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NSW Department of Education senior executives visit Macquarie Community College

NSW Department of Education senior executives visit Macquarie Community College

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Left to Right:  MCC Head of Training Stuart Bastock with Matilda Howard, Tony Davies, Dominic Kocx, and Noeleen Alchin with Childcare students learning first aid.

Macquarie Community College recently welcomed senior executives from the NSW Department of Education on a visit to our Carlingford campus – the shared home of the College and Gateway Community High school.

The Department delegation included members from a range of teams keen to see and understand how Macquarie Community College Group offers such a diverse range of inclusive and affordable programs to its diverse range of students.

CEO Theresa Collignon and Head of Training Stuart Bastock hosted the visit of Tony Davies, People and Organisational Development Support (Office of the Executive Director RER),Dominic Kocx, Senior Policy Officer (Education and Skills Reform), Matilda Howard, Assistant Research & Policy Officer (National Skills Reform), and Noeleen Alchin, Acting Regional Manager (Training Services NSW) to showcase a ‘typical day’ of our College and School in action.

All involved were able to gain an insight into the broad range of lifelong learning adult and community education opportunities available to our students. The tour included visiting our students and trainers in Basic Computers Skills, Childcare, three levels of English and cake decorating – all classes running on the one day.

Much of the conversation focused on the way the College identifies and meets the needs of the communities it serves – which can vary depending on location given our broad geographic coverage across Northern and western Sydney.

The College is renowned for its continuous development and decades of experience in delivering a large range of much-needed courses – including English for migrants, digital literacy and employability skills for jobseekers, part and full vocational qualifications and also for its open entry programs for life-long learning.

At both state and commonwealth government level, there is a strong interest in reform to continuously improve the outcomes of all aspects of the education sector from early childhood, through school as well as VET and Higher education – not just for students, but to create trained workers to meet industry needs, strengthen the economy and the country.

At a policy level, there is a particularly strong focus on how to increase the availability and quality of “foundational skills” training – which is where our decades of experience of successful engagement in creating and providing inclusive learning opportunities for disadvantaged learners comes in. The College is renowned for innovation, quality and completion rates for students who face barriers to participation in learning or employment so that they gain critical skills in English language or literacy, improve their digital literacy and also skills for employment. Importantly the College provides a learning environment that seeks to make all of our learners feel welcome, respected and supported – and also create connections for them with their fellow students, teachers, future employers and local community networks.

The team also had a brief visit to Gateway Community High to understand more about how it differs to mainstream schooling for our small cohort of 40 Year 9 and 10 students.  The very small, personalised, positive and tailored approach to supporting the learning and wellbeing outcomes of the students was of particular interest, as were the outcomes seen in attendance, academic achievement and wellbeing – all contributing to ongoing engagement in their formal schooling. Read the Huber Report.

Theresa reflected on the day saying, "It is always an honour and a privilege to be asked to host these visits as we get the chance to showcase all the fabulous things the College and School do – and a chance to talk about our students, staff and communities.”

Thanking Theresa and the Macquarie Community College team, Tony Davies said "The experience was very informative, and Dom, Matilda and I enjoyed the opportunity to see some of the classes in action.”