Lancashire Adult Learning, which is part of Nelson and Colne College Group, has made it through as a finalist in the prestigious AoC Beacon Awards, within the AoC Award for Widening Participation category, following the announcement at the AoC Conference in Birmingham earlier this week.

Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL), rated by Ofsted as Outstanding, works closely with a vast range of partners, providing access to education for the most vulnerable members of the community. Working across Lancashire in over 300 community venues, online, and directly with trusted partners such as Lancashire County Council, in 2022/23 LAL supported over 10,000 learners to achieve their education goals.

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. The work that LAL does to transform the lives of adult learners across the county is exceptional. In particular LAL’s response to the challenges that came from the continued closure of venues, throughout and after Covid. They worked tirelessly to continue to enable adult learners who lost access to venues to continue in learning and developing new skills, and it is this work that is unique, and has been recognised within this nomination. LAL continues to deliver excellent learning opportunities across the county, focussed on enhancing Lancashire’s skills base, reducing worklessness and supporting economic growth, whether this is through supporting individuals to upskill, start their career journeys, change their careers or support their children in their learning.

Following the announcement Lisa O’Loughlin, the Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group, said:

“To say I am proud of the team and this nomination is an understatement. The work that Lancashire Adult Learning does in increasing participation in education across the County is truly remarkable. We work closely with a number of key partners, creating innovative ways to reach communities that are notoriously difficult to engage with, and are the number one College in Lancashire for adult learning. This recognition by the AoC is truly deserved and we look forward to the awards ceremony next year.”

Mark White CBE DL, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said:

“The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises the critical role undertaken by boards, governors and governance professionals developing capacity for sustained improvement in the quality of provision for students.”

The AoC Beacon Award Winners will be announced in Spring 2024.


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Published On: November 15th, 2023
Nelson and Colne College