innovit education

Education chiefs honour Sawtry Community College

Education chiefs are making a pioneering Cambridgeshire college their first stop on a national tour to learn lessons on how to run schools of the future.

Sawtry Community College will receive an award as it plays host to the Future Visions Tour which will see bigwigs and policy makers from the world of education and the Government descend on the rural school from all parts of the UK. They will attend a series of workshops which showcase the school’s achievement in using Information Technology (IT) to set new standards in the delivery of community learning.

Organisers, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), chose Sawtry Community College as the first venue for the three-day tour. It wanted to honour the college – which has pupils 1,400 pupils from 11 to 18 years old - with an award which recognised how it has used IT to improve digital literacy and therefore increase engagement with pupils and participation of the wider community.

Associate principal, Alan Stevens, is delighted to receive the award and has been quick to praise key partner Innovit for its instrumental role in managing the school’s IT which has been the bedrock from which it has delivered digital literacy for pupils, parents and other members of the community who use the school’s facilities.

“The award is very significant because it vindicates our belief that the college should be at the heart of the community and provide services which are for the benefit of all the 35,000 people who live locally,” he said.

“We have a responsibility to keep raising standards, not just for pupils, but also as part of the wider skills agenda for adult learners and this is where we have been able to take such a proactive lead.

“The award is recognition for all the hard work done by the leadership team, teaching and support staff and key partners such as Innovit.”

The award does not mean the college – which celebrates its 45th birthday this year - will rest on its laurels. It has been a Microsoft IT academy for five years and, thanks to Innovit, is stealing a march on other schools in the UK as it already has school-home links in place to extend virtual learning environments.

“Sawtry Community College has always been at the centre of community life and follows a tradition which dates back to the 1930s when Henry Morris founded the Cambridgeshire Village Colleges which provided facilities and services to all local citizens,” added Mr Stevens.

“We have brought this right up to date to ensure the continued development of community engagement and cohesion. The college and the community are fully interlocked to ensure our community is sustainable to meet the future challenges of raising educational standards and skills. We are already looking at future developments to improve easier access to learning and offering other educational services.

Innovit managing director, Andy Dent, is delighted that the college has been recognised on a national stage for its ability to spearhead change.

“The team at Sawtry are a shining example of the vision that is required to push through groundbreaking change for the benefit of pupils and the wider community,” he said.

“They are a truly innovative college and it is pleasing to see that leading figures from the world of education can visit to see what lessons they can learn that can be rolled out across the rest of the country.”


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