Walsall Adult and Community College

Walsall Adult and Community College image #1

We asked Maria Gilling, Principal at Walsall Adult and Community College, why she felt LiFE would make such an impact to her institution: 

"When we first engaged with LiFE, we booked a meeting with the LiFE Team and our management team to explore the Index. We had an initial brainstorm on where we felt we may have evidence for Accreditation, how we would gather it and where we felt we might have gaps. We scoped the work we would need to do to pull the Index together and we realised we would need some additional resource. We identified a staff secondment from the Council Carbon Management team to assist us. We felt it was important to have someone devoted to the project as a central point and a drive to ensure we kept on top of pulling the information together.

Over the past year we have done a lot of work in a number of areas and we thought the Index would be the best way to bring the whole institution together and enable us to see where our progress was strong and where we could focus new effort and potentially secure new resources to progress in those areas.

We have also used the Index to become clearer about the measures and impact of our actions and where our assumptions might be challenged.  Internally, we are often asked for information to support awards and bids and the LiFE Index will help us to access information for these purposes more effectively than we do at present.

We are a Council department so we don’t have full control over all aspects of our operations. For example, we do not own our buildings and we are tied into some procurement agreements that we do not control. This would mean our evidence in these areas is much weaker. We are focusing on the areas where we are strong and ensuring our evidence base is clear and, is understood across the College and can be easily articulated and explained in assessment.

I would recommend that other institutions take part in the LiFE Index but also advise them to plan for the time required to prepare and compile evidence as this is a substantial process. The reason I recommend it is that the process itself enables an organisation to cast a critical eye over the impact of the actions they have taken to date, take stock and plan future action in a structured and methodical way."

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