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Publication date:- 2017-03-03

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 1.

Winstanley College named 6th Form College of the year

WINSTANLEY College, won 6th Form College of the year 2017, at a glittering, black tie event hosted by comedian Rob Beckett on Friday night.

The judges from the TES (Times Education Supplement) felt that Winstanley College's "sheer range of good practice", and the extensive evidence that it was going above and beyond to support its local community, gave it the edge in this competitive category.

Winstanley College has been rated "outstanding" by Ofsted since 2000, with its most recent full inspection taking place in 2007. Standards have remained high, with impressive outcomes for students. More than 90% are highly satisfied with their experience at the college, and applications have increased by 28% since 2009. Students often progress to leading universities, with about 40% taking up places at Russell Group institutions every year, and an overall progression rate of 85%.

The college delivers access programmes for more than 150, 6th form students every year; for its own learners and those from nearby 6th forms. In partnership with local schools, it runs a programme for academically able students who might not otherwise aspire to further academic study. Winstanley College has also established a peer review and development group with other 6th form colleges to facilitate joint lesson observations, self-assessment and CPD. The partnership has supported all the colleges to achieve "good" or "outstanding" Ofsted ratings.

The judges said that Winstanley College was:- "extremely impressive and at the top of the category. Its range, impact and reach was very good."

Their victory was witnessed by over 600 people, gathered to celebrate the sector's achievements, at the prestigious awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London, on Friday, 24 February 2017.

Local business owners urged to act now to avoid pensions penalty nightmare

AS over 750,000 employers face new responsibilities this year to contribute to their staff pension pots, small business owners across Southport are being urged to act now to avoid hefty fines and potential prosecution. Andrew Geddes who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Southport said:- "A record number of businesses reach their so called 'staging date' this year for the new workplace pension scheme. Local business owners will have received their date from the Pensions Regulator and must automatically enrol eligible employees and contribute to their pension pot. We've been advising local businesses since the pension changes were 1st introduced 5 years ago and many business owners have planned well in advance, but 2017 will see the new rules come into effect for many more local businesses, as 750,000 UK employers reach their staging date. Business owners whose staging date was in 2014, will also need to automatically re-enrol certain staff and complete a re-declaration of compliance this year. We're urging local business owners who haven't yet put a scheme in place for their staff, to do so soon to beat the inevitable rush and avoid hefty penalties. Pension providers are likely to be overwhelmed with enquiries and many will not cater for the small business market. Business owners who fail to provide a qualifying pension scheme could face a £400 fixed penalty from the Pensions Regulator, escalating to daily fines set at a minimum of £50 per day, with the possibility of civil penalties and Court action."

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