1. Luminate Education Group launches new training centre for businesses

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    Luminate Education Group, a leading provider of education in Yorkshire, has launched a new training centre in the heart of Yorkshire to boost the skills needs of the region’s economy. 

    The Yorkshire Centre for Training and Development (YCTD) will offer bespoke training packages, specific to business needs and employee requirements.

    The centre will encompass the education group’s teaching expertise from Leeds City, Keighley and Harrogate colleges, delivering a range of compliance, professional development and redundancy support courses. 

    Lee Pryor, Director for YCTD, said: “With the ever-changing economic climate, we recognise businesses’ need to adapt their employees’ skills, to ensure a successful post-Brexit and post-Covid-19 transition. 

    “Our service will start with a complimentary skills planning session to understand the business, so that we can effectively identify its training needs, and match these to a budget. We will be offering in-person as well as virtual sessions that fit around the organisation’s schedule. We will then develop a bespoke training solution that meets those needs.

    “We’ll be working with a range of sectors, from law, education and social care, to engineering, digital, hospitality and hair and beauty. We want to support as many organisations as possible to grow and thrive, as they navigate the current economic challenges.”

    YCTD will be based in dedicated spaces across Leeds, Harrogate and Keighley. 

    To find out more or to book a complimentary skills planning session, please call 07814 818826.

  2. Harrogate College calls White Paper ‘step forward’ for FE sector

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    Harrogate College has welcomed the government’s Skills for Jobs White Paper, calling it a ‘step forward’ that will benefit both young people who are starting their careers and adults who may be thinking of retraining or returning to education.

    One of the features of the reforms is to offer adults a range of new prospects, giving tens of thousands the opportunity to retrain in later life. It will also help them gain in-demand skills and open up further job options. This includes the chance for any adults without a full Level 3 qualification (A level equivalent), to gain one from April 2021 for free in a range of sectors including engineering, health and accountancy.

    Harrogate College is in the process of establishing a higher level technical skills programme that not only complements the vision outlined in the white paper, but also meets the higher level skills demand that exist in Harrogate from the current labour market intelligence. 

    Danny Wild, Principal of Harrogate College, said: “In the future, students will have the opportunity to take more modular courses, which make full use of online teaching and blended learning. This in turn, will make them more accessible and convenient for those who sign up for them.

    “Harrogate College has been proactive in addressing the gaps since the start of the pandemic, with a particular focus on students, employers and communities. The government putting skills at the centre of its agenda is welcomed as it indicates how vital colleges and further education will be in levelling up for people and places, whilst taking measures to address productivity.

    “The white paper recognises that the skills for jobs needs to be industry-led, which is something that Harrogate College has been focusing on and developing over the last 18 months, with the college looking to deliver the new industry standard T Levels for 16 year olds from September 2022  in science, digital, health and care, finance and construction. 

    “The strength of these courses are the partnerships the college has with industry to give our students relevant work placements with key industries across the district while completing their studies.”

    The college recently launched the Harrogate College Employers’ Network to bring employers into the college to help support them with their skills gaps and to ensure that the curriculum is relevant and meets market demand. 

    Danny added: “The work we’re doing with employers and stakeholders to develop a curriculum that meets local needs is in alignment with the government’s recent paper and reflects the college’s intention to have an employer/industry led curriculum to ensure businesses are getting employees with the skills they need.

    “The white paper is a really positive step towards addressing skills gaps; the key to the success of it will be working with businesses to influence a collaborative industry-led curriculum that supports life-long learning. It is an ambitious package but I believe it can deliver a significant shift in the way we support or address education and skills needs, not just on a local level but on a national level.”

  3. Celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month

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    What is LGBTQ+ History Month?

    First launched in the UK in 2005, LGBT+ History Month is an annual celebration promoting the education of LGBTQ+ issues and the history of the gay rights movement. The month aims to encourage a safer, more inclusive society where the diverse spectrum of sexuality and gender is accepted and discussed openly.

    Schools OUT, an organisation aiming to make schools safe and inclusive for LGBTQ+ students, brought about the first LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK, sparking over 150 events across the country in its first year. 

    This year’s theme is Body, Mind and Spirit. There are many ways you can get involved this year, including OUTing the Past presentations, LGBTQ+ curriculum lesson plans, taking a look at interesting resources and much more.

    What does it mean to identify as LGBTQ+?

    We asked members of the college LGBTQ+ Society what it meant to them. 

    “To me, identifying as LGBTQ+ means having comfort knowing that even if you don’t have anyone close who supports you, there’s always a community, a family, behind you ready to support you 100%. It means having a place to belong even if you don’t feel like you’re worthy of taking up the space you exist in.​” 

    “Being LGBTQ+ is standing out and being different from other people, being true to yourself and being who you truly are for yourself and not others.”

    “It feels like a relief that I’m not the only one who is different. It feels nice when I find someone who is the same as me, as we can help each other because we both know how hard it is to struggle with our sexuality. It feels good having people to talk to about this type of subject, as not everyone understands how you feel.”

    “Being LGBTQ+ to me means that I’m free to be who I am no matter what and I’m surrounded by people who are like me and accept me.”

    LGBTQ+ triumphs in history

    Over the past years, there has been significant progress in recognising the rights of LGBTQ+ people. However, it’s important to take time to reflect on this and how it happened. 


    The Beaumont Society was founded, providing information to the general public, medical and legal professions on ‘transvestism’ and promoted research aimed at a further understanding. The word ‘transvestism’ is no longer used and the current terminology for this is now ‘trans’.

    This society is now the UK’s largest and longest running support group for transgender people and their families.


    This year marks an important milestone in LGBTQ+ history, as the government implements recommendations from the Wolfenden Report for the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially legalised same-sex acts in the UK between men over the age of 21 conducted in private. 

    Although an important breakthrough towards equality, there was still a long way to go.


    The UK Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was set up following the Stonewall Riots in New York over the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community by police. Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans-activist, is a key inspirational figure in LGBTQ+ history, as she sparked a series of protests across the world following the Stonewall incident. 

    The GLF campaigned for rights of LGBTQ+ people, encouraging them to question the mainstream institutions in society which led to their oppression. 

    Often protesting in solidarity with other oppressed groups, the GLF launched the very first Pride march in 1972. Pride is now a hugely successful yearly event which is incredibly important for raising awareness of LGBTQ+ and acts as a symbol for oppressed people around the globe. 


    Although the GLF disbanded, this made way for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality; a Manchester-based organisation leading the fight for equality by legal reform. 


    The Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 was repealed, meaning students were now able to learn about homosexuality and LGBTQ+ history and rights, with the aim to create a more inclusive environment.


    The Civil Partnership Act was introduced, allowing same-sex couples to legally enter into binding partnerships.

    During this year, the Gender Recognition Act was brought in which gave trans people full legal recognition of their gender, providing them with a new birth certificate.


    LGBTQ+ employees were protected from discrimination, harrassment and victimisation at work through the Equality Act

    This also brought together existing legislation and added protection for trans workers.


    This year marked a significant benchmark in LGBTQ+ history, with the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act allowing same-sex couples in England and Wales to marry. Scotland shortly followed suit with the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Act in 2014.

    It’s clear to see the progress that has been made over the last half century, but there is still much more to do for equality and social acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. 

    The LGBTQ+ community are still not treated equally in the UK and face oppression around the world. This month is particularly important in helping to fight for these rights and raise awareness. 

    We can learn from the lessons from our past history and use them to address the issues we still face in today’s society. 

    Celebrating at college

    This year, we will be celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month digitally! Take a look at our list of exciting events and resources across the Luminate Education Group here.

    Take part in our Pride Rainbow Quiz here.

    See how to join in on our LGBTQ+ competition here.

    For further details and information regarding resources or college events please contact or 

    Look at the Harrogate College Student Life Google Classroom to see how you can get involved in activities

    LGBTQ+ support 

    If you are struggling with mental health or just want to chat, there is plenty of support available.

    LGBTQ+ Society

    As a student at Harrogate College, you have access to the Leeds City College LGBTQ+ Society, which provides a safe space for those who identify as LGBTQ+ to be fully themselves without fear of judgement, criticism or discrimination. The society also welcomes straight allies who are encouraged to attend events.

    If you’d like to get involved, visit the page here to see what’s going on. 

    LGBTQ+ Foundation

    The foundation provides a helpline staffed by a team of dedicated staff and volunteer operators who have extensive training.

    Stonewall Youth

    Find information on coming out, health, and LGBTQ+ community groups near you.


    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer mental health service.

    Mermaids UK

    Support for transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people and their families.

    Gendered Intelligence

    Access a number of resources by and for trans young people and gender questioning young people in the UK and beyond.


    Harrogate-based group which offers support and advice to young LGBTQ+ people (aged 13-25). 

    If you’re interested in finding out more about the LGBTQ+ terminology and definitions, take a look at the Stonewall glossary here

  4. Student promotes wellbeing through shoebox initiative

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    Aspiring mental health nurse, Karis Grange, knows first-hand how mental health can affect wellbeing and is determined to support those who are suffering.

    As part of her college social action project, Karis has been volunteering at the Recovery Shoebox Project; a charity providing mental health toolkits for individuals who are struggling.

    A worthy cause

    After receiving a shoebox herself, Karis appreciated the thought and care that went into the box and wanted to help in making a difference.

    “When I was going through a difficult time, the shoebox really cheered me up – I couldn’t believe the effort that had been put into my bespoke box. I decided to volunteer at the Recovery Shoebox Project as my placement, as I wanted to encourage those struggling to not suffer in silence.

    “The initiative was founded and funded by Harrogate resident, Megan Reid, who sadly passed away in February 2019. Her mother, Jo, carried on the project in her honour in order to help individuals with mental health difficulties.

    “Due to Covid-19, the past year has been extremely difficult for many people, especially those suffering from mental health issues. The shoeboxes include useful items, such as tips to manage anxiety, self care ideas, stress balls and Megan’s envelopes of distractions and positivity.”

    Working with the project

    Each week, Karis works with the shoebox initiative to create tailored packages.

    “It’s amazing to be involved with such an important cause. I help organise the boxes and contribute to tips on how to manage insomnia, anxiety and PTSD, quote strips and reasons to carry on fighting. 

    “I really want to promote the message ‘It’s okay not to be okay’ and for individuals to reach out if they’re struggling.”

    Promoting wellbeing

    Karis studies Health and Social Care Extended Diploma Level 3 at Harrogate College and hopes to become a mental health nurse in the future.

    “Following a break from my studies last year due to my mental and physical health, I returned to college determined to pursue a career in the care sector. I’m passionate about talking to other young individuals about the importance of positive mental health.

    “Harrogate College has supported me to achieve my best, constantly helping me work towards my ambition of becoming a mental health nurse.

    “Working with the Recovery Shoebox Project helps me learn how to manage mental health illnesses. If my support with the shoebox has helped even one individual, it will have been incredibly worthwhile. Don’t suffer in silence – order a box if you’re struggling.”

    Read more about how you can work with the charity here.

  5. Studying from home

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    The government’s recent national lockdown announcement means many of us will be remote working and learning until at least 8 March. 

    We know remote learning can be challenging at times, so here are some useful tips to help you learn effectively from home.

    Wake up

    Set your alarm for the same time you would for school. This helps structure your day, giving you plenty of time to wake yourself up, have some breakfast and prepare for the day ahead.

    Get dressed

    Changing into some comfortable clothes when you wake up will help make you feel more productive.

    Find a work space

    Choose an area which is comfortable and quiet, away from noise and distractions. Set up a desk space somewhere, such as your kitchen table, so you can feel like you’re in a classroom. 


    Make sure to schedule in regular breaks where you can stretch your legs, move around and get a drink or a snack. It’s a good idea to have some time away from your screen or phone during these breaks, leaving your brain feeling refreshed and ready to learn when you get back to your desk.

    Stay organised

    Try and use your college workbooks when studying, this will help to keep all your work in one place and will avoid the risk of losing any work. Find a safe place, such as a spare drawer, to keep your work in.


    When you’ve finished learning for the day, pack up your things and move away from your workspace. This is really important, as it allows you to relax and reach a good study/life balance. 

    Fresh air and exercise

    Try to get some fresh air and exercise each day. During your breaks, head outside for five minutes to keep you feeling refreshed. At the end of your study day, try to get outside for a walk, this will really help to clear your mind and relax. 

    We appreciate that working and learning from home can be difficult for many, and we’re here to support each student. Please get in touch with your tutor or mentor at the college if you want to have a chat.

    To find out more about online activities and groups to join during this time, get in touch with

    There are also many local support groups who can help you through lockdown.

    Mind in Harrogate

    A charity promoting positive mental health across the district. Provides support through a telephone and email service.

    North Yorkshire Mental Health Helpline

    Free confidential service where you can discuss your mental health by calling 0800 561 0076.

  6. Learning is currently taking place online

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    The government’s national lockdown announcement means working and learning is currently taking place online. This is because of the rising Covid-19 infection rates and this will allow our college to prepare Covid-19 testing for our students.  

    Key changes are below:

    • We have made the decision to cancel all exams to keep our students and staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. Students should not attend college for their exams. 
    • Apprentices will be contacted by their tutors/assessors as different arrangements may apply to them. 
    • When the national lockdown is lifted, all students will return to college in line with our plans for mass Covid-19 testing.

    We will provide further information, including details of our mass Covid-19 testing plans, once confirmed.

    If you are a student and have further questions, please contact your tutor.

    Find out more information on Harrogate College blended learning here.

  7. Harrogate College announces three new courses

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    Harrogate College has announced three innovative commercial courses ahead of the new academic year.

    The latest courses include: Business Support: Maintaining Business Compliance, Empowering Leaders, and Business Support: Remote Working.

    With the distinctive rise of e-learning, where teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms, people who have been furloughed or made redundant are being encouraged to develop their skills online.

    The programmes at Harrogate College are being offered to anyone who wants to change career or upskill. It is also open to businesses to help train their employees or give them something to work on.

    Danny Wild, Principal at Harrogate College, said: “One of the outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic is that people have embraced innovative ways of studying as a result of remote working and we are pleased to be offering these learning opportunities, which will allow students to learn new, or develop existing skills through flexible and convenient online learning.”

    He added: “The current situation highlights the importance of online and digital modes of delivering learning and training and we want to support businesses in the district to help their employees upskill and improve their future employment prospects.”

    All courses are industry recognised qualifications, allowing continued professional development (CPD) to upskill staff, ensuring that businesses benefit from a high performing workforce.

    The Empowering Leaders programme will focus on the ways organisations operate, the application of management and leadership approaches, and how management approaches can lead to improved performance.

    The Business Support: Maintaining Business Compliance programme is aimed at food handlers, or those responsible for managing food handlers, and will provide an awareness of the legal responsibilities and controls in relation to the 14 regulated allergens.

     For more information about the courses, visit the website.

  8. Local teacher sews scrubs for NHS

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    A teacher at Harrogate College is supporting a local group in the production of scrubs for NHS workers.

    Annabel Smith, programme manager for MA Creative Practice, has sewn three scrubs for frontline care staff across the district as part of community group Harrogate Scrubbers.

    Launched by Fran Taylor, a teacher at St John Fishers High School, the group aims to address the increased demand for scrubs during the global pandemic. Since setting up the Facebook group three weeks ago, the page now has over 680 members including a strong network of sewers and delivery drivers to support key workers in the area.

    Annabel said: “The community spirit sparked through Harrogate Scrubbers is inspiring. I originally heard about the group through a former fashion student and it’s been fantastic to see former colleagues and students getting involved. It’s marvellous to see the group attracting more attention; I’ve informed all my students and colleagues about it and really look forward to seeing it grow.

    “I’ve taught fashion design and marketing at the college for over 14 years; teaching students how to design, cut patterns and construct garments. As an experienced sewer, this seemed like the perfect way to support NHS staff in the area. I’ve spent a week cutting and making the scrubs, which are now in use at Harrogate District Hospital.”

    Harrogate Scrubbers is continuing to produce scrubs including laundry bags, scrub caps and waterproof gowns. To date, the group has produced 384 sets of scrubs and raised £16,274 for the NHS.

    The group is urging the public to continue supporting the campaign to help staff at the hospital. To find out how you can support, visit the official Facebook page.

  9. Carving a career

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    At Harrogate College, our carpentry courses allow students to develop advanced skills in our new facilities. 

    We spoke with joinery tutor, Paul Flanaghan, and student, John Gardner, to find out more about studying Carpentry at the college.

    What are the highlights of the course?

    Paul: The practical skills students develop are invaluable. Whether it’s roofing or flooring, it’s fantastic to see their confidence build when using the hand tools and improving the accuracy of their cutting. 

    John: The qualification is fantastic – it sets you up perfectly for a career in carpentry. The full-time course is only one year, meaning the contact hours are more per week which makes for really high quality learning and mentoring. 

    What can students take away from the course?

    Paul: A clear idea of their desired career path. We offer a Level 1 construction skills course which provides students with a taster of joinery, brickwork and more. This allows students to see which areas they prefer so they can decide what to do after; some are natural with timber and some with brickwork, so it acts as a taster course for them.

    What do students learn about during the course?

    Paul: Students grasp a good understanding of site procedures, building methods, advanced techniques and how to use complex machinery. There is also the opportunity to go on trips which helps to broaden the student experience. 

    John: We’ve recently been developing our structural building type skills, such as roofing, floor joists, internal stud walling, fixing skirting boards and door hangings.

    What advice would you give to a student wanting to study carpentry?

    John: If they are wanting to gain the practical skills and qualifications needed to begin a career in carpentry, this course equips you with all the right tools. If a student is unsure about what they want to specialise in, this course is great as it’s really open. You are constantly learning different aspects and you can focus on what you like doing.

    Does the course offer a welcoming environment for everyone?

    Paul: Everyone is treated equally on the course. It’s an incredibly supportive environment and we all strive to see each other progress. We love seeing how ambitious our students are and are proud to give them a kick start in their future career.

    Take a look at our Carpentry courses here.

  10. A letter to parents from the Principal of Harrogate College

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    I hope you and your families are safe and well at this time. I wanted to update you on the progress of Harrogate College since our physical closedown and our expectations of students while studying at home.

    The overarching story from Harrogate College is that staff have been working incredibly hard to adapt to teaching fully online, while juggling the care of children and family members. The levels of student engagement have exceeded our expectations and those who have been struggling have been in contact with our pastoral support staff.

    You will be aware that all examinations and controlled assessments have been cancelled for this summer. The grading for student qualifications will be done on predictions based on coursework completed and mock examinations. Ofqual are still working with awarding bodies on the exact detail for each qualification type, but be reassured this situation will not impact on your child’s ability to progress.

    While learning away from college all students have access to either Google Classroom or online portfolios where teachers are publishing content to support learning and setting assignments to be submitted online. As I explained above, all grades this year will be awarded based on coursework completed and mock examinations, therefore students must continue to commit to their studies in the same way they would in college. Learning online is different to the classroom and our guide to staff and students is designed to support students to achieve their target grades.

    Each student will have access to online learning relative to their timetabled lessons in college. Therefore if your child has 10 lessons per week, then there will be 10 lessons each week for them to complete including their vocational subject area and where applicable English and maths. The expectation is that each lesson will have two activities and one assessment as a minimum. We do not expect the lessons to take up the same real time as a timetabled lesson. In addition to the online lessons students will be set assignments to be complete.

    Interactions with teachers is important, therefore your child’s teacher will be online two hours per day to speak directly to your son or daughter through Google Hangouts. This will be one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon and the times will be published on Google Classroom. In addition, students can leave messages on Google Hangouts at any time, which staff will respond to during working hours.

    Although the use of Google Classroom and Hangouts may be new to you, this is familiar practice for your son or daughter. For students who do not engage, our teachers and pastoral staff will be following up to ensure they do not fall behind with their learning.

    I would ask at this time, you check that your child is engaging with Google Classroom and if they are struggling ask them to make contact with their teachers.

    If you have any questions about the progress of your son or daughter, please email their teachers, using

    Harrogate College will remain closed for the Easter Holidays on Friday 3 April until Monday 20 April. We are encouraging staff to take leave over that period, so the content on your child’s Google Classroom will be reduced over the Easter period. If your child is in need of support at that time, we still encourage them to make contact with teachers and pastoral staff as help will be available. From Monday 20 April, all staff will be working and expecting students to fully engage with their learning.

    I will be in touch over the coming weeks to provide further updates.

    Kind regards,

    Danny Wild – Principal Harrogate College


Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park Ave, Harrogate HG2 8QT United Kingdom

Tel: 0113 386 1997