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Petroc wins AoC Award

We’re delighted to announce that Petroc has been highly commended in the prestigious Beacon Jisc Award.

The Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. This award supported by Jisc celebrates effective use of digital technology in Further Education.

Mark White, Interim Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award celebrates an outstanding example of the use of technology and the work of the winning college goes above and beyond.”

Petroc used digital technology to help gain insight into keeping learning and students safe during the pandemic:

Following analysis of the SAGE schools re-opening report in May 2020, Petroc identified an opportunity: if you could model how social distancing and bubbling impacted the numbers of staff and learners who would be required to quarantine in the event of an outbreak, you could give real insight into how to keep learners learning and students safe under COVID.

The college sought a university partner to develop the concept. Its local university had world leading expertise in AI and data modelling and was already working on similar modelling within hospital wards. It engaged the AoC to share and develop with other colleges, which attracted City and Guilds’ support. The concept was simple: colleges entered some of the variables about their community infection rates, and some of the choices they would make about bubble sizes, social distancing, and timetabling. The tool then showed likely infection and required staff and learner self-isolation.

The tool was trialled with AoC member colleges, garnering valuable feedback to further refine it. Colleges saw the value and have accessed it to inform management of their COVID-safe operations and adaptations. Its use exemplifies the best of modern FE colleges – socially-valuable, working in partnership, caring for learners.

Sean Mackney, Principal and CEO of Petroc, said: “I am extremely proud that Petroc has received highly commended in the prestigious Beacon Jisc Award for Effective Use of Digital Technology in Further Education​. This is a real reflection of the hard work and dedication of our team, who saw an opportunity to do something with partners and technology that would be useful to schools and colleges more widely– keeping our communities safe and our learners learning under covid.”


21 February 2021


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