Northern College for Residential and Non-Residential Adult EducationEdit profile
Northern College is one of the four long term residential adult colleges in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1978 and by 2006 was the largest of the colleges. Located at Wentworth Castle, near Barnsley, it is set in the only grade I listed landscape in South Yorkshire. Currently the College is in the middle of a £15 million restoration and renovation scheme which will provide a range of new facilities within the wider context of a major tourist attraction in South Yorkshire. The College has a powerful heritage of combining widening participation with providing learning of the highest quality. It was one of the Beacon Colleges under the FEFC and has Beacon Status under the LSC, one of only two institutions to hold this status in South Yorkshire. It engages with learners in the first instance through outreach programmes throughout West and South Yorkshire and through its connections with local authorities and the voluntary and community sector. Learners often first come to the College in groups where they are encouraged to enter the Foundation Programme which offers a range of short residential courses at levels 1 and 2. With the Foundation Programme, the College offers specific courses in Literacy and Numeracy, an area of provision in which the College has an outstanding reputation. In addition, the College offers a 'Workforce Development Programme' which includes significant amount of provision for trade unionists, in conjunction with the TUC and a range of trade unions including AMICUS, the GFTU, UNISON and the GMB. It works with the voluntary and community sector to offer courses in the area of community regeneration. At the apex of the College are the Diploma Programmes, which provide access to higher education and employment opportunities for a range of full-time and part-time adult students. The College also provides facilities for conferences/workshops and seminars, and will have by March 2007, a new facility for 80-100 participants in the refurbished St James Church, plus additional residential and teaching facilities in the 18th Century Home Farm complex. The College has played a leading role in the development of adult education in the UK in its pioneering work in areas such as outreach community learning, trade union education and education for community regeneration. David Blunkett stated: "the residential colleges hold a pround and distinguished place in the history of adult learning in this country."