In 2003, The Pacific institute® was working with some of the most improved secondary schools in Manchester. The Manchester College (then known as MANCAT) was interested in finding out whether a similar impact could be achieved in a much larger and more complex organisation, and so engaged with The Pacific Institute® to effect culture change across the college. The existing culture within the college was already generally positive, but there was a desire to find ways to further promote the pursuit of excellence and success by increasing the aspirations, expectations and efficacious thinking among college staff and students. In achieving this goal, the college hoped to progress from its official then inspection assessment of “good” to “outstanding”.
“The work The Pacific Institute® undertook in helping us clearly define and envision our ideal culture and then aligning our leadership, staff development and student performance to that end has seen the college go from strength to strength.”
Manchester is a dynamic city with a great track record of economic success but, as with any large urban city, there are challenges of social inequality. The College has worked hard to maximise the recruitment, retention and learning outcomes for students in order that they gain access to the economic opportunities available. The college caters to over 60,000 learners across a very wide range of specialisations and locations (local, regional and national). The college group is currently the largest organisation of its kind in Europe and is certainly the largest and most diverse further education college in the UK.
The college solution has comprised the full spectrum of the The Pacific Institute® offering. This has included measuring and re-measuring culture, focused work with college leaders, including the Investment in Excellence® (IIE®) programme and leadership coaching, a rollout of IIE® to the majority of college staff and implementing the youth programmes, Breakthrough® and more recently PX2®, with college learners. The college has trained a highly competent facilitator team to deliver these programmes on an ongoing basis and has further extended the offering of The Pacific Institute®’s STEPS® and PX2® programmes within several offender-learning initiatives, which they are responsible for.
In the 10 years that The Pacific Institute® has worked with The Manchester College, the college has grown exponentially and achieved at the highest level. The initial target of obtaining an ‘outstanding’ inspection rating was achieved in 2007 which, at the time, ranked MANCAT in the top 5% of colleges for inspection grades. The culture change initiative has been largely successful, even with the additional challenge of the college merger in 2008, which created The Manchester College. The upheaval that naturally occurs when two established organisational cultures are drawn together had some impact on performance measures in year one of the merger. However a single culture has subsequently settled particularly well. Headline Success Rates for learners within the college have risen steadily year on year between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, the college staff absence and turnover rates have steadily decreased each year in the same period, indicating a return to great stability. Teaching and Support Staff absences are currently both at 3%, down from 7% and 8% respectively in 2008. In the same demographics, the turnover rate is at 7% for Teaching Staff and 5% for Support Staff, down from 17% and 9% respectively in 2008.The work continues.