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June 2012


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BSix Wins Principal of the Year


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The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) runs annual awards to mark significant achievements in student voice. The Leading the Learner Voice 2012 awards were held at a conference venue in Victoria, London.

At the ceremony Ken Warman was named Principal of the Year. This is in recognition of the College's approach to the involvement of students in college life and decisions. There are formal structures to capture student views. These include a Student Union, Principal's Question Time sessions, Learning Advocacy (in which students are trained to undertake research, make presentations and observe lessons) and a student inspection.

In addition, though, the College has an informal, open approach to student views. Senior Managers in BSix are always around and are always willing to listen. Most importantly, when suggestions are constructive, possible and in line with the College's mission, then action is taken. For example, a Principal's Question Time in November 2010 led to: the installation of a cash machine, the introduction of Celebrating Diversity events in the canteen; and complaints about the canteen food led to the reorganisation of its catering services and the winning of the Cost Sector University/College award just four months later.

When asked about the award, Ken revealed: "I did think about turning down the award because I would have preferred Principal of the Decade, Century or Millennium." Joking aside (and we think – or hope – he is joking), this is one of many awards being presented to BSix.

These include Outstanding Provider of the Year and a London Education Partnership award for raising achievement. "These awards are not about individuals," Ken wishes to emphasise. "They are a much-welcome acknowledgement of the huge strides the College has made in recent years. Our results have improved by 33% since 2007 and the College has grown by 50% in just three years. This has enabled us to invest heavily in teaching and new facilities such as a refurbished Library and a new building at the back of the College."

As a result, the College is increasingly popular among young people. Applications for a place have grown four-fold in just three years.