Stockton Riverside College in line for significant Department for Education investment

Stockton Riverside College is set to deliver new T Level courses, in industry-standard facilities, thanks to a recently approved investment from the Department for Education.

Today, the Department for Education has announced the successful recipients of T Level Wave 4 capital funding, in the latest of a long line of further education facility investments, and Stockton Riverside College has been invited to deliver a capital project under the scheme, at its site in Thornaby.

Lesley Graham

The project, which represents a total spend of more than £2.5m, will be funded, in part, by the Department for Education’s T Level Wave 4 Capital Funding grant, which has been allocated to further roll out the new T Level qualifications which offer students classroom-based practical learning alongside an industrial placement of approximately 45 days.

For Stockton Riverside College, which was recently graded by Ofsted as ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features alongside the rest of the Education Training Collective (Etc.) which includes Bede Sixth Form College, NETA Training Group, Redcar and Cleveland College and The Skills Academy, it will see significant development of facilities across construction, motor vehicle, health and hair and beauty curriculum areas.

Stockton Riverside College principal, Lesley Graham, said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement and look forward to seeing the positive impact that this investment will have on learning spaces, across college.

“For some time now, we have been working with employers to design curriculum and plan the industrial placements, and we are primed to hit the ground running with our first cohort of T Level learners in September – the invitation to deliver these improvements to our learning spaces will ensure that our already outstanding facilities will remain aligned with the latest innovations in industrial workplaces, which will ultimately lead to our learners leaving college with the skills and workplace experiences they need to achieve their career aspirations.”

T Levels were introduced by the Government in the last academic year, with a primary aim of ensuring that teaching, learning and resources match the skills needed for the workplace, delivered through a mixture of classroom and on-the-job training, and are available across a wide-range of sectors including construction, engineering, digital, health and many more.

Working closely with the curriculum team at the college, Levi Buckley, chief operating officer at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust welcomed today’s news. He said: “The partnership between employers and learning providers has never been as critical as it is right now, especially in the health sector when considering the increases in demand, and advances in practice, that we have seen over the last few years. That is why it is so important that investments like this are made, so that real-life working environments are replicated, as far as possible, which lead to work-ready individuals who can hit the ground running.”

Speaking of the announcement, Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, added: “I am thrilled with the news of this approved investment into Stockton Riverside College. The college sits at the heart of my constituency, and has far-reaching positive impact on our local community, so these additional funds will not only improve the fantastic facilities and learning areas of the college – which will be great for so many students long into the future – but they will also ensure that local people are well-positioned to access jobs and secure better futures for themselves.”

Work is expected to commence on site from January 2023, with minimal disruption to current learning schedules.