A member of 157 highly successful Further Education colleges in England, City and Islington College has been awarded Beacon status by the Learning and Skills Council and in 2008 an Oftsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) report awarded the college with outstanding (Grade 1) in every feature. It can further boast of winning the Queen’s Anniversary Prize twice.
The school was formed in 1993 when four institutions merged; they had run over 13 sites across Islington, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Today the college is located in the London Borough of Islington with five major sites across Islington. The sites were narrowed down to five due to the rebuilding of the college estate by selling sites and obtaining grants from the Learning and Skills Council. This was headed by the Corporation of City and Islington College with Jack Morris as Chair of Governors and Tom Jupp, Principal (1993-2001). Finally, the management of teaching and learning was restructured and the five centers developed.
All five sites have been updated with the latest ICT equipment for teaching and learning and provide study and recreational areas, each specializing in particular subjects. They are as follows:
Center for Applied Sciences Center for Business, Arts and Technology Center for Health, Social and Child Care Center for Lifelong Learning Sixth Form College
The Centre for Applied Sciences
The Center for Applied Sciences is located in Angel, Islington and in May 2005 Ofsted rated the college’s science provision as outstanding. The courses vary from Introductory Diplomas to Foundation Degrees and advance to professions such as forensics, optics, medicine, nursing and sports and fitness training. The college has provided links with other well-known London universities and professional organizations (the Metropolitan Police). In 2008 it was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for “Creating Pathways to Employment and Higher Education in the Sciences’.
The Center for Business, Arts and Technology
The subjects this center specializes in are ICT and Networking, Business and Management, Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Media. The courses begin at basic level and continue through to Foundation Degree.
The Center for Health, Social and Child Care
The subjects in this center are child care, health and social care, counseling and advice and guidance. The courses are taught at the Marlborough Building and are available both full-time and part-time. Titled as a Center of Vocational Excellence, the child care department has students who are employed or continue to find work after college, however there are ever increasing numbers who opt to continue to university.
The degrees available are Early Childhood Studies, Education (primary pathway), Health Sciences and Working with Young People and Young People Services (Learning Mentors). Additionally, Beauty Therapy, Barbering and Hairdressing are taught and there is an on-site salon (Oasis) which was officially opened in 2011 by celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton.
The Center for Lifelong Learning
These courses are oriented for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities and are offered with courses in beauty and corresponding therapies. The Center offers and specializes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses; a program for young people is also provided. The courses run from beginner to advanced level; Math and IT courses are included.
Barbering, Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy are taught here as well. An on-site beauty salon is also available for training.
Sixth Form College
In 2011 the pass rate was a very impressive 98.8% (above national average) and there was a 100% pass rate in 20 subjects. There are academic courses as well as extra-curricular activities, an enrichment program and opportunities for trips abroad including the prospect of working with professional organizations like the Almeida Theatre or participating in the duke of Edinburgh award.
There are over 30 AS-level and A2-level courses for students from 16-18 years of age in the subjects of English, Media, Humanities, Design. Also available are evening courses in modern foreign languages for adults from beginners to A-level.
As one can clearly note from the achievements of the College’s students, the purpose and variety of programs as well as numerous awards of excellence, it is an ideal place of study to accomplish a significant range of career goals.