Dumfries and Galloway College demonstrate the power of school/college partnerships

Dumfries and Galloway College logoDumfries and Galloway College is a leading further education institution with campuses in both Dumfries and Stranraer. The college is one of the main employers and providers of learning and training across the South of Scotland, with programmes ranging from senior-phase school partnerships to higher education.

Dumfries and Galloway College Academy

Dumfries and Galloway College work closely with headteachers, local authorities and other skills bodies each year to deliver their highly renowned senior-phase offer through College Academy. The college and partnering schools are dedicated to working together to ensure young people are given the opportunity to gain vocational experience and study a subject that might not be available to them at school.

The college delivers Professional Cookery at SCQF Level 4 as part of their senior phase Hospitality offer. This course develops practical, technical and transferable skills in food preparation and cooking, and provides bite-sized chunks of learning that are straightforward for learners to study. The course is currently being delivered in-house at two schools: Annan Academy and Moffat Academy and is also available on campus to other learners who do not have access to the required facilities in school. For the 2021/22 academic year, the college is also delivering Professional Cookery at SCQF Levels 5 and 6 on campus, this gives students a realistic experience of a professional kitchen and provides a clear progression route for those interested in pursuing a career as a chef.

Overcoming barriers

There can be a number of barriers associated with senior phase offers including logistics, funding and resources. Dumfries and Galloway College are a great example of working to overcome these barriers to ensure learners can realise their full potential.

Firstly, the college have formed good relationships with the schools and are in continual dialogue to ensure the course timetable runs smoothly for both parties, taking into account travel time for lecturers. In addition, the college was able to source resources to improve the student experience at Annan Academy so the school could continue to deliver in-house and overcome the lengthy round trip to the college for 30+ students. Joyce Litster, Curriculum Manager at Dumfries and Galloway who secured the additional funding told us the college were pleased to support Annan Academy by sharing resources to enhance the student’s experience.

Annan Academy also operate a ‘recharge’ system where the school orders the ingredients, they require but this gets billed back to college, helping to keep the process simple for both parties. Many schools are unlikely to meet the requirements for approval to deliver Professional Cookery and related courses at SCQF level 4 and above and these partnerships allowing students to study either in-house through access to funding or on-campus are a great option.

SQA Hospitality

Carol McEvoy, Qualifications Officer at SQA said “SQA is keen to share good examples of school/college partnerships in action and we are delighted with the programme at Dumfries and Galloway College. We want to break down the barriers that may prevent schools delivering practical courses and hope to work with our External Verifiers, centres and other stakeholders to do so”.

SQA offers a number of qualifications in this area including Hospitality Operations, Professional Cookery and Food Manufacture. Find out more.

Future Plans

Dumfries & Galloway College plan to continue to grow their senior phase offer, particularly in the Hospitality sector where they are exploring the addition of Barista Qualifications and Bakery courses.

If you have any questions about school/college partnerships or would like to find out more email mycentre@sqa.org.uk 

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