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Laying Firm Foundations

Originally Published 12 May 2002
Laying Firm Foundations
Community Enterprise
and Development

This foundation degree has been developed in partnership with the University of Warwick, representatives from the community, the local authorities and North Warwickshire and Hinckley College of Further Education. Both the Nuneaton and Bedworth Council for Voluntary Service and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council have played a central role in developing and delivering elements of the curriculum, and they have been involved in actively marketing the degree to relevant sectors within the community.

A cohort of 19 students - some of whom are pictured above with Dr Russell Moseley, who helped to launch Warwick's first foundation degrees - is about to complete the second term of their degree and have entered the programme with a mix of vocational and academic qualifications, and, above all, a high level of prior practical knowledge and experience. An initial, formal evaluation of the programme revealed that the students have warmly welcomed the opportunity to study for a new degree programme that met both their vocational and academic needs. The degree, focusing on community, development and enterprise, is regarded as a significant innovation in an area lacking in higher-level accreditation.

Foundation Degree in Learning Support

The first students to embark on the Foundation Degree in Learning Support (FdA) have survived two thirds of their first year. Many of those on the course are hoping this will be the first step to a teaching career - others are keeping an open mind, but all are thoroughly enjoying their studies. The Foundation Degree in Learning Support is a combined programme of academically rigorous study with practical and professional workplace based learning. It is being put forward to the DfES for recognition as a model of good practice. Caroline Jones, programme leader at the Institute of Education says "it's been a hectic first few months but I am really pleased with the success of this prototype degree". The degree is now recruiting for next year and there has already been a lot of interest. A key factor in the success of the programme has been the involvement of the three local education authorities as partners - Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. The financial support offered to students by the Early Years Partnerships in Coventry and Solihull has been especially valuable.