Our new blueprint for the next phase of Dudley College of Technology’s development, aptly named “Forging Ahead – A Strategic Plan for Dudley College of Technology 2020-23” sets out our ambitions for the future, to ensure we continue to provide all learners with an exceptional educational experience as the bedrock to their future careers. In the plan we describe our priorities for the future at both institutional and departmental level. The plan is a result of a lengthy period of consultation with both external partners and staff and students as they will play a vital role in its implementation. The strategic plan will be underpinned by a more detailed implementation plan which will be approved by the college’s governors and overseen by a programme board chaired by the college’s Chief Executive Officer.
What’s in the plan?
Dudley College of Technology has played a pivotal role in the provision of vocational and technical education in Dudley Borough and the wider Black Country for over 150 years.
The college has been on a remarkable journey over the last twelve years. In 2007 the college was graded inadequate by Ofsted, with failing financial health, facilities and resources unfit for purpose and an uncertain strategic future. Today the college is graded as an ‘outstanding’ provider and is widely recognised as one of the highest performing general further education colleges in the country.
The journey from inadequate to outstanding has been planned carefully. We place a great emphasis on considered strategic planning and turning strategy into action. Delivering our strategic ambitions over recent years has not been easy, nor without risk. This plan again sets out our ambitions for the future. We recognise that the road ahead is a challenging one.
Over the life of our previous strategic plan, we delivered an investment in our estate of some £60m, predominantly from the college’s own funds and through prudential borrowing. This has provided us with excellent technical facilities but has required careful management of our finances. This plan sets out further ambitious estate development whilst recognising the need to maximise returns from prior investments, to rebuild cash reserves and securely maintain good financial health into the future.
Strategic Plan Midpoint Review
When we launched our new Strategic Plan in January 2020 none of us could have imaged that just a few weeks later we would be closing the doors to the College as the country entered the first lockdown and the impact of the pandemic was felt worldwide. The pandemic has forced us all to behave, work, learn and think differently, shaping our future in ways we could not have predicted. This coupled with the impact of Brexit, the urgent need for action to address climate change and considerable reforms planned for further and higher education, the future already seems quite different from our plans in 2020. For that reason, we have decided to take the unusual step of producing a mid-point review of our Strategic Plan. It aims to show our stakeholders the progress we have made with the actions set out in this plan despite the impact of the pandemic, including exciting developments such as the opening of our new Institute of Technology. More importantly however, it also gives us the opportunity to reflect on the future actions we set and expand or prioritise these based on the world we now move into. Allowing us to focus our efforts on what is really needed in terms of education opportunities, services for our employers and continuing to support our communities as we move into the recovery phase. Our mission and vision remains unchanged, but the actions we now need to take to realise them need to change to reflect the world we now find ourselves in. This review should be read in conjunction with our Strategic Plan 2020-23, which still details the full scope of actions we are undertaking. Stakeholders may also be interested to read our Annual Strategic Impact Assessment, which details the outcomes and achievements for the student groups that we serve.