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Belfast Met Students Celebrated at ESB International 70th Anniversary Celebration


Published: 28 March 2023

Students from the Belfast Met Centre for Supported Learning have been commended for their achievements at a special multi-media event held to celebrate English Speaking Board International’s 70th Anniversary.

Celebrating its special milestone, English Speaking Board (ESB) focus on success stories from its accredited oracy qualifications and shine the spotlight on students who enrich its work.

The celebration, led by ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw was hosted at Belfast Metropolitan College and saw many organisations with their students from around the UK joining the event remotely, including Aurora Foxes Academy, based in Somerset; Wirral Metropolitan College in the North-West of England; TCES Group in East London; University College of Isle of Man; The Link Secondary School in Croydon, and Condover College, based in Shrewsbury.

The ESB team, young people and key representatives from Belfast Metropolitan College, including Michelle Devlin, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Sharon Rivers, Head of Department of Health, Wellbeing & Inclusion, as well as representatives from Northern Regional College, also attended in person, together with sponsors and supporters.

ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw said: “This year, we’re celebrating 70 years of realising the potential of all learners. Today we’re particularly showcasing some of our learners who have additional learning needs or learning disabilities, or we might describe them as neurodivergent. As you’ve seen, ESB qualifications and experiences can help remove barriers to learning by enabling access to a wide range of curricula, building relationships and a sense of belonging, and developing self-esteem and a positive self-identity.

“For over 10 years we’ve provided specialist opportunities for learners with significant additional needs to succeed and this commitment is ongoing. At ESB, we want to reach these learners who face disadvantage and help equip them with the essential life skills they need to thrive in education, training and employment, giving them the life choices and freedoms that they are entitled to.”

Curriculum Area Manager, Michael Patterson, states: “Belfast Met has had the honour of working with ESB and has witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that ESB qualifications have on individuals’ lives.

“Through our partnership with ESB, we have had the privilege of supporting nearly 2,000 students with learning difficulties and disabilities, helping them to overcome significant barriers. As a result, our students can now communicate independently, not just in the college setting, but also in their wider community.”

To honour ESB’s 70th Anniversary, Belfast Met College are planning to plant an ‘ESB tree’ on the College ground during Springtime.

Michael Patterson adds: “This tree will serve as a symbol to our commitment to working with ESB, to support our individuals to achieve their full potential. Just as this tree will grow and flourish with care and attention, so too we can nurture and support those who face additional challenges in their everyday lives and gain meaningful qualifications in employment. Thank you for letting us be part of such a momentous occasion.”

English Speaking Board (International) Ltd.  is an internationally recognised Awarding Organisation offering high quality Speech and Language qualifications with the aim to stretch the most able, support the least confident and realise the potential of all by closing the disadvantage gap.

Learn more about the qualifications on offer at English Speaking Board (International).

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