Institute innovation recognised at AoC Beacon Awards

Innovation manager Graham Raddings has lifted the lid on an exciting strategy which saw Grimsby Institute score a national accolade for staff development.

The Institute received the City and Guilds award at the AoC’s Beacon Awards on Tuesday night, in recognition of the Level Up strategy devised by the Innovate team.

Learning Innovation Manager Graham started work on the project two years ago, in a bid to improve the use of technology in the Institute’s classrooms.

“The aim has been to stop working so hard and to start working a little bit smarter, by using some of the technology that’s available to save time,” he explained.

“A lot of people didn’t realise they could do extra things without a big training burden, so I devised a training methodology using the just in time concept.

“The idea was to break down training into one-to-one, or one-to-fews, using small, 15-minute chunks, which took what people were already doing and just levelling it up.

“We had a silver badge as a little award, and once staff had levelled up they had to go on Yammer and nominate others to do the same.

“That led to a cascade which saw us train more than 50% of the staff in four months.”

The scheme proved so successful a gold award was added, challenging staff to demonstrate the use of five technologies rather than just one.

A further level of “mastery” has also since been added, which allows staff to train other colleagues.

“It’s all cascaded from the top down, starting with Gill Alton and Debra Gray,” Graham continued.

“It’s been a huge team effort, with massive amounts of support from the Grimsby Institute at every level.”

Following outstanding recognition by Ofsted, the Innovate team were “delighted” to also win the City and Guilds staff development award at Tuesday’s ceremony.

“It’s amazing. We’ve all put in a lot of hard work and this award feels like the final piece.

“We were really pleased just to have the Ofsted recognition, because we feel the things we set out to do have been done really well.

“It’s been a good idea, well realised and is testament to all the people that made it possible.”