Beacon Awards/GWR franchise

Last month I was delighted to attend an event at Bridgend College to celebrate their success at the Association of Colleges Beacon Awards. Bridgend College fought off stiff competition from Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education to win the RSM Leadership and Governance Award. The AoC Beacon Awards are an annual celebration of the best and innovative FE Colleges in the UK. The main award ceremony was held in Birmingham last November.

The assessors visited Bridgend College in October 2017 and looked at how the college’s governors, leaders and managers ‘have been visionary and ambitious for the college and have demonstrated a relentless and uncompromising focus on improving the teaching and learning experience’. This is not the first time that Bridgend College has won a Beacon Award, winning one in 2014 and in 2016. Winning an award has been described as “winning an Oscar” in the further education world. A fantastic achievement and thoroughly well- deserved by everyone at Bridgend College. It is great to have such an asset in Bridgend.

Last week, the Welsh Government released details about its consultation response to the UK Government’s consultation on the current Great Western rail franchise. Alongside highlighting the need for quicker journey times, more services, better access to Heathrow and delivery of UK Government promises on infrastructure investment, the Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates AM, has suggested that rail services operating between Wales and London could be re-mapped onto a new franchise procured and managed by the Welsh Government. In the consultation submission Mr Skates stated that there was now an “overwhelming case for applying the model developed for cross-border services under the next Wales and Borders franchise to the procurement and management of services currently operated by Great Western.”