Newly appointed Welsh Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, visited Coleg Gwent’s brand-new Torfaen Learning Zone in Cwmbran today (Thursday 27th May), to see first-hand the fantastic state-of-the-art learning facilities available in the Torfaen area, and to speak with learners and staff about the challenges they have faced since the pandemic hit.
As part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme, Torfaen Learning Zone officially opened for teaching and learning in April 2021 after some delays caused by COVID. It is managed and run by Coleg Gwent, in partnership with Torfaen County Borough Council, replacing three English-medium school sixth forms in the borough.
Following the successful model set out by Coleg Gwent’s Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone in Ebbw Vale, which has revolutionised outcomes for learners in the region, Torfaen Learning Zone is now home to all post-16 education in the borough. Offering 32 A Level subjects, the Welsh Baccalaureate, level 2 and level 3 vocational qualifications and a variety of university level higher education courses, the campus brings further education and excellent learning opportunities together all under one roof. The learning zone is the newest addition to the Coleg Gwent estate, one of Wales’ top performing colleges, with further campuses in Usk, Crosskeys and Newport.
Designed to be a bright, spacious and open building, benefitting from a remarkable central glass roof, Education Minister Jeremy Miles was shown the brand-new facilities that have been developed with teaching and learning at its core, creating an environment that helps learners achieve their potential. Equipped with industry-standard facilities and modern technology, learners have the opportunity to use and learn about the latest advances and equipment at Torfaen Learning Zone. Something the learners can now enjoy after a very challenging and isolating year.
Jeremy Miles said “It was great visit to Coleg Gwent this morning. I really enjoyed meeting learners and staff, to hear their thoughts on their new campus and the last year of learning.”
Coleg Gwent’s Principal, Guy Lacey, commented;
“Since opening the Learning Zone to learners in April 2021, we’ve received lots of positive feedback about the outstanding and modern facilities that learners are enjoying now that face-to-face teaching has resumed. Today has been a great opportunity to welcome our new Education Minister Jeremy Miles and show him our new campus. Although COVID delayed the opening of our new campus, it’s a space we’re very proud of and we’re pleased to offer our learners these wonderful new facilities for their post-16 education. We now look forward to welcoming thousands more through the doors of Torfaen Learning Zone in the years to come.”
ColegauCymru Chief Executive Iestyn Davies added, “It’s encouraging for the newly appointed Minister to see first-hand an example of the great work being done for post-16 education here in Wales. We look forward to working with him over the coming weeks and months to ensure that all post-16 learners are given a level playing field with regards to their education, whether that’s through vocational qualifications and apprenticeships or via an academic route.”