, and in the environment

of, Liverpool’s growing construction industry.




The strategic plan in action:

strengthening our leadership team

The faces behind

our new roles

To support our future ambitions

and help drive forward our Strategic

Plan, we’ve welcomed a number of

new team members over the past

few months, as well as seeing some

changes to our existing team who,

alongside everyone at the College, will

be fundamental to helping us achieve

our goals.

In January, we were excited to welcome Monica Chavez,

who joined us from the University of Liverpool as Director

of Social and Cultural Curriculum. This is a priority area

of focus for us, which we think has the potential to be

transformative for our students, linked directly to our

Strategic Plan. Monica’s role will be fundamental to giving

our students the social and cultural capital to be able to

thrive in their environments.

We’ve also welcomed Lindsey Meadows as Head of


Jan Schofield,

Head of Faculty

(Cultue & Visitor


Jason Waldron,

Director of Education


Gill Williams,

Director of Personal

Development and


Laura Rowan,

Director of Education

for Adults

Jan Schofield has taken on a brand new role for the

College as Head of Faculty (Culture and Visitor Economy).

We’re also in the process of recruiting for a Head of

Faculty (Technology and Life Sciences). Both of these

roles will be pivotal in strengthening our links with

partners, businesses and the community in relation to

each of their respective areas.

In line with our Strategic Plan, we’ve created a team

that is dedicated to Pedagogy and Insight. As part of

this team, Michelle Bibby has taken on a new role as

Head of Pedagogy, Andy Hargreaves as Head of Student

Experience and we are currently recruiting for a Director

of Pedagogy and Insight – a role that is dedicated to the

Liverpool Way.

We welcomed four new directors, with Laura Rowan as

Director of Education for Adults and Liam James taking

over as Head of School for Access. Jason Waldron works

alongside Laura as Director of Education for 14-19, with

Jodene Horrocks taking over from Jason as the new Head

of School for Health, Social Care and Sport. Gill Williams

has been appointed as Director of Personal Development

and Progression, with Mike Perry appointed as HoS

for Catering, Hospitality and Travel. In addition, Ashley

Griffiths has become Dean of Academic Studies.

Ashley Griffiths,

Dean of Academic


Monica Chavez,

Director of Social

and Cultural


Lindsey Meadows,

Head of


Jodene Horrocks,

Head of School

for Health, Social

Care and Sport

Michelle Bibby,

Head of Pedagogy

Andy Hargreaves,

Head of Student


Liam James,

Head of School

for Access

Mike Perry,

HoS for Catering,

Hospitality and





Making our schools stand out

Below: Creative Arts & Fashion

We have amazing facilities and unrivalled expertise across the College, and

we’re always looking for ways to showcase the things that set us apart from

our competitors, helping to make us the first choice for learners.

Last year, we identified a strategic need to give some of

our schools their own brand identity, to make them more

attractive to prospective learners and to ensure our offer

is crystal clear.

These striking brands and their accompanying distinct

microsites enable us to promote these departments and

their offerings as unique specialisms within the College,

showcasing just how much there is to get excited about.

So, we worked closely with the team at Agent –

our marketing partners – to create these brand new

visual identities for our Digital Academy, Expressive

Arts & Media Academy, and Creative Arts &

Fashion Departments.

We’re sure there will be more of these to come in the

future, so stay tuned!

Below: Expressive Arts & Media Academy

Below: The Digital Academy



Thank you!

To all of our colleagues who continue to go

above and beyond to deliver oustanding

levels of teaching and support to our

students and staff, thank you.

If you need support or have any questions,

please don’t hesitate to get in touch


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