South Tyneside Career College off to a flyer with first batch of learners

Andrew Orton, left, and Luke Ward with Alison Maynard, principal of South Tyneside College.
Andrew Orton, left, and Luke Ward with Alison Maynard, principal of South Tyneside College.

Students on a pioneering new education programme in South Tyneside have been celebrating success.

All 12 learners who started Career College North East (CCNE) as 14-year-olds in 2015 passed its innovative joint vocational and academic course.

Luke Ward with his dad Andrew Ward

Luke Ward with his dad Andrew Ward

Each will now either progress into an apprenticeship, an engineering maritime pre-cadetship, or continue in Further Education.

CCNE is a partnership between South Tyneside College and St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields.

Already double the number of students will join its programmes when they resume next month.

In the past two years, students have taken a BTEC Level 2 vocational qualification in engineering, which includes advanced manufacturing, or computer science alongside nine GCSE subjects.

Results show all attained either a merit, distinction or distinction* in their BTEC vocational qualification.

At GCSE, an outstanding 83.3% overall standard pass rate was achieved at English and maths, and 100% in English alone.

Alison Maynard, principal of South Tyneside College, said: “These results are excellent.

“It is quite exceptional that students, who were only 14 when they joined the career college, have attained these high-level results in what is a challenging programme of learning.

“Parents have also been very supportive of the career college, which was just being launched and was untested when their children joined it.”

Career College North East (CCNE) was launched in September 2015 by Lord Kenneth Baker, a former Conservative education secretary and founder of the national network of career colleges.

It is unique among career colleges in teaching advanced manufacturing, engineering and IT, and, as of September 2017, maritime studies through CCNE’s link to South Shields Marine School.