East Durham College is thrilled to announce that its Engage 14-16 programme has been shortlisted for an award at the Tes FE Awards 2020.

The college has been nominated for the Contribution to the Local Community Award. This nomination comes after the Engage 14-16 programme’s pupils have been regularly involved with initiatives around the County Durham area to help and enhance our local community.

East Durham College designed the provision five years ago to support 14-16 year olds in the local area who were at risk of disengagement from mainstream school education. It provides an alternative provision where tailored education programmes are created for each pupil, to re-engage and prepare them for further education and life.

To build on social inclusion, the college works closely with the local authority and community stakeholders to get these students involved in their neighbourhoods. In 2019 students used their skills gained in construction lessons to create Ava’s Garden, a stunning memorial garden at Shotton Hall School in memory of a young Shotton Hall student who sadly passed away.

Students were also involved with the Sliding Door Project, founded by Durham County Council.

The initiative was a partnership between Durham County Council’s building and facilities maintenance service, East Durham College and Durham Constabulary’s Peterlee Neighbourhood Policing Team. Engage 14-16 provided five students who worked alongside Durham County Council’s building team on the refurbishment of Peterlee Leisure Centre and Library.

Greg Corcoran, Head of 14-16 Provision at East Durham College, said: “It’s truly incredible for the hard work of our staff and students to be recognised at the Tes FE Awards this year. Staff have worked tirelessly to create this amazing provision and as for the students – all of them should be proud of just how far they’ve come.”

Suzanne Duncan, principal of East Durham College, added: “A huge congratulations to the Engage team for being nominated for this important national award.

“Engage is a vital part of the college and gives students in our local area a second chance and the opportunity to reach their full potential. For the programme to be recognised for a contribution to our local community award is a great honour; all of our students and staff have been working extremely hard on many different projects in our area and have became fantastic ambassadors for the college.”

Tes FE editor Stephen Exley said: “Excellent practice exists right across the further education sector, and those shortlisted for the Tes FE Awards are the cream of the crop. Our judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of entries. To be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement.”

The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London on Friday 20 March 2020.