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NEWHAM COLLEGE OF FURTHER EDUCATION STUDENT CONSULTATIVE FORUM Notes of the meeting held on 9th November 2006

Present: Students: Governor: Staff: See Annex A Ed Prosser Philip Badman Denise Brown-Sackey Graham Drummond Chair Vice Principal (Planning & Funding) Deputy Principal Clerk to the Corporation

1. Apologies for Absence Apologies were received from Linda Jordan and Martin Tolhurst. 2. Introduction The Chair introduced himself and invited staff to introduce themselves. Due to the numbers of students present it was decided not to ask students to introduce themselves although the Chair did state he was pleased that so many were present. He explained that this was an open meeting where students had the opportunity to give their views about the College, which would be fed back to Governors. 3. Student Representation System Students were asked whether they thought the College's process for monitoring customer satisfaction and the system for electing student representation worked well. One student on a Swedish massage course stated that she thought the voting system had worked well and that she was very grateful to the College for the standard of course delivery. One student commented that sometimes it was difficult to talk to tutors but by working together it was possible to get their views across. The Chair then asked whether students found it possible to talk with tutors and it was agreed that it was possible to talk with tutors. Students agreed that they had found the student representative induction session on 27th October very helpful. Denise Brown-Sackey asked those students who had been unable to attend whether they would attend another session if one was organised. About 12 students confirmed that they would attend. 4. LSC Priorities for Success The Chair explained that the source of the majority of the College's funding was the Learning and Skills Council. He then invited Graham Drummond who had written a briefing sheet to explain his views on how the LSC's priorities would affect Newham College students. Graham explained that the two most likely areas to affect Newham students and residents would be the Government's priority of funding younger students rather than adults and also the intention to remove funding for ESOL courses and those seeking asylum. An adult student commented that the price of her course had increased from £400 to £500 and that for most people in Newham whose annual salary was below £20,000 these sort of price increases would affect them badly. She also commented that she believed teachers' salaries were low and that this had an adverse effect on their enthusiasm and energy levels. Denise BrownSackey commented that if you pay staff more, you don't necessarily get more enthusiasm. The student then explained that she had experienced a great deal of enthusiasm from teachers at the College and had learnt a lot whilst on College courses for example on a previous course she had been given the opportunity to work at John Frieda where she had developed her make-up skills a great deal. A 20 year old Albanian Health and Social care student expressed concern that she had been asked to pay a fee of £4000 after she had enrolled onto the course. Her aim was to become a social worker. She said that she thought the fees were expensive despite receiving a discount of 5% for paying upfront. Her parents had paid the fee but with banks refusing to lend her money she didn't know what she could do in order to pay the fees in the future. Denise Brown-Sackey said that the College was aware of this problem and was looking into it, but no promises could be made. The student said that she didn't doubt

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that the College would do everything it could but she felt strongly that groups of people within Newham needed financial assistance if they were to study at the College and that this raised issues of equity. Philip Badman apologised that the student had not known what the fee was at the time of enrolment and promised that the College would be looking closely at this to prevent such occurrences in the future. He then made the following points:· Its costs around £49 million to run the College. · It is inevitable that Newham would be affected by the Government's Policy to direct money away from asylum seekers and those people from countries who had recently joined the EU, because it is one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in the country. · The College would not receive public funding for ESOL in the future, which will mean that fee assessment will have to be carried out at the time of enrolment. · The Government wants to direct funds for learning to those already in employment. · Last year the LSC allocated £500,000 to the College to 16-18 learners which had originally been allocated for 19+ learners. The Chair then pointed out that because the funding system was very complex it was very difficult to send out simple messages. It was then pointed out by a student that this system ignored the individual needs of students. Denise Brown-Sackey agreed and gave the example of the Government's drive to achieve whole qualifications. The College had its own NewCAD arrangements and it was likely that qualifications in the future would feature similar flexibility of structure. The discussion then moved back to the quality of teaching. Philip Badman explained that there was now a requirement for unqualified teachers to study for teaching qualifications. The Chair pointed out that it was rare for teachers to be unenthusiastic and that the College had strengthened ther arrangements for observation of teaching within the College. Denise Brown-Sackey then told the forum that course representatives had a responsibility to provide feedback if the standard of teaching was not good enough. One student then said her teacher was excellent. Another student said that her teacher did not respond well to criticism and did not control classes very well. Philip Badman then said that if the standard of teaching was poor the College would do something if a complaint was made; students could make complaints by putting them in writing and dropping them in complaint boxes. He explained that the College had a department (Quild) whose responsibility was to ensure that all complaints were resolved. A report on all complaints is reviewed by College Directors at their monthly meeting. If teaching is poor then the College can ensure that support is provided to the teacher. It was agreed that the Clerk would provide Course representatives with the names of Faculty Directors. The following additional issues were raised by students: · A Health and Social Care student complained that she was given IT assignments before being taught the subject. · A student on a Childcare level 3 programme complained that she was given a different assignment every week before she had had a chance to finish the last one. Denise Brown-Sackey advised her to talk to the course manager. · The computer system performance is poor especially in Student Life. Philip Badman said that the equipment within Student Life would be checked. · There are very few areas where students can go between classes. Denise Brown-Sackey explained that the College was looking into having a common room for adult learners. 5. Learner Activity Plan Denise Brown-Sackey explained that the Learner Activity Plan (LAP) had been introduced this year in an attempt to make lessons more interesting, relevant and related to students' ability. It was also hoped that the plan would help teachers to get to know their students more quickly because it required teachers to plan their lessons for individual students. Teachers should already be using the plan, although the College was still in process of completing the training of staff on their use. Students welcomed the introduction of the LAP. The following issues were raised: · One student expressed concern that they were being asked to write essays in communication classes and that the teacher refused to explain why these were required. Denise Brown-Sackey said that she would feed that back. · A BTEC National student complained about the amount of books that she had to carry around with her. She estimated that she had to carry about 15 books of essential reading with her every day. She asked whether the College could provide lockers. Denise Brown-Sackey explained that the College didn't have enough space to provide all of its 30,000 students with a locker. Hair and Beauty students

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were provided with lockers because they had to change. Denise said that she would look into the issue and suggested that Flex might be a solution.

6. Other issues:· A request for a prayer room was made. Denise Brown-Sackey explained the College's secular policy and said that students were welcome to book rooms for prayer through Student Life. · Philip Badman agreed to look into the standard of soap dispensers within the College. · One student complained that the Flex is usually closed between 12:00 and 1:00pm and that there were not enough course books within it. Denise Brown-Sackey told students to ask their teacher to instruct Flex to get books for their course. She then explained that the College had recently been forced to make 80 members of staff redundant. The College also has to allow its staff to take a lunch break. These two factors were the likely reasons for the closure of Flex during lunchtime. She went on to point out that the Stratford campus Flex was difficult to supervise with limited staffing and was therefore more liable to temporary closures. The Chair thanked those who had attended.

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ANNEX A

Name Debra Garwood Adeeb Sultana Pasha Anita Perkins Rozina Iqbal Sarah Asghar Sarnjit Sambhi Mehrosa Mahmood Kiran Bala Rubia Begum Mohammad Rafiq Adeyinka Alimi Salomey Takyiwah Adijat Salou Melissa Charlery Ana Bylykborshi Shani Whitehead Sonia Janshed Musa Mohammed Abdul Shohid Mohammed Yusuf Ali Nabil Alwan Muhammad Khan Tajudeen Bello Asha Ali Sonila Haskaj Laura Miciu Lyte Salha Mensour Rodney Chard Robina Igbokwe Diana Appiah Ariane Otshiudi Kelly McLean Reda Zutautaite Agha Khan Jamal Abdulah Roberto Villacis Stephanie E Janata Bhumiken Patel Solomon Perejan Nabeel Khwaja Rahul Menon Naufal Sarghini Assad Bin Kalanya Bashare Amy Wright Hamp Aysz Winsome Sutton Edward Lyanarrah Suma Begum Kayode Ossai Robert Janebimeh

ID 22025222 25014047 25016206 25022686-90 25010203-90 25017811-90 24528190-90 24524665 25013877-90 25026261-90 22037537-90 25030726-90 23003439-90 25026478-90 21015216-90 2400844-90 25027645-90 25018111-90 25026656-90 25000173-90 25008389-90 25015191-90 24532696-90 24502385-90 25024245-90 22017779-90 25006892 21025123 24502844-90 24000488-90 250237606-90 24526101-90 24001937-90 25026122-90 25008588-90 25000436-90 25001015-90 25014939-90 25027172-90 25026744-90 25026650-90 23000650-90 23002576-90 24527487-90 25024692-90 25007722-90 25002407-90 25022626-90 23002391-80 25030661

Course Health and Social Care Level 2 ESOL Entry Level 3 Access to Health Swedish Massage Early Years Level 1 Childcare I.T. Level 2 NewCAD Level 2 NewCAD Level 2 NewCAD BTEC National in Early Years G.C.S.E. Health and Social Care NewCAD I.T. Health and Social Care Level 3 Health and Social Care Level 2 G 3 BTEC National Diploma Early Years Level 3 BTEC National Diploma Early Years I.C.T Level 1 Group 3 NewCAD I.T. Level 1 NewCAD I.T. Level 1 Motor Vehicle Progression Access to H.E. Access to Health Child Care and Education Access to H.E. (Law) NewCAD Young Adults English Access to H.E. (Computing) ALNC Office Professionals BTEC National in Business H-S-Course NewCAD Level 2 Business ESOL Entry Level 3 AS Levels As Levels Business Level 2 NewCAD Business Level 2 AS/A2 Levels AS Levels AS Levels AS Levels AS Levels NewCAD I.T. NewCAD Level 2 English NVQ Hairdressing Level 2 Science NewCAD Level 1 I.T. BTEC Business KCMA

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