Northern College for Residential and Community Adult Education

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Northern College
Northern College Logo.png
Motto Begin, Discover, Succeed!
Established 1978
Type Residential and Community Adult Education
Principal Jill Westerman CBE
Location Wentworth Castle

South Yorkshire
S75 3ET
Coordinates: 53°31′30″N 1°31′14″W / 53.52513°N 1.52048°W / 53.52513; -1.52048

Northern College is an adult residential college based at Wentworth Castle in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England.

Founded in 1978, the college is dedicated to the education and training of men and women who are without formal qualifications and are seeking to return to learning. It also offers training for those who are active in community and voluntary groups as well as in trade unions.

The mission of the college is to provide outstanding residential and community education for the empowerment and transformation of individuals and communities.

The main building is Grade I listed dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries with 40 acres of formal gardens and 600 acres of parkland. It is set in the only Grade I listed landscape in South Yorkshire, Wentworth Castle Gardens[1]

The Northern College

The college is one of the four residential adult education colleges in the United Kingdom. It is also one of the Institutes for Adult Learning[2]

The college is in partnership with in excess of 100 stakeholders including: Local Authorities, Jobcentre Plus, Work Programme Providers, Community Groups, Children’s Centres, Criminal Justice Services, Drug and Alcohol agencies, Mental Health providers, Carer Support Groups, the Voluntary Sector, the trade union movement and universities.

Most courses are residential and have a focus on education for individual and social transformation. Accredited courses are available from entry to level 4.

In addition, the college runs outreach programmes throughout South and West Yorkshire and a Foundation Programme with short residential courses in a range of subjects including Humanities, Social Studies, English and Maths and ICT. These are both non-accredited and accredited at level 1 and 2.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is designed for mature students who want to go on to study at a higher level, such as university, but lack the formal qualifications to do so. Three major pathways are available for study: Humanities, Social Sciences and Computing.

"TeachNorthern" is the social purpose teaching programme delivered at Northern. It draws on the work of educational philosophers such as Paulo Freire, John Dewey and bell hooks. It is mainly centred on adult and community education; trainee teachers are drawn from the broadest of contexts, wherever young people and adults gather for an educational experience.

The college also provides facilities for conferences, workshops and seminars, a facility for 80-100 participants in the refurbished St James Church, and additional residential and teaching facilities in the 18th century Home Farm complex.

The college has a national reputation for excellence and has been judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. Unusually, the inspectors also said that 'no significant improvements' were required.[3]

The college is also a multiple Beacon Award winning institution.[4][5][6]

College Principals[edit]

  • Michael Barratt Brown (1978-1983)
  • Prof. Bob Fryer CBE (1983 – 1998)
  • Prof. Tony Jowitt (1999- 2007)
  • Jill Westerman CBE (2007 – present)


External links[edit]