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As Principal and Chief Executive of

Derwentside College, it is a pleasure to present

our 2014-15 Annual Report. This has been

another successful year and I am proud of the

students and staff for their continued hard work.

As demonstrated by our mission and vision,

we are relentless in our focus on developing

the employability of our learners as well as

our services to employers. We are one of the

largest and most successful apprenticeship

providers in the region and beyond and in

2014-15, we had 5,506 apprentices and worked

with 1,065 employers. Whilst the majority of

our learners are located in County Durham,

we also deliver apprenticeships across Tyne

and Wear, Northumberland, Tees Valley and

Yorkshire and Humber.

We continue to perform well financially,

despite significant funding cuts across the

sector and in 2014-15 we returned another

healthy surplus.

Success rates on our classroom-based courses

continue to be very high, placing us again in

the top 10% of all colleges for most areas. Our

apprenticeship success rates are well above

the national rates and this includes a very

successful take-over of a large contract that

was terminated with another provider.

I am pleased to report that, according to

the government’s latest published statistics,

the College has the highest percentage of

young people with sustained progression into

education, training or employment in the

North East region. Furthermore, we also have

the highest percentage of young people

progressing into apprenticeships in the country.

Throughout 2014-15, we continued to build on

our outstanding partnership with Jobcentre

Plus in continually aligning our programmes to

local job vacancy trends. We also opened the

doors to our new construction centre with over

120 students joining this provision.

I am extremely proud of our apprentice

Reece Taylor, who represented his country,

Derwentside College and his employer, Dyer

Engineering, at the WorldSkills competition in

Brazil in August 2015. Reece was awarded

a Medallion of Excellence placing him in the

top 10% of world competitors. Added to this,

Reece was also successful in winning the AoC’s

Student of the Year 2015.

I would like to thank the College’s staff and the

staff of our strategic partners for their unwavering

dedication to helping our learners achieve truly

amazing outcomes. I would also like to thank

College Board Members for their on-going

dedication and their invaluable support.

Karen Redhead

Principal and Chief Executive

Annual Report


Principal’s Statement