College History - Westminster Kingsway College

College History

College History

Central London’s College

Westminster Kingsway College was founded in September 2000 following the merger of the former Westminster College and Kingsway College. The College is based on several sites across two London boroughs: Camden and Westminster. Today it is one of the largest Further Education colleges in the UK with approximately 15,000 students across all age groups and offers a wide range of further, adult and higher education programmes as well as a school link provision.

The College offers a choice of full-time and part-time courses giving students the opportunity to gain vocational, professional and academic qualifications at different levels that are tailored directly to employment opportunities. The College works with employers from a wide range of industries across the capital to provide them with work-based training and development programmes.

The College has occupied several main sites both north and south of the river Thames. The main College Centres are:

Victoria Centre, Vincent Square

Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre has a long history of education in the hospitality and catering industry and in 2010, the School of Hospitality celebrated its 100th anniversary. As part of the centenary celebrations, the College welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales on a visit to the Victoria Centre where he toured the teaching kitchens and met staff and students.

Westminster Kingsway College’s School of Hospitality in Vincent Square was formed one hundred years ago when a committee of concerned academics and hospitality representatives, which included Auguste Escoffier and Isidore Salmon, came together to develop a school for professional cookery. The first course to be developed was the Cookery Technical Day School, which was soon to be formulated into the Professional Chef Diploma, which is still going strong today.

The School of Hospitality at Westminster Kingsway College was proud to receive Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) status and later the National Training Quality Standard in recognition of its work. The School of Hospitality was also graded ‘Outstanding’ at its most recent Ofsted inspection and has won many awards for its outstanding food and service in the two College restaurants and for its education provision.

Today, Westminster Kingsway College’s Victoria Centre in Vincent Square houses the School of Culinary Arts and Hospitality, Travel and Tourism, Business and IT courses, Higher Education and Foundation Degrees and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) as well as the College’s famous restaurant, the Vincent Rooms.

King’s Cross Centre, Gray’s Inn Road

Located at the junction of Gray’s Inn Road and Sidmouth Street, the King’s Cross Centre is home to 16-19 year old students as well as adult learners studying a range of subjects on both academic and vocational pathways. The Centre began its history as part of the former Kingsway College in the 1970s and developed as a College of Further Education.

In 2009, the King’s Cross Centre was rebuilt under the Government’s Building Colleges for the Future programme. The new Centre houses a range of courses including A-Levels and vocational courses in Science & Maths, Society, Health & Development, Art & Design, Performing Arts and Travel & Tourism. The new King’s Cross Centre was officially opened by Kevin Brennan MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills, Apprenticeships and Consumer Affairs.

Andy Wilson, Principal of Westminster Kingsway College, said at the time: “We had a once in a lifetime opportunity to create, from a blank piece of paper, the College in which we had always wanted to teach, a building that acts as a magnet and draws people in from the outside, inviting them to be part of the learning experience we provide. The courses we offer are designed to meet our students’ highest aspirations for progression to Higher Education and careers in key sectors of the London economy. We are proud we can also now provide a brand-new Further Education facility which matches these aspirations.”

Soho Centre, Peter Street

The Soho Centre of Westminster Kingsway College, located in the heart of London’s West End, has been used to provide language courses since 1913. It was previously founded as the Pulteney General Institute in September 1882 at the site of the Crown Street School in Soho. The Institute was founded to provide evening classes appropriate to the needs of the local community which included language classes. The “Pulteney” moved to Peter Street in Soho in 1913. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Soho Centre was home to the School of Languages and General Studies. In 2013 a celebration was held to mark 100 years of teaching at the centre. Today, the Soho Centre houses the College’s ESOL and Language provision as well as the Access to Higher Education courses and the College’s Digital Media Hub.

Regent’s Park Centre, Longford Street

A small number of classes in adult learning, ESOL and community based learning are held at the College’s Centre near to Regent’s Park. Today, the Regent’s Park Centre is the College’s Employability Hub offering employability and pre-Apprenticeship programmes; a work club for the unemployed; ESOL and English classes for those looking to learn English; and it hosts the Digital Youth Academy, Childcare Academy and National Cleaning Academy as well as the Childcare Facilities.

For further information about the College’s history or to contact the College email wkc@westking.ac.uk.

 

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