1. Celebrating Windrush Day

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    On Monday 22 June, many people across the country will come together to celebrate Windrush Day. The annual celebration pays tribute to the exceptional and ongoing contribution of the Windrush generation.

    What is the Windrush generation?

    The term ‘Windrush generation’ was first introduced in 1948 shortly after World War Two. Britain was beginning to recover from the effects of the war, which saw thousands of buildings and homes destroyed. Many young men and women in the Islands had previously served in the British armed forces, due to many Caribbean countries still being under British rule and not yet independent.

    After the war, many people from the Caribbean were invited to come to Britain as there were a variety of jobs available due to post-war labour shortages. The first ship, Empire Windrush, left the Caribbean to travel thousands of miles and arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex on 22 June 1948. This ship was the first of many, with hundreds more arriving in Britain from 1948 to 1971.

    Why has the Windrush generation been in the news recently?

    The ‘Windrush scandal’ involved many of the Windrush generation being wrongly told that they live in Britain illegally. The 1948 British Nationality Act gave citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies states a legal right to settle in the UK. As a result, during 1971, the Windrush generation were told they could stay in Britain permanently without any paperwork and the government didn’t keep a record of these people.

    A change to immigration law came about in 2012, with people being told that official documentation was needed in order to receive free hospital treatment and other benefits. As a result, many people who had attended schools and worked their whole life in the UK were sent to immigration detention centres and faced deportation.

    In 2018, following a review of 11,800 cases, the home secretary announced that 18 people within the Windrush generation who could have been wrongfully removed or detained would receive a formal apology from the government. Additionally, anyone who had left the UK would be helped to return to Britain.

    What does Windrush Day celebrate?

    First introduced in 2018 on the 70th anniversary of Empire Windrush arriving in Britain, the day encourages communities across the country to celebrate the outstanding contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants.

    Overcoming great hardship and sacrifice, the Windrush generation and their descendants have made Britain a better and more inclusive country in many ways. From the vital rebuilding of the country and public services after the war, to the ongoing enriching of our shared social, economic, cultural and religious life.

    What events will take place as part of Windrush Day?

    Backed by government funding, community groups and local authorities across the country will receive a share of a £500,000 Windrush Day Grant Scheme to host events which honour the second national day. There are a range of funded projects which mark this vital part of our shared heritage.

    How can I get involved?

    Although many celebrations will be digital due to social distancing, there are many ways to get involved with Windrush Day events.

    The National Maritime Museum is working with the Caribbean Social Forum and University of Greenwich to create online resources, talks and events including different generations to explore Windrush and what it means to people today.

    The State of Trust is hosting a live panel, featuring artists from State of Trust’s Remembering Windrush project, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Terry Baddoo on 22 June.

    On 22 June, the Windrush Foundation is hosting a Zoom event, featuring presentations, music, Q&A and a review of key events that affected the Caribbean community over many years.

    On Windrush Day in Bradford, a special flag raising ceremony will take place outside City Hall.

    Leeds-based charity, Geraldine Connor Foundation, is marking the day with online event ‘Generations Dreaming’, combining music and literature on the themes of Windrush. The charity has also created a digital learning resource about the Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    How can I access support?

    Our student-focused team is dedicated to ensuring our students always have access to support. We have specialist counselling officers who can offer guidance and direct you to support services. If you would like to contact to our counsellor team, please speak to your tutor for guidance on how to do this.

    For help and advice across the Bradford district, head to MyWellbeing College.

    Useful resources

    The Geraldine Connor Foundation have created a digital learning resource, providing insight into Windrush Generation and their legacy.

    Digital platform, My Learning, has developed a short video with an introduction to Windrush, the history and the people who made the journey.

    Home Ed Voices has provided a range of useful resources for Windrush Day, including videos, books and activities. 

  2. Gender Recognition Act 2004

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    The Gender Recognition Act 2004 governs how people from our trans communities can legally recognise their gender identity.  Being able to do this is critical to living freely and authentically. 

    It is currently a long, expensive and dehumanising process. It requires evidence from two medical professionals,  a detailed psychiatric assessment and a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria (which has now been removed from the WHO list of mental health disorders), evidence of living in authentic gender for two years and evidence of intention to continue doing so.  This intrusive evidence and professional testimony is then considered by a Gender Recognition Panel (who have never met the individual concerned) to make a final judgement.  It is costly, inaccessible and relies heavily on gender stereotypes. 

    In 2018 a review of the Gender Recogntion Act was opened to consider reforms, with the aim of making the process more accessible, less reliant on medical examination and less expensive.  70% of respondents to the GRA consultation support a fairer process for gender recognition certificate applications. Despite this overwhelming public support, a proposed amendment to the act will impact on self identification for young people identifying as trans and change the rules around the use of single sex spaces.  This would adversely affect trans communities and all who do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes. 

    As a college we are committed to being an inclusive environment for all.  We support our trans communities and urge the government to reconsider the impact of the proposed amendments. We would like to offer reassurance to our students and staff that we will continue to make every effort to ensure we provide protected spaces for our trans communities.

    If you would like to share your voice, we recommend you to write to your local MP. ​

  3. Black Lives Matter Statement

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    As Principal of Keighley College, it is my duty to ensure that staff and students feel that they are part of a community that embraces, recognises, respects and raises awareness of important issues that need tackling (such as racism, injustice and inequality).

    Keighley College stands in solidarity with our Black students, staff and communities, and with the #BlackLivesMatter movement in the fight against racism. Racism and intolerance, in any form, have no place at our schools and colleges. We are proud to have a diverse community of staff and students and strive to place equality at the heart of everything we do.

    We recognise structural racism and understand that it is present in our communities. As educators, employers and students, we have a duty to act and an important part to play in actively confronting racism to achieve systemic change for our students and staff. We are committed to contributing to a movement that has a lasting impact on our community and beyond. 

    We will: 

    1. Review our Equality Objectives and build anti-racist actions explicitly into the framework; we will develop and publish a five year plan for this work, led by staff identifying as  Black, Asian or from minority ethnic groups and supported by staff forums, student leaders and allies. 
    2. Provide training and development opportunities; deliver anti-racism and unconscious bias training, building confidence and capacity in our networks of Equality Champions and staff forums and embed support for students or staff dealing with the effects of racism. 
    3. Develop and deliver an anti-racist, inclusive curriculum; decolonise our curriculum, reviewing content and providing resources to support teachers to respectfully deliver anti-racism topics and ensure our curriculum embraces Black and Asian culture and history. 

    There is still lots to learn, and at times we may not get this right, but the students, staff and wider communities of Keighley College and all other members of the Luminate Education Group are committed to being a part of the change.

    Steve Kelly, Principal of Keighley College

  4. Access student working on the frontline

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    Sarah*, Access to Health Science student at Keighley College, has been working on the respiratory ward at Airedale Hospital during this pandemic.

    She was inspired to pursue a career in healthcare after regularly supporting family members who worked across special needs schools and nursing homes. She initially joined Airedale Hospital working on the intermediate care ward, and got reassigned to a specific Covid-19 ward due to increased demand.

    Sarah said: “Working in a hospital during this pandemic can be overwhelming; I get worried about bringing the virus home to my family and I often have a sore face and hands due to constantly wearing personal protective equipment. I was nervous at first about starting work on the Covid-19 ward; there was so much to learn as I didn’t have much knowledge of respiratory care. However, the team at the hospital were phenomenal – they offered full support and training to ensure I was safe at all times. When a patient was well enough to return home, everybody clapped which was really heart-warming.

    “My Access course at Keighley College has been brilliant. The modules have been engaging and the team have been so supportive. The course has allowed me to progress to university, I have received an unconditional offer to study a dual qualification in adult and mental health nursing.”

    Marie Murphy, programme manager at Keighley College, said: “We’re so proud to see Sarah working incredibly hard in a Covid-19 ward during these worrying times. Despite the ongoing crisis, she has continued to complete all her work in a timely manner and is on target to achieve fantastic results. Her positive attitude is inspirational and I’m delighted that she has achieved an unconditional university offer!”

    Find out more about our Access courses here.

    *Not the real name of the student as they have chosen to be anonymous.

  5. Exciting higher education journey for mature student

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    Keighley College student, Shirley Ellershaw, began her journey into higher education when exploring Access course options.

    Following a discussion with Head of Service Professions, Kevin Burke, she was inspired to enrol on the Health and Wellbeing Foundation Degree.

    Shirley said: “My experience of higher education has been amazing. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed studying the concepts of health and the legal aspects. I was privileged to be included in the planning of the higher education centre at Keighley College, it was exciting to create our own study space.

    “I’m now in the final weeks of my foundation degree and I’ve loved every minute. The support from Kevin and the team has been exceptional! I’m now working as a teaching facilitator at the college within the service professions team – my foundation degree has really shown me how many exciting career paths are available.”

    Shirley plans to continue her studying at Leeds City College for a degree in Health and Social Care.

  6. Adult learner passes with flying colours

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    Janet Baldwin, Access to Higher Education in Health Sciences student at Keighley College, has been given the green light to attend university after passing her Functional Skills in English and maths.

    After struggling to pass GCSE English and maths, Janet enrolled on the Functional Skills course which provided additional support from the team. She needed to pass these qualifications in order to get a place at university and pursue a career in healthcare.

    Jo Rusden, programme manager for adult and community, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Janet’s progress, her tenacious and determined attitude was inspiring. She has always wanted to further her career in healthcare, which was a real motivator for her. Although she felt like quitting many times, our team and student support were always helping her achieve her full potential.”

    Janet Baldwin said: “I’m so grateful to the team at Keighley College, they were really encouraging and always ensured I had the resources to aid my learning. Healthcare is a real passion of mine, I currently work at Airedale Hospital as a healthcare assistant on the elderly ward. As part of this role, I provide high quality care for patients – I find it incredibly rewarding to make a difference and support people who need it most. I also volunteer for Girlguiding at a local Brownie group in the town, it’s great to see so many young people engage in community activities.

    “I’m over the moon to have passed my English and maths – I have several offers from universities! When I finish my current studies, I hope to study nursing or operation department practitioner at degree level.”

  7. Apprentices manufacture key textile products at local firm

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    Two apprentices from Keighley College are supporting a local manufacturing firm in the production of essential textile products in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Baildon-based Canvasman produces textile products including boat covers, upholstery, shop canopies and vehicle covers. The firm mainly provides products for the leisure industry, however due to the recent pandemic, is now also producing essential products such as protective screens and isolation units.

    As part of a partnership with Keighley College, Canvasman provides apprenticeships to students studying textile-focused courses. The apprenticeship involves students learning about health and safety at work, the history of the textile industry, the current market and how to produce textile products. All apprentices participate in a training schedule to learn specific manufacturing processes and experience working on a variety of products. 

    Chris Salisbury, managing director at Canvasman, said: “The enthusiasm and assistance from our apprentices has been outstanding – they have risen to the challenge with dedication and a positive attitude. It’s incredibly important for us to support key businesses during these times, including the production of bus screens for local firm Transdev Blazefield. We’re proud to have played a role in helping to save lives and over the last three weeks we have prototyped 30 new products.”

    Manufacturing Sewn Products Level 2 apprentice, Joseph Armitage, said: “Canvasman has responded incredibly well to the recent changes; my training has been accelerated in order for me to work on specific products and make a difference during these times. Since starting my apprenticeship in January, I’ve developed important practical skills and a dedicated work ethic.”

    Meanwhile, former college apprentice, Robyn Allan, works full-time as a machinist at the firm and is assisting with the manufacturing of isolation units for intensive care wards.

  8. Local care student named Employee of the Month on hospital ward

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    A Keighley College student has been named employee of the month on a ward at Airedale Hospital for her efforts during the pandemic.

    Bingley-resident Holly Greenhalgh is currently studying a Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship at the college and is working towards her Level 2 Health and Social qualification. Her year-long apprenticeship is with Airedale Hospital on the elderly ward, enabling her to assist healthcare professionals in diagnosing, treating and caring for patients.

    As part of her apprenticeship, she provides personal care to patients, completes paperwork and offers emotional support to those on the ward. To meet rising demands of the recent pandemic, she has been working on a Covid-19 ward to provide high quality care. Due to her work ethic and commitment to the role during challenging times, Ward 14 at Airedale Hospital has awarded her with the ‘Employee of the Month’ accolade.

    Katie Widdop, senior sister on ward 14 at Airedale Hospital, said: “Within ward 14, it’s really important for us to take the time to acknowledge someone in the team who has done a fantastic job, especially during these worrying times. Holly has shown such determination in providing care to distressed patients and her positive attitude is admirable. She works extremely hard and balances her academic study and placement excellently.”

    Holly said: “I felt an immense sense of pride being awarded with ‘Employee of the Month’. Everyone at the hospital has been working tirelessly during the past few weeks, so to be recognised for my efforts is incredibly rewarding. My apprenticeship at Keighley College has given me the perfect opportunity to make a real difference within the community in providing care to those who require it.

    “When I started my apprenticeship, I struggled with dyslexia and the college team were incredibly supportive in identifying useful resources to aid my academic work. Since enrolling on the course, my confidence has sky-rocketed and I have even completed an additional Level 3 research task on dementia. I hope the findings from my research will enable me to supply the best care possible on the ward.”

    When Holly qualifies in July, she hopes to progress to a Level 3 qualification at the college.

  9. Principal announcement – information on returning to college

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    You’ll be aware that following the Prime Minister’s statement and government updates since, that schools and colleges should plan to open from 1 June in a phased way.  

    In his message, the Prime Minister specified a range of year groups, including those in years 10 and 12, with a focus on those taking exams in the following academic year. 

    Most students at college, however, do not study two-year programmes with exams at the end; many courses are assessed at different times and in different ways. Practical courses (particularly those that need a formal assessment of their skills competence) and apprentices are not able to achieve their qualifications on the basis of a teacher proposed grade.  

    We have been working hard on plans for a gradual and phased return of our students and staff with a focus on those who cannot achieve their qualifications or progress to the next level without some face-to-face support or assessment. We will only start this when we feel it is safe to do so.  

    Because there is a lot of preparation needed to make our buildings safe and to prioritise which students need our support to achieve this year, we will not invite any students into college buildings until 15 June at the earliest.  

    Your teachers will contact you individually by 12 June to let you know if you need to return before September, how this will work and what special arrangements will be in place. If you are not contacted by that date, please do not arrive at college on 15 June.

    In the meantime, we hope that you are able to continue learning remotely and you are in regular contact with your teachers about next steps, whether that is continuation on your current course or progression to the next level, an apprenticeship, higher education or employment. 

    Steve Kelly
    Principal Keighley College

  10. Plumbing students spread positive message

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    Since the temporary closure of Keighley College, Level 1 Plumbing students have been working hard to complete assignments each week. They regularly communicate on Google Hangouts to discuss academic work and experiences during lockdown.

    Si Tallon, English teacher, said: “I recently gave them an assignment focusing on staying positive and motivated during these unprecedented times. I’m pleased to see most of them participating in regular exercise, supporting neighbours, spending quality time with family, learning new skills and completing assignments. While studying from home, they have really engaged in learning and I’m incredibly proud of their efforts!”

    Student Brandon Wadkin commented on keeping positive during lockdown: “During this pandemic, I have stayed positive throughout by getting up at 9am every morning to do a Joe Wicks exercise on YouTube. This helps me be motivated because it releases positive chemicals into my body and I feel full of energy.”

    Kadeer Rashid said: “I stay in touch with my education by doing all my coursework, reading books to improve my English and completing online HegartyMaths, so when I do come back to college I can carry on being punctual with my work.”

    Raheem Ali added: “I have tried something new by learning a different language. I am currently learning Turkish and so far it is going good. Doing tasks like this is great as you won’t feel the boredom.”

    Xander Cowburn said: “You can stay positive by keeping a clear mindset. You can do this by listening to music that sounds the way you want to feel. You could also meditate if you want to. By staying positive it will boost your self- confidence and self-esteem. Also keeping a positive attitude is not just good for your health it is also good for keeping a good mindset.”

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Student Absence Line: 01535 685109 / attendance@keighleycollege.ac.uk
Email: enquiries@keighleycollege.ac.uk

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