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Forster Community College  
  About Forster Community College

Forster Community College

Forster Community College is a successful social enterprise providing vocational education and training across the Leeds City Region. Established in 1982, the College's mission is to inspire and support people who have yet to fulfill their potential. This often means learners come from hard to reach groups such as young people who are not in education, employment or training - so called NEETs.

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The focus of provision is on meeting the learning needs of disadvantaged groups and individuals; many of whom come from Bradford's most economically and socially deprived communities. The College offers a welcoming, friendly and supportive learning environment underpinned by an enthusiastic and committed workforce. The College also recognises the importance of focusing vocational learning and training on the needs of local employers.

Forster Community College is based on Captain Street in Bradford city centre and provides Further Education and Community Learning in seven subject areas, funded by the Skills Funding Agency. Much of the provision is preparation for life and work, below level 2, including Maths, English and ICT skills. Enrollment on these courses increased by 76% in 2014/15 compared to the previous academic year. In 2014-15 the College's adult learners achieved a success rate at 91.9% - substantially above the national average of 84.7%.

The College is also increasing its delivery of apprenticeships and traineeships in Retail, Hospitality and Catering, Health and Social Care, Childcare and Teaching Assistant in response to the emerging needs of local employers. Alongside delivering life changing vocational training for adults, the College works in partnership with a number of other training providers including Aspire-I, Leeds City College and Shipley College.

Bradford District
Bradford District is the fourth largest Metropolitan District in England with an estimated population of 526,400. Whilst the outlook for Bradford District is generally positive it is still amongst the most deprived in the Leeds City Region and nationally. 75% of the College's learners during 2013-14 academic year lived in disadvantaged areas, many of whom come to the College with poor literacy, numeracy and language skills - a feature of almost a quarter of Bradford's population. 19.2% of enrolments during 2013-14 academic year were in either English or Maths.

The population of Bradford is ethnically diverse. Whilst the largest proportion of the district's population (63.9%) identifies themselves as White British, the District has the largest proportion of people of Pakistani ethnic origin (20.3%) in England. During 2013-14 academic year 60.1% of FCC Learners identified themselves as White British and 20.0 % of Pakistani ethnic origin.

Bradford Council identifies unemployment as a "Significant Issue" in its Core Strategy 2014 as Bradford's unemployment rate remaining significantly higher than those for the wider Leeds City Region and England. 88.5% of Learners who accessed learning at FCC during 2013-14 were unemployed at the start of their learning.

Extracts from Ofsted Report Feb 2014
“Learners, of whom almost all are at high risk of social and economic exclusion and have multiple substantial barriers to participate in learning, and improve their personal, social and employability skills significantly. The College enhances their capacity to take control of their lives and improve their life chances and that of their children and dependents.”

“Learners enjoy attending the College and their sessions greatly. A strong feature of the College is the way learners have developed the right attitude to support each other, work well together, and recognise the life-changing progress that they are making.”

“Advice and guidance about personal issues are very effective. Many learners are very positive about the support and encouragement from staff that has helped them to acquire essential skills and confidence to improve their lives and employment prospects.”

“The College uses its extensive knowledge of Bradford and the disadvantaged individuals in the boroughs to develop courses. It has shaped the curriculum successfully to develop learners’ vocational skills in sectors with an increasing employment opportunity. For example, the development of a well-resourced Bistro and Deli restaurant in Bradford City Centre provides good opportunities for work experience for an increasing number of learners.”

Learner Comments
"I cannot thank the College enough, without the support of the College and the experience I gained in Hospitality and Catering I would not have gained employment. I am excited about my future and my new job."
College Learner, May 2014

"I enjoyed the course at the College, it boosted my confidence and helped me to get a job."
College Learner, May 2014

When I first enrolled at Forster Community College I was quite nervous, as I didn't know what to expect.  The ladies in reception were lovely, kind and welcoming.  My Tutor, Margaret, is great and very encouraging.  I'm loving my course and my placement.  I would recommend this College to all my friends."
College Learner, December 2013


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Tel: 01274 308707 - Fax: 01274 305764 - Registered in England No 2108177 - Registered Charity Number 519382