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North Lindsey College, is celebrating 70 years of success

Posted: March 1, 2023

2023 is a big year for North Lindsey College, as the popular Scunthorpe college is celebrating 70 years of success.   

Since the College opened its doors in 1953, the College has offered young people and adults the opportunity to upskill gaining hands-on experience in the College’s state of the art facilities alongside gaining qualifications. It offers a wide range of vocational courses including the new T-Level qualifications as well as apprenticeships and adult short courses.  

In its March 2022 Ofsted inspection, DN Colleges Group, which includes North Lindsey College, was recognised as good with four outstanding features. Ofsted highlighted four key areas that were outstanding including education programmes for young people, provision for learners with high needs, personal development and leadership. The College’s onsite nursey the Kingsway Children’s Centre was recognised as outstanding in July 2022 its third Outstanding Ofsted result in a row.  

Scunthorpe Technical College, as it was first called, opened its doors in Cole Street, then transferred to its current location on Kingsway in 1953, when it became known as North Lindsey Technical College, where the college specialised in delivering Engineering and Construction courses and apprenticeships. Prior to the College’s opening, steelwork apprentices had to travel to Gainsborough, Doncaster and Sheffield for theoretical and practical instruction. The cost of the first phase of the development in those early years between 1951-53 was £1,000, 000 kick starting the College’s continued investment in the town.  

The original campus consisted of 14 laboratories and workshops, three classrooms, a large exhibition room and a drawing office. The Principal was Mr F C Jones, he had a staff of 22 full-time and 60 part-time teachers. 100 students were enrolled on courses in the first week!   

The College was and continues to be one of most up-to-date and comprehensive educational establishments in Lincolnshire.   

The boiler house, which was part of the original development, went on to house the College’s Childcare and Education department and has recently become home to the foundation studies department.       

The College was officially opened on Wednesday 19th May 1954 by Dr H Schofield CBE, PhD, B.Sc, former Principal of Loughborough College.   

The second phase of the College’s development followed in 1954-55.  A three-storey building was erected at a cost of £120,000 to house science laboratories for physics, chemistry and metallurgy, classrooms and a common room, as well as an administrative block and a caretaker’s house.    

Another build expansion took place in 1957-58 at a cost of £204,000.  This building was to house administration, and what was highlighted in the 1950s as “women’s courses”. These included domestic science, an entrance hall, dining room, assembly hall, gymnasium, common rooms, classrooms, lecture theatres, as well as a cycle shed and car park externally. With the late Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh attending the College to visit in June 1958.   

With the growth in evening classes at the College in the 1960s, courses were introduced to appeal to both men and women. “Roma’s Diary”, a regular feature in    

The Scunthorpe Telegraph, commented on the choice of courses on 26th September 1964: “When a man goes to evening classes, he is doing something important and worthwhile, perhaps improving his career prospects, or maybe acquiring a professional touch for his Do-It-Himself. When a housewife goes, it is not usually with serious intent although in the case of cookery and dressmaking the advantages are obvious.”   

The College however championed equality in the 60s, as women were feeling the need to show the value of their newly acquired knowledge via exam success. Head of General Studies at the college, Mr R W Cartledge championed the introduction of exam-based courses in non-vocational areas in an attempt to place women’s courses on a par with men’s. Those participating in cookery, pottery, painting, drama and needlework courses could now be recognised by the awarding body, City and Guilds for their endeavours.  

Future developments at the College included the introduction of childcare courses in 1967, motor vehicle in 1980, hairdressing in 1978 and fabrication and welding in 1992.   

From its early days of offering an alternative to grammar schools and university places the College has diversified to offer a course for everyone from an entry level course for those leaving school with little or no qualifications, vocational and T Level for full and part-time students, apprenticeships for those wishing to combine work with study.   

In 2015, the College’s invested over £13 million in a new Engineering Technology Centre.    

Recently, North Lindsey College was amongst 16 colleges nationally to receive capital support from the third wave of the national Further Education Capital Transformation Fund (FECTF). A total of £1.5 billion will be invested in transforming college estates across the country over the next 5 years.    

This transformation fund will enable the college to realise its long-term campus masterplan which has already seen over £30m invested in an iconic Engineering Training Centre, a dedicated University Campus and most recently facilities to support the College’s September launch of Level 3 T Levels in Digital Technologies, Education and Health Care and Construction.     

A significant capital investment from the transformation fund will be used to create inspirational and flexible learning and work environments, including industry-standard facilities at the popular Scunthorpe college that will support the skills needs of Northern Lincolnshire.  Over the next few months, the College will be working alongside the Department for Education, employers, students, and staff to shape the facilities.      

John Rees, CEO at DN Colleges Group said, “Having recently joined the College, I have been hugely impressed by the ambition, growth and success achieved over the last 70 years.  To build on that, there are exciting times ahead, with work due to start later this year on another major project to modernise and improve our campus and its facilities.  I look forward to welcoming a whole new generation of students and partners to North Lindsey College in the years ahead”. 

The College will be holding a community birthday party on Saturday 10th June 2023 10am-2pm to celebrate.