College of North West London

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Template:Infobox UK school The College of North West London (CNWL) is a further education college in North West London offering a wide range of full-time and part-time courses, from beginner level to degree level.

10,500 students aged 14 and above study at two campuses in Willesden and Wembley Park.

Ofsted gave CNWL a grade of 3 = 'Requires Improvement' in 2011. Ofsted said that whilst the IT provision is outstanding, the leadership and management is grade 3 and CNWL needs to improve by ensuring "that staff at all levels are held accountable".

Mission Statement and Objectives<ref name=""></ref>

CNWL's Board of Governors has reconfirmed CNWL's mission as: ‘To lead in the provision of knowledge and skills for work, in support of London’s economic success.’

CNWL's main aim is "to be excellent in everything we do".

CNWL's key objectives are: • Excellent education and training • Excellent engagement • Excellent efficiency • Excellent electronic solutions

Excellent Engagment

CNWL's Annual Report 2010/11 implies that "excellent engagement" means listening to the Student Voice. This is harmonious with Ofsted's nomenclature e.g. Ofsted says in a grade 4 inadequate college "The provider’s strategies for engaging with learners, parents/carers and employers are weak so that they are not involved sufficiently in influencing changes and improvements."

However, CNWL's Strategic Overview 2012-2015 (Appendix C)<ref name=""/> talks about "excellent engagement" but makes no mention of the Learner Voice. Instead excellent engagement seems to be related to employment, for example: "Enhancement of published College information on employment opportunities"


CNWL can trace it roots back to 1891, and the formation of Willesden Polytechnic, on the site of its former campus in Kilburn.

From 1893, the Willesden committee for technical education organized classes in Willesden town hall. In 1896 Middlesex County Council bought the St. Lawrence institute in Priory Park Road, and by 1898 The Willesden Polytechnic was formed with 1,571 students. A new building was developed for the polytechnic, opening in 1904 on Glengall Road, Kilburn.<ref name="BHOL">Template:Cite web</ref> As World War I took a toll on the male working class population, the polytechnic offered a course in 1917 to women between the ages of 18 to 35 in light woodwork for aeroplane components.

From 1932, Middlesex County Council undertook a large development in Willesden, and in 1934 split the polytechnic into Kilburn Polytechnic (on the original site), and the new Willesden College of Technology.<ref name="BHOL"/><ref name="LonOp"/> By 1934, the original St. Lawrence Institute building had been demolished, and replaced by the present four-story block. By 1978 there were 1,400 full-time and 4,500 part-time enrolments.<ref name="BHOL"/>

Willesden College of Technology opened in Denzil Road in 1934,<ref name="LonOp"/> to provide the technical courses originally provided by the polytechnic, including the schools of art and building. In 1964 the college took over the buildings of Dudden Hill Lane school. The art school closed in 1959, and in 1969 the school of building amalgamated with other schools to form Sladebrook high school. There were 8,000 enrolments in 1978.<ref name="BHOL"/>

In 1991, the sites again merged to become the College of North West London.<ref name="LonOp"/>


CNWL now offers a broad range of courses, from Apprenticeships and Access courses, through to Foundation and full Academic Degrees. On site facilities support both students and the community, through the Tower restaurant to the Student Union.

The Business Division works closely with employers, and is a provider of the Train to Gain programme, and a partner of the West London Lifelong Learning Network.

The Principal Vicki Fagg is due to retire in Jan 2014 and will be replaced by the Vice-Principal of City of Westminster College, Andy Cole. The new Principal's wage was advertised as being "£135,000 with benefits". City of Westminster College improved their Ofsted grade to 2 in 2013, and it is hoped Andy Cole will know how to help CNWL improve in a similar way.

Willesden campus

Developed in 1934 as the Willesden College of Technology, Willesden is the college's main centre and is situated in Dudden Hill Lane, five minutes' walk from Dollis Hill tube station on the Jubilee Line. Courses range from Access courses (entry to university), BTEC Diplomas and Certificates and GCSEs to Foundation degrees and higher education qualifications.

The new Telford building was opened officially in March 2009 by Lord Young of the Government’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It provides high quality training facilities for the Faculty of Technology.

There are plans to demolish the main front building (known as 'Edison') of the Willesden Campus and replace it with a multimillion pound facility.

Wembley Park campus

This campus is now based at Crescent house, located just outside Wembley Park tube station. The Tower Restaurant and the hair and beauty salons, which are open to the general public, are both based at this centre. The building was refurbished in 2012 and re-opened in November 2012 by Gino D'Acampo

Kilburn campus

The original part of the site dates to 1890, with Art Deco additions in the 1930s with the development of Kilburn Polytechnic. A brand new £5 million college centre was opened in Priory Park Road, on 31 August 2007 by the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.<ref name="LonOp">Template:Cite web</ref> The Mayor told guests "To come here and see something as beautiful as this - it makes you want to do a course just to enjoy the building."<ref name="Ken1">Template:Cite web</ref> He also added that "this college has been designed as a role model for what we want across London, which is to give people the opportunity to get in on the first rung of education and get the skills they want in life."<ref name="Ken1"/> Principal Vicki Fagg described the building as "architecturally stunning",<ref name="Ken1"/> while assistant principal Malcolm Rapier remarked: "It is a real statement for further education students and for Kilburn."<ref name="AwardNom">Template:Cite web</ref>

In May 2008, the centre won second prize in the RIBA / LSC Further Education Design Excellence Awards, with the judges complementing the College on its contribution to the regeneration of Kilburn.<ref name="Award">Template:Cite web</ref>

In March 2010, the college announced that it would close operations at Kilburn from September 2010.<ref name="KTimes">Template:Cite web</ref> The courses taught at Kilburn were transferred to the College's sites at Willesden and Wembley.

Sarah Teather, MP for Brent East, condemned the decision to close the Kilburn Campus, describing it as a "body blow" to unemployed people in Brent.<ref name="Bodyblow">Template:Cite web</ref> Ed Fordham, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn reacted by asking "why would you close this down unless you wanted to throw 100 years of education in Kilburn down the pan?"<ref name="Edford2">Template:Cite web</ref>

It has also emerged that Councillor Ann John, the leader of Brent Council, voted as a member of the College Board of Governors to close the Kilburn campus. When questioned by the local press, she claimed that she had "a collective responsibility"."<ref name="WBTimes">Template:Cite web</ref>

In November 2010, the local Times newspaper reported that the college was planning to sell the Kilburn campus.<ref name="KilburnDumped">Template:Cite web</ref>

University links

The College of North West London runs a number of Higher Education qualifications and has close links with:

  • Middlesex University
  • University of Westminster
  • Reading University
  • Thames Valley University
  • London South Bank University
  • Writtle College (a partner institution of the University of Essex)


  • Albert Adomah, Ghanaian footballer for Bristol City
  • Nonso Anozie, Actor
  • Stela Brinzeanu, Journalist
  • James Degale MBE, Boxer & Olympic gold medalist
  • Robert Evans (politician), MEP and Member of the Corporation of the College of North West London
  • Goran Kostic, Actor
  • Stuart Pearce MBE, England Under 21 football manager
  • Samuel Roukin, Actor
  • Tommy Nutter, fashion designer



External links


Template:Schools and colleges in Brent Template:Universities and colleges in London