Why join our staff team at Cirencester College?

New Buildings Cirencester College

Our students

Unlike many local 6th forms we have we have an inclusive approach to recruitment and use GCSE scores to select on the basis of potential to succeed. We give a much wider range of students the opportunity to study and they generally repay that approach by doing very well.

About a third of our students are from Cirencester, a third from Swindon/N Wilts and the rest from around Gloucestershire. There are also growing numbers from Oxfordshire and South Glos. Most travel some distance to get here which means that they are highly motivated and want to succeed. They have chosen to travel past many other providers to get to us because they want the special experience of a proper Sixth Form College. They quickly adapt to the atmosphere of high expectations and support in College and always impress visitors with their politeness and focus. They are generally punctual to class, respond well to their lecturers and peers and focus on their work. Staff who have joined us from other schools and colleges are usually pleasantly surprised.  90% of students are on level 3 programmes, with the majority doing A-levels and a rapidly growing proportion doing T-Levels. We try and give students access to the same broad enrichment programme and pastoral support.

Parents are supportive of their sons and daughters and of the College. We have Parents’ Evenings twice a year to provide feedback and discuss any issues. We also continue to develop a range of on-line tools to improve communication further.

Our Staff

Our lecturers are well qualified academically or in their vocational fields. Many also work as external examiners. Almost all are trained teachers with around half having been trained here whilst in their first year with us. Lecturers are grouped in subject teams in Faculties. Team working is strong and lecturers frequently share best practice within and between groups. We have a strong tradition of staff development including weekly teaching and learning sessions which many staff attend and where sessions are often led by their peers.

Lecturers are currently on a GFE style contract as the College was originally a Tertiary College and we retain many of those Tertiary Features. These include adult education, apprenticeships and a wider range of non A-Level provision than most 6FCs. However, our contract contains many features which are more common in 6FCs. For example, a higher pay scale than most FE, reducing the number of directed days to 195 (plus 10 self-directed professional development days) and one of the lowest annual teaching loads (815 hours). Some lecturers are also tutor’s and most contribute to enrichment and/or out of class learning.

We have a strong track-record of ‘growing our own staff’. In addition to training a majority of our lecturers we have also developed many of them in promoted posts. 2/3 Vice Principals and 5/6 Faculty Heads and all our senior professionals were promoted internally. Our staff development model is designed to give people the opportunity to gain skills, understanding and responsibility so that we can continue this pattern.

Learning and the student experience is also very well supported by our teams of support staff, most of who are based centrally in the student journey unit in the hub or in our learning support centre. Support services pride themselves on their excellent customer care which is widely recognised by parents and students. We take the view that all our staff are responsible for student experience.

Our Campus

Our Campus adjoins the early Eighteenth century Cirencester Park and is a 15-minute walk from town. The playing field out front and the surrounding trees create a green-campus feel which our staff and students find attractive.

Our new £5 million T-level building opened in Spring 2023, providing sector specialist accommodation for our T-levels in Engineering, Health, Construction, Finance, Early Years, Accounting and Business. There are three large engineering workshops, a small training hospital and an early years classroom. T-levels are designed to prepare students to succeed in modern working environments. As well as this, our new ‘Art Lofts’ opened in September 2023 ready for the new Craft and Design T-level starting in September 2024. The investment continues, we will be opening a new, bigger pastoral hub, additional refectory and social space and more T-level classrooms in 2024.

IT infrastructure is good and classrooms and study areas well served with data connections and Wi-Fi. All teachers and tutors are supplied with laptops while teaching rooms have large TV screens or are equipped with projectors and smart boards. Lecturers provide additional support to students via courses and resources set up on our VLE (Moodle) but increasingly use MS Teams.

Our ambition is to have a large central staffroom on the ground floor close to the refectory. We are not there yet but have a newly refurbished staff social area, a large, dedicated ‘get your head down study and a range of small staff spaces where you can grab a coffee, chat or get a bit of work done between classes. There are several areas where staff can store things as well as good in-class storage in some blocks. The new buildings will both have staff spaces and the Digital Building will have a staff terrace on the roof too.

The vast majority of our staff drive to College (although other modes are available) so we provide free parking on site.

The second transformation of our campus is about encouraging biodiversity and making more of our outdoor space. We have been developing our ‘green campus plans’ for many years but our efforts have been boosted by being part of the Wild Campus Cirencester Project with 2 neighbouring institutions which is about providing better habitats for bats and other endangered species. We have undertaken a great deal of planting of trees, native hedging, bulbs and wild flowers while a small group of staff have converted one part of our site to a kind of ‘forest school area’ with ponds and places to chill out amongst the trees. Our ambitions include developing more interesting outside spaces both between the buildings and around the green parts of our campus. We hope it is somewhere you will also enjoy.