Ada, the National College for Digital Skills
|Motto||Think. Create. Develop. With Ada.|
|Patron||Baroness Martha Lane Fox|
|Founders||Mark Smith and Tom Fogden|
Ada, the National College for Digital Skills. (Ada College) is a further education college in Tottenham Hale, London. It is named after Ada Lovelace and opened in September 2016. The college’s mission is to work with industry to design and deliver an education that empowers all its students, especially women and those from low-income backgrounds, to progress into highly skilled digital roles and lead flourishing lives. Its curriculum is designed with input from founding industry partners such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gamesys, IBM, Deloitte, and King. Their founding education partner is the Aldridge Foundation. The Board is chaired by Tom Ilube and Martha Lane Fox is Ada's Patron.
The Prime Minister announced the formation of Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, in 2014 in a move to open five new National Colleges in crucial industries. The National Colleges have a mission to work designing the curriculum with employers “to produce the skills needed now and into the future to ensure the UK remains innovative and at the forefront of pioneering industry.”
Ada was founded by Mark Smith and Tom Fogden, both of the inaugural Teach First cohort which aims to get talented teachers into classrooms in low income areas. Previously Smith assisted Lord Adonis writing his book Education, Education, Education.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Gamesys, Deloitte Digital, IBM, King and the Aldridge Foundation are the colleges founding partners. Capital Funding is supplied by BEIS, the GLA and Haringey Council.
Within 5 years the London campuses will have educated 2,500 students and apprentices through its taught provision and online learning platform. There will be an ongoing cohort of 1,500 per annum in London and plans in place for a campus outside London.
By September 2019 Ada will move to a new 6,000 sq m campus in Tottenham Hale.  The project, which is part of a major regeneration push led by the Mayor of London and Haringey Council, will create a new state of the art college building to support students into highly skilled digital jobs.
The College opened its ‘Hub’ campus in Tottenham Hale in September 2016 with a 16-19 cohort of 59 students. A further 75+ will enrol in Autumn 2017. The Higher Level Apprenticeship in Digital Innovation launched in May 2017 with an initial cohort of apprentices from Google, the National Archives and Janus Henderson with a degree programme, validated by the Open University, at its core. The second cohort of apprentices starts in Autumn 2017 with over 10 blue-chip companies already signed up.
Various curriculums all focus on equipping students with the Technical, Creative and Entrepreneurial skills needed to be successful entry-level digital professionals.
The college’s mission is to work with industry to design and deliver an education that empowers all its students, especially women and those from low-income backgrounds, to progress into highly skilled digital roles and lead flourishing lives. The College is focused on using digital skills as a tool for social mobility. Within 5 years, 50% of students will be young women (to address the gender imbalance in the sector) and 50% will come from low income households.
Ada’s mission is supported by philanthropic donations and the college has charitable status as an exempt charity regulated by the Department for Education. Ada is focused on recruiting talent from a diverse background and have set up a bursary programme to support students’ with travel and equipment needs. Ada's curriculum is intensive and goes beyond what is standard with regular contact with industry, mentorship, and opportunities for students to develop projects.
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