Group Chief Executive Officer's blog

Shifting education landscape opens up new collaborative opportunities

Our education landscape is changing – and dramatically so. In addition to the steady stream of changes to curriculum and qualifications (from how history should be taught in the national curriculum, to reforms to GCSEs, A levels and the planned Technical Baccalaureate) we are also in the midst of huge changes affecting how schools and colleges are run.

Collaboration in action: A City Academy Norwich student working in City College Norwich’s StartUp Lounge during an inter-school enterprise challenge.

New federation heralds bold ambition for Norfolk

Imagine a world in which school and college heads were free to focus all of their energies on enhancing teaching and learning within their institutions, in which there was strong sub-regional collaboration to improve outcomes for all and where there were clear progression routes with relevant pathways designed to enable all students to succeed.  Sound too good to be true?  An impossible ideal in today’s increasingly competitive and ever more fragmented education marketplace?  Well this is precisely what is being created here in Norfolk, thanks to an innovative new federation: Transforming

Norfolk UTC - a flagship for engineering and energy skills

Transforming Education in Norfolk, in partnership with City College Norwich, the University of East Anglia and leading employers including Gardline, Group Lotus and Future Marine Services, has unveiled plans for our Norfolk University Technical College (UTC) which will open in September 2014.Located in a 5,400 sq m former factory at Old Hall Road in Norwich, the UTC will provide a unique workshop-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)-focussed education for 600 14-19 year old students, with particular emphasis on advanced engineering and energy skills.

Gazelle Colleges are leading a new type of educational reform

It’s hard to blame long-standing teachers and educators for being a touch cynical when the subject of radical educational reform is mooted.

Those of us with classroom and staff-room experience are more than familiar with the interventions of politicians whose good intentions outstrip their understanding of how education works.

So when Michael Gove outlines his plans for toughening up the exam system, and Ed Miliband calls for £1bn investment in apprenticeships, many will hear only the familiar sound of the political football being given a solid kicking.

Are entrepreneurs born or made?

It is a commonly held view that entrepreneurs are born, not made – that what leads someone to become a successful entrepreneur has more to do with their personality and innate qualities than anything learned through formal education.

Let’s create an ecosystem for start-ups in Norfolk


If we can find ways to support more entrepreneurs and start-ups to succeed then a key component for ensuring the future growth and vitality of the Norfolk economy will be in place.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could create an “ecosystem” in Norfolk which nourished and supported start-ups at every stage of their development?


A 21st Century vision of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy

What should charitable giving look like in the 21st Century?  As individuals, communities, businesses and institutions, how can we make sure that we retain our connectedness to those less fortunate than ourselves?  And how can we encourage people to give their time and money to help others when both are seemingly in increasingly short supply?These were some of the themes addressed by the guest speakers at the inaugural TEDxCCN event, which was organised by City College Norwich and held at The Forum in Norwich recently.  (Special thanks to our sponsors The Forum, the King of Hearts Café, the

Join the Gazelle entrepreneurship evolution

City College Norwich has embarked on our journey towards becoming an entrepreneurial college with the launch of our StartUp Lounge, our unique and inspiring new facility for developing students’ enterprise and entrepreneurship skills.  I would like to invite you to be a part of this exciting development that is at the forefront of the national Gazelle movement.Not yet heard of Gazelle?  Gazelle is a new movement in further education, bringing together leaders from the private and public sectors with the ambition of transforming the sector through entrepreneurship.

Why every College Principal should be on Twitter

There are now over 100 million active twitter users – but is your college Principal one of them?  If not, should they be, and so for that matter should the rest of the senior management team?

UK education gets a ‘fail’ for preparing students for work… but entrepreneurial colleges can change that


A survey in October by the Young Enterprise charity found that 75% of UK business leaders think that British education is failing to give young people the right skills for work.