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Tuesday 14th July 2015 10:00 – 12:00

Newcastle Library, 47 Ironmarket, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 1AT.

If you are a parent or carer of a child/young person with disabilities and/or additional needs Staffordshire County Council wants to hear from you.

They would like to invite parents and carers to attend workshops on designing the Short Breaks offer in Staffordshire.

The purpose of each workshop is to:

  • Let you know about the findings and initial principles/recommendations from the 'Shaping the Future Programme' and what this means for the future;
  • Work with parents and carers to shape Staffordshire's future community Short Breaks Offer (Aiming High), through understanding what children/young people and their families want and need from a community based Short Break, and how this can be best achieved.

As there are limited places at each workshop pre-booking is recommend.

In addition to the workshops they will be visiting a number of Aiming High activities over the summer months to talk to children/young people and their parents/carers.

They will also be publishing surveys shortly to gain views and opinions.

Should you wish to book a place or have any further questions or queries, please contact either Amy or Emma at Aiming High via phone on 01785 278072

or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 13:33

Seventy apprenticeships up for grabs

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) has more than 70 apprenticeships on offer.

The college, which recruits on behalf of local employers, is looking to fill positions ranging from business administration to customer service, early years to engineering and hair and beauty to IT and retail.

Successful applicants will earn around £120 a week while gaining valuable work experience and nationally recognised qualifications. Typically they would work with their employer for four days a week and go to college for one day. NULC boasts a high success rate among apprentices with its 16-18 apprenticeship results 10% higher than the national average.

Among the top employers looking to hire are Amanda for Blinds, Michelin, The Trentham Estate, Meaford Day Nursery and Robertas Bridal.

Said NULC's head of employer engagement and training Carl Riding: "It's unusual to have so many openings at this time of year. I think good employers are really switched on to apprenticeships now as a cost-effective way of training new and existing staff and filling skills gaps with loyal employees. Apprentices have the opportunity to gain real experience while earning and learning.

"With exam results just around the corner, it's a great time for young people to secure an apprenticeship. We have some really interesting opportunities including a web developer, sign-writer, electrical/mechanical engineer, a CNC machinist and Wade Ceramics are looking for a modeller and 3D designer. These are the sort of roles that will provide terrific prospects for bright new recruits."

Apprenticeships are one of the few training routes where funding is still available although it is mainly dependent on the age of the apprentice.

Newcastle-under-Lyme College offers apprenticeships alongside A-levels, degrees and vocational qualifications and works with employers facing a talent shortage in sectors such as engineering, accountancy, health and social care, early years or hair and beauty.

NULC's apprenticeship vacancies are listed here.

Employers wishing to hire apprentices, should contact Carl Riding on 01782 254351.Apprenticeship vacancies

Monday, 20 July 2015 16:35

Gradbach facelift earns a plaque

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) is celebrating completion of major building work at its new outdoor education and activity centre at Gradbach in the Peak District.

The college bought the former youth hostel in early 2014 and has since then renovated the buildings to a standard that is sympathetic both to the site's heritage and stunning countryside setting.

Gradbach was built in 1730 and has operated as a mill for flax, silk and wood and as a dairy farm. For the last 35 years it was a 90 bed youth hostel but was sold when the Youth Hostel Association decided not to invest further in its upkeep.

Set in a 16-acre site by the River Dane, the centre comprises a converted mill building, a separate farmhouse and staff accommodation. The buildings required significant internal and external repair and updating so, by the end of this year, the Gradbach centre will provide accommodation for 46 people in its mill and farmhouse buildings. It will offer students, community groups, corporate and private guests the opportunity to experience a wide range of educational or outdoor pursuits.

Activities will include archery, abseiling, canoeing, caving, climbing and orienteering while training and development can include leadership and management training, team building and experiential learning. The farmhouse, which sleeps 16, can also be hired privately.

NULC was keen to recognise the efforts of local craftsmen and women who worked on the project and so has erected a plaque to commemorate the milestone. The plaque was unveiled by Principal Karen Dobson and Chair of the NULC Corporation George Stonier. George joined the college's governing body in 1993 and has overseen the college through difficult times in the early years to becoming one of the top colleges in the country now.

Contractors involved in the renovation included M R Bradley Building and Groundwork of Leek; John Worth Ltd Plumbing and Heating Engineers of Macclesfield; SEI Electrical Contractors of Tunstall; Peake & Son Ltd of Stoke, who carried out all the internal and external painting; and Moorlands Walling and Landscape Contractors
of Ipstones, who rebuilt many of the centre's dry stone walls.

The farmhouse was stripped back to bare walls and had new floors and en-suite bathrooms added, as well as an oak conservatory to create a light and airy sitting room. The mill building was repointed, remodeled and redecorated to provide en-suite accommodation for 30 people.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive, said: "We believe it's important to invest in facilities that give our students wider experience whether that's in work placements or outdoor pursuits. In terms of sound financial planning it is also sensible for us to diversify our income streams and I am pleased to say that other educational establishments and commercial organisations are already showing interest in hiring Gradbach."

The College also recently opened a state-of-the-art £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre and a new £60,000 LEGO® Innovation Suite, which provides an exciting and inclusive learning environment where students can experience a 'hands-on' and 'minds-on' learning approach to help inspire tomorrow's scientists, engineers and computer programmers.

NULC is the largest provider of 16-18 education in Staffordshire and offers every type of post-16 course, including AS/A Levels, vocational courses and apprenticeships. Gradbach is a wholly owned subsidiary of the college and will shortly be incorporated as Gradbach Ltd.

To find out more about Gradbach, please visit

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LH 6Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) Art and Design students Tammy McCutcheon and Danielle Sharratt will be displaying and selling their art work at the Traditional Summer Fair and Fun Dog Show on Saturday 11 July.

The family event is being put on by Clayton Hall Business and Language College and will feature a dog show in conjunction with Greyhound Gap, a charity which helps to rehome dogs. Alongside the dog show there will be a range of traditional crafts, games and amusements.

The NULC students are ex-Clayton pupils and will be selling dog and animal related art work to support the event.

After leaving Clayton Tammy went onto complete A levels and Danielle studied for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design at NULC. Now they are both studying a Foundation Degree in Contemporary Art Practice at NULC.

Organiser Helen Drummond, Community and Marketing Coordinator for the South Newcastle Federation, said, “We are really pleased the girls are taking part in this event. The close partnership between our two schools and the college means we can support each other and develop great relationships. It’s good for our current pupils to see how they can progress once they leave and go to college.”

Said NULC’s Schools Liaison Manager Lucy Hancock: “The event is open to the local community and is running from 10:00 to 2:00pm at Clayton Hall Business and Language College. Please support the event by attending with your family pet and have a fun filled day.”

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 00:00

School pupils invited to college open event

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) is holding an Open Event for Year 9 & 10 school pupils. The College will be opening its doors this weekend to give prospective students the chance to find out more about the wide range of courses on offer.

The College's Open Event will take place on Saturday 20 June from 10am to 12 noon at its Knutton Lane campus.

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive, said: "The aim of this open event is to provide school pupils with information on the full range of options available so that they can make an informed choice about their future studies once they leave school. We'll have expert staff on hand throughout the day to advise young people on the course that's right for them."

Visitors will also be able to attend a number of informative talks including a welcome presentation by Karen Dobson, an overview of the range of enrichment activities students can get involved in to make the most out of their time at NULC and a clear explanation of the different post-16 course routes on offer.

There will also be advice and guidance about the range of support on offer, from financial help and additional learner support to activities and enrichment opportunities.

Subject demonstrations will also be taking place throughout the morning at the College's brand new state-of-the-art £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre and in the new £60,000 LEGO® Innovation Suite, which provides an exciting and inclusive learning environment where students can experience a 'hands-on' and 'minds-on' learning approach to help inspire tomorrow's scientists, engineers and computer programmers.

NULC is one of the largest providers of 16-18 education in Staffordshire and offers every type of post-16 course, including AS/A Levels, vocational courses and Apprenticeships.

Courses are available in a wide range of subjects including Art, Design and Media, Beauty Therapy, Business and Accounting, Childcare and Early Years, Computing and IT, Construction, Engineering, Hairdressing, Health and Social Care, Make-up Artistry, Music, Performing Arts, Public Services, Sport and Travel and Tourism.

To register your attendance at the Open Event on Saturday 20 June, please visit

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Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) has been awarded the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Global Learning Advanced Partner status for its CIMA accounting courses.

The prestigious status is only awarded to institutions that hold a track record for success with a commitment to provide high quality teaching for students.

CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants and is committed to upholding the highest ethical and professional standards.

To be awarded the Global Learning Advanced Partner Status, training providers have to demonstrate they have a strong teaching team that supports students to deliver fantastic results.

Sarah Champ, NULC ACCA/CIMA Co-ordinator said: “This status reflects the top quality teaching we provide and our excellent range of support we provide to our students.

“We believe our combination of small class sizes and experienced teachers help students to achieve fantastic results.”

NULC has a string of success with accounting awards and was awarded ACCA Gold approval in 2013, which also recognises the quality of teaching and support for students.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification is a popular choice for those looking to work in practice, audit or tax whereas the CIMA qualification is often studied by those looking to work in business and industry.

To find out more about our range of professional accounting courses, click here: or have a look at all our professional courses starting in September:

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The UK Corporate Games come to Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) this week with over 600 competitors and spectators from major companies competing between 25-28 June.

With over 4,000 people expected to attend the games at several Staffordshire venues, it has been estimated that the competition could bring up to £2.5million to the county’s economy.

NULC will host the Soccer & Soccer Sevens and Volleyball competitions while a wide array of sports and activities are set to take place across Staffordshire. Other venues include Keele and Staffordshire Universities, Fenton Manor and Trentham Gardens.

The college will also be entering teams in dragon boat racing, basketball, soccer sevens, volleyball and open water swimming.

Said Louise Ziemann, manager of the NULC Gordon Banks Sport Centre: “As the number one sports college in the West Midlands, we are delighted to be both a host and competitor in the UK Corporate Games. Not only is this a brilliant opportunity to welcome visitors to our fabulous facilities, we are also looking forward to a great competition for our teams, some of whom are just back from the national college championships with a clutch of medals.”

NULC Sports Academy programmes include football, basketball, netball, rugby, volleyball and the Golf Academy which are based at NULC’s Gordon Banks Sports Centre. The college was West Midlands Sports College of the year in 2012 and 2014 and was rated by Ofsted as “outstanding” for sports, leisure and recreation.

To find out more about sport at NULC, please visit

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 00:00

‘POP’ in to College Art Exhibition

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Members of the public are invited to POP into a visual extravaganza as talented students from Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) showcase their creative designs.

The annual end-of-year exhibition is open to the public from Saturday 20 June to Friday 26 June and is hosted at the College’s £60 million campus at Knutton Lane.

The annual event has risen in popularity over the years and welcomes hundreds of visitors, who are keen to discover the work of some of the most talented, creative students in Staffordshire.

The exhibition, called POP, encompasses all creative subjects from the College’s art faculties, which includes fashion, film, illustration, 3D design, painting, ceramics, graphic design, media, music technology, photography, and textiles.

Mike Kelly, assistant head of faculty, academic and creative studies at the College, said “We chose the name ‘POP’ this year to reflect the fact that our student’s work is fresh, urgent and bursting with confidence.

“There are highlights in every course area across three floors, including work by A Level Art students Elli Fox and Hazel Mason whose work has been selected for exhibition in the Mall Galleries in London. We also have Extended Diploma in Graphics student, Patryk Czajkowski’s work, whose illustrations have been used for the Art Exhibition poster, which are witty, vibrant and above all great fun.

“Our foundation degree students have produced an exciting themed exhibit to showcase their talents as they move towards their top-up year at university or begin careers in the industry.

“Much of the work in the show is for sale, so this is a great chance to buy work from artists and designers who are moving on to top universities or great careers.”

This year’s show also includes work by butterfly illustrations by mouth painter Chloe Wilkes in our Level 1 and 2 exhibition.

The College has a national reputation for the quality of its art and creative courses and its many successful former students, including Oscar winning special effects director Pete Bebb, Esme Talbot who designs her own Potteries slogan based products and photographer Veronique de Viguerie who has travelled the world as a photo journalist for publications including ‘Paris Match’.

In addition, it’s also the only one in Staffordshire to launch its own town centre enterprise in the form of the M.A.D.E Here shop. The shop provides students past and present with an opportunity to sell their products whilst gaining business and employability skills.

Exhibition opening times are available by visiting

There will also be the opportunity for visitors to the College’s Open Day on Saturday 20 June to view the exhibition from 10am – 12 noon.

For more details call 01782 254254, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

Thursday, 02 July 2015 14:02

New adult courses at NULC from September

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Adults who want to find out more about the range of brand new courses at Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC) can now pick-up the newly designed NULC Courses.

From September there will be a selection of new courses aimed at adults including a Foundation Degree in Children, Young People and Communities and also a Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts.

The new term will also see the addition of a new, part-time CILEx (The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) accredited law course aimed at those wishing to pursue a career as a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer.

Adults who are not looking to change careers but are interested in learning something new could choose from a range of creative art-based subjects such as photography or try learning a new language such as French or Spanish.

Carol Thomas, Director of Curriculum and Performance at the College, said: “We are pleased to be offering a selection of brand new courses this September, including the new Level 3 law course which offers potential students an alternative route into becoming a practising lawyer, rather than choosing the traditional university pathway.

“Regardless of your age or academic level, there is a course for you here at the College and we have a range of financial support packages available to help.

“The state-of-the-art campus has a wide range of facilities especially designed for adults including a dedicated University Centre and areas to relax in including a Starbucks coffee shop and Transform Hair and Beauty Salon.

Those who want to find out more about the different courses on offer or want to talk to someone about returning to education can come along to the College’s Adult Advice Event on Saturday 5th September between 10am and 12pm.

Here potential students can find out more about funding and speak directly to experienced tutors about their chosen course. Those who already know which course they want to start in September will also be able to enrol at the event.

The new A4 colour NULC Courses magazine, formally known as NULC News, has changed from a newspaper into a glossy magazine and is available to pick-up from supermarkets across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Anyone considering learning a new skill or changing career paths can find out more information such as what financial support is available, how to apply and when courses start.

To see the full list of new courses starting from September 2015 please visit

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Parents looking for ways to keep their children entertained during summer can sign up to a holiday club at The Gordon Banks Sports Centre.

The Sports Centre, based at Newcastle-under-Lyme College (NULC), has partnered with Macron Sports Academy to offer boys and girls aged from four to 12 the opportunity to take part in a range of sporting activities including indoor and outdoor sports such as football, tennis, rounders, athletics, dance and fizzy totz games for children in early years or key stage 1.

During the six week club, participants will also be able to take a trip to Manchester City Football Club to receive a tour of the stadium, including the press room, pitch and the players changing rooms.

Louise Ziemann, Manager of The Gordon Banks Sports Centre, said: “The club will provide a relaxed and safe environment for children to enjoy a range of activities, helping them to make new friends, stay fit and healthy and hopefully learn some new skills at the same time.”

The holiday club will cost £10 per day or £6 per for a half day per child and will run every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 3pm and will start on 22 July and run through to 28 August.

Louise added: “Places are limited so I’d urge anyone interested in registering to get in touch with our holiday club partner, Macron Sports Academy, as soon as possible to avoid missing out.”

Macron Sports Academy has been established since 2001 and provides high quality sports coaching in both schools and the community. They actively promote healthy lifestyle programmes for the NHS which cover a complete age range and provide school holiday clubs throughout Staffordshire. Also, they have recently opened a sportswear and leisurewear shop on Lower Street in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

For more details and to register your child, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call 01782 616227/07920162048 or drop into the Macron store in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

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