Royal National College for the Blind profile

Royal National College for the Blind

About The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC)

Leading the way in specialist education for people who are blind or partially sighted for over 140 years

In 1978, the College moved to its current site in Hereford. The grounds had previously been the site of a teacher training college, and satisfied the College’s needs for both teaching and residential accommodation. A year later the work experience scheme was expanded; enhancing the emphasis on employment, dating from its conception by Dr Thomas Armitage, which remains the focus today. The Living Skills department was set up, offering students individualised training for independence.
More recently, the College has been leading the way in specialist education in a myriad ways:

  • A Beacon College – In 2005, RNC was awarded the prestigious Beacon Status for Excellence; the first college specialising in teaching and training for people with visual impairments to have been recognised in this way
  • Award winning staff – Over the years many of our talented and dedicated staff have been recognised at The National Star Awards, which promote excellence in the Further Education sector. Highlights have included:
    • our Independent Living Skills Team winning the Outstanding Team award in 2006
    • in 2007, then-Teacher in Charge of Performing Arts, Amanda Hemmer, won Outstanding Teaching, Training and Learning Practitioner, with RNC finalists including Mary Bennett for Outstanding Contribution to Skills for Life, and the T3 Team for Outstanding Innovation
    • Iris Corfield was Highly Commended in the Lifetime Achievement category in 2008
    • in 2009, another two long-serving members of staff were shortlisted: Jane Bigham for the Lifetime Achievement award and Lennox Adams for Innovation

Other awards and commendations have been given to staff at RNC, including Teacher in Charge of Business, Steve Ramsdale, who received the Young Enterprise Gold Award for his longstanding contribution in 2014

  • Blind Football firsts – In 2008, RNC opened the world’s first Football Academy for blind and partially sighted players. In 2010, the College’s state of the art sports centre, thePoint4, was the host venue for the IBSA World Blind Football Championships, the largest disability football event to have ever been held in the UK. With the help of hosts The FA, the event did much to promote this exciting and skilful sport
  • Student successes – Whilst at RNC, students take part in extra-curricular activities and often achieve success in their own right:
    • in 2013, Juan Greggor won the Total Visual Impairment (TVI) Walk, Trot and Canter Dressage at the national Riding for the Disabled Association championships, which he retained in 2014
    • in 2014, Alex Green won the inaugural West Midlands Young Enterprise Journey Award; Rosie Howell received the 10 years’ service to Girlguiding award along with the ‘special and outstanding contribution to Herefordshire guiding’ award
  • Networking Academy launched – In 2014, RNC joined together with computer solutions giant Cisco to launch the UK’s first Networking Academy for people with visual impairments
  • Sports Academy launched – Also in 2014, RNC officially launched the country’s first VI Sports Academy, building on the enterprising work of the Football Academy, additional sports include golf and goalball

So, it’s official... RNC is the number one college in the UK for supporting people with sight loss into further and higher education, the world of work and independent living.

Opportunities offered:

  • Placement (10 Months+)

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