Colors: Green Color

Leading bathroom supplier HiB has partnered with the University of Wolverhampton for a project aimed at inspiring the next generation of product designers. As part of the collaboration, HiB has sponsored the university’s Interior Design, Furniture Design and Product Design degree courses which are delivered by the University’s Wolverhampton School of Art.


Steve Kaye, Marketing Director for HiB and in-house Product Designers Dan Cook and Rob Stiff visited the University to host a presentation which offered an insight into the bathroom industry, HiB’s position as a manufacturer and current trends. Students were also given a brief to produce a product concept that pushes the boundaries of innovation and goes beyond conventional design. The brief offers the students the opportunity to explore ideas that could complement any of HiB’s mirror, cabinet, accessories and HiB Novum furniture ranges.


Steve said: “At HiB, we feel that it is incredibly important to support the next generation of product designers and offer opportunities which spark innovation and creativity. The partnership with the University of Wolverhampton has been a chance for us to contribute to their learning and offer an insight into the industry today. We’re really looking forward to seeing what ideas the students produce and their perspective on trends and styles within the bathroom industry.”


The partnership is set to continue for the remainder of the year, with students asked to present their findings at the end of the semester.


Rhys Thomas, Senior Lecturer 3D Design at the University, said: “One of our core values in the 3D Design Department is to promote employability and skills development relevant to the evolving needs of industry. There is no better way to validate these skills than to provide students with the opportunity to engage with our industry partners and challenge their creativity with real projects and with a real company.


“Projects such as the one with HiB provide students with valuable insight into the challenges of working to deadlines while meeting the requirements of the design brief.  Live projects are vital to build creative confidence in students while equipping them with real life skills in preparation for the careers ahead of them.”


Adam Heath, Product Design Degree student, said: “I’m thankful for the opportunity HiB and the Design Team at the University has given us. This will not only give me some valuable experience working with an industry leading company, but has also given me a platform to showcase my design skills.”


Rebecca Lewis-Knight, Interior Design Degree student, said: “Having the opportunity to design for HiB and be involved in a live brief is really exciting.  It has facilitated exposure to a new area of industry and I have gained a greater understanding of bathroom accessories and technology across the market.


“Trend based research has opened my eyes to the possibility of integrated clever technology within the home and I look forward to presenting a fresh design solution to the company which will help make bathrooms beautiful, functional and most importantly desirable.”


Hundreds more children have become Flu Fighters and will be joining the battle against influenza this winter as the free vaccination programme continues in Wolverhampton’s schools.

All pupils from Reception to Year 7 are eligible for the free flu vaccination this year, delivered via a quick and painless nasal spray, and parents should return their child’s consent form as soon as possible to ensure they don't miss out. Vaccinations are scheduled to take place throughout the autumn term.

This week, nurses from Vaccination UK have been to Aldersley High School, North East Wolverhampton Academy, Broadmeadow Special School, Tettenhall Wood School, Penn Hall School, The King’s CofE School, Wolverhampton Grammar School, Berrybrook Primary School, Westcroft School (primary phase), Moreton School, Stowlawn Primary School, Dovecotes Primary School, Smestow School, St Chad Catholic Academy and Tettenhall College.Next week, they are scheduled to visit Northwood Park Primary on Monday 19 October, Bushbury Lane Academy and Bushbury Hill Primary School on Tuesday 20 October, St Patrick's Primary Academy and Wodensfield Primary School on Wednesday 21 October, Corpus Christi Catholic Primary Academy, Graiseley Primary School and Wood End Primary School on Thursday 22 October and D'Eynecourt Primary School and St Thomas' Church of England Primary Academy on Friday 23 October.

Full details of the Vaccination UK schedule, including which schools are due to be visited when, along with more information about the vaccine is available at Parents can also download a consent form online if they have mislaid theirs.Any child who has missed their free vaccine at schools which have already been visited by nurses from Vaccination UK should get it at one of a number of catch up clinics which will be arranged later this autumn, or by contacting their GP.

The award-winning Flu Fighters campaign is back for a third year to encourage children to get vaccinated, with free copies of this year's out of this world storybook, Flu Fighters in Close Encounters of the Germed Kind, being distributed to all primary-aged pupils. All pupils, including those in Year 7, will also receive consent forms and information about the nasal spray.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "We're delighted that the flu vaccination campaign is well underway in local schools and this year, more than ever, it's vital that you ensure your child doesn’t miss out.

"Flu can be deadly and easily spread by children and adults. The vaccine is the best way to protect your children and other family members from becoming ill with the flu, particularly more vulnerable relatives like grandparents or those with underlying health conditions.

"I would urge parents to return their consent forms as soon as they receive them so that their children can have their free vaccine and become a Flu Fighter!"

To find out more about the vaccine, and to read and download free copies of the first two Flu Fighters books, Flu Fighters Versus Chilly, Achy and Snotty and Flu Fighters in The Battle of Planet Bogey, please visit A short video can be seen here

The free nasal spray is also available to children aged two and three, and children aged 11 and over with some long-term health conditions, via GPs.

Adults people with long-term health conditions, people who were shielding from coronavirus and their families, the over 65s, carers and care staff, people in long-stay care and pregnant women are also eligible for free flu jabs through their GP or pharmacist.


Universities in England are to switch to offering degree places on the basis of actual grades rather than predicted ones, the government has announced.


Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, said the present system held bright but disadvantaged pupils back. He said he wanted all students to be able to choose the best university they can go to once they know their grades.


Universities have just backed such a change following a review.


Currently, pupils are offered places from universities ahead of their results, so decisions are based on predictions made by their teachers.


Once A-level, BTEC and other exam results are issued in August, candidates then accept or refuse offers they have received. A consultation will be carried out but it is expected the change to what is known as a post-qualification admissions system will take place before the next general election.


The current system relies heavily on predicted grades which puts academically high achieving pupils from poorer areas at a disadvantage.


Research this year from University College London found 23% of pupils from comprehensives were under-predicted by two or more grades, compared to just 11% of grammar and private school pupils. But there are still big questions about how this would work, with universities favouring a system in which students would still apply before exams but receive offers afterwards.


Others may push for the more radical option of both applications and offers being made after results, pushing the start of term back to January for first year students.


Williamson said: "I want all students to look at the grades they've got and then see what is the best university that they can get to, what is the best course they can do.


"I want to smash through these ceilings that are preventing them from meeting their full potential."


He said pupils from less-affluent, non-traditional backgrounds often did not have to the confidence to aim for a highly selective university, and also often lacked advice about how to reach such goals. The move comes after years of debate over post-qualification admissions.


Numerous academic studies suggest pupils from working class backgrounds, and some ethnic groups, tend to be predicted lower grades by their teachers. The university admissions system was brought into sharp focus in the summer, when exam results were cancelled; leading to thousands of students losing the places they thought they had not qualified for.


Universities promised to offer as many places as they could if candidates received the grades they needed after results were re-issued.


The Education Minister said the use of predicted grades limited "the aspirations of students before they know what they can achieve".


"We need to radically change a system which breeds low aspiration and unfairness," he added. We're going to deliver this before next election, we're going to do an extensive consultation.


"But there's a real determination what we've seen in this pandemic, we've seen great challenges that society has had to deal with and as we move out of this pandemic we need to build back better."


He also criticised universities which offer inducements or conditional unconditional offers to some students to lure them on to their courses.


"What we've seen over the last few years is what I describe as a little bit of sharp practice where universities have been offering unconditional offers, more and more and creating incentives, in terms of offering laptops or cash back to those students, and that means those students aren't choosing the course and the university that is best to meet their future potential.


"We want to move away from that."


The plan has received a warm welcome from vice-chancellors' organisation, Universities UK, who had resolved to move to post qualification admissions following an 18-months review.


General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), Jo Grady, said: "The current system is based on inaccurately predicted results and leads to those from less-affluent backgrounds losing out.


"Allowing students to apply after they receive their results will help level the playing field and put a stop to the chaotic clearing scramble."


Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: "Teachers work hard and diligently to provide accurate predicted grades, but it is not an exact science and never can be.


"Post-qualification admissions would be better and fairer."



A City of Wolverhampton Council worker is counting on starting a new career in Social Work after passing her Maths qualification for her Degree Apprenticeship at the University of Wolverhampton.


Rosemary Busby, 56 from Wolverhampton, passed the Functional Skills Level 2 qualification in Maths for her Degree Apprenticeship in the University’s Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing. The University supports Apprentices to achieve their Functional Skills qualifications in Maths and English so that they can study an Apprenticeship at degree level to further their careers.


Rosemary, who works for City of Wolverhampton Council’s Family Services, has five children and left school with no qualifications when she was 15, getting married at 16 and having her first child. After raising her family, she worked in a variety of roles for 20 years, both volunteering and working, supporting teenagers and children in outreach services before becoming an Intensive Family Support Worker at City of Wolverhampton Council, working closely with Social Workers to keep children out of care.


She said: “I have always wanted to pursue my dream of becoming a Social Worker but leaving school early, getting married young and having five small children, it just never seemed like the right time. I was offered a place on the Degree Apprenticeship programme by my employer and was offered support from the University to get my English and Maths Level 2 qualifications. What was interesting is that lecturers noticed that I was slightly numbers dyslexic and they offered additional support to help me.


“I passed my English qualification in January and it took me four attempts to pass Maths and I’m so pleased. The wonderful tutor, Paul Barber, who delivers the course on behalf of Serco, guided me throughout the progress and answered questions when I got stuck on how to solve something, he also broke down solving methods in order for me to fully understand what was required to gain the answer. He had so much patience.”


Rosemary is studying for the Degree Apprenticeship part-time, spending one day at University over three years and working on a placement for 7 weeks. She said: “I love studying and am surprised about how much the learning relates to the work I’ve been doing.  I am learning more about how the theory links to working practices and how the law works – it makes much more sense to me now and I find myself able to challenge more and being able to evidence things. There is a lot of reading and a lot of homework but my family has been very supportive as has the University.  I’ve had lots of advice and guidance in terms of the academic side of things and, as it’s a brand new programme, the first cohort of students has been shaping the process so we are all learning together.


“I’m passionate about keeping families together and keeping children safe and this is an amazing opportunity offered to me at this time in my life.  My kids and grandkids are really proud of me!” Rosemary has 14 grandchildren aged between 3 and 22.


Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for children and young people at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate Rosemary on her hard work and dedication.


“Rosemary is an invaluable family support worker at the council, so it is wonderful that our partnership with the University of Wolverhampton under the Degree Apprenticeship programme has helped her achieve this recent success. By offering our staff the opportunity to take up the programme, we can give many more people the chance to develop the right skills to further their careers. Social work is an incredibly important role for families in our city and we are thrilled that we have been able to support Rosemary as she works towards her ideal job.”


Michele Roberts, Head of the Apprenticeship Hub at the University, said: “Despite the pandemic, we still have a healthy Apprenticeship cohort starting at the University in this new academic year and there are signs of recovery in key areas such as health, digital, construction and legal. Degree Apprenticeships continue to be valued by employers in supporting staff technical and professional skills development to help grow their business and employers, without a doubt, see the rewards of increased loyalty and return on investment.


“Rosemary’s journey has been amazing and shows how we are providing opportunities for people of all ages to further their careers, even supporting them to achieve their English and Maths Level 2 qualifications to help them start their journey.”


Sonia Mahay, Principal Social Worker at City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “‘We are delighted that Rose has wholeheartedly taken this opportunity to achieve her aspirations in the field of social work. This programme provides a platform to grow and develop staff. It has been a pleasure working with the University to provide a programme that equips people like Rose with the right skills to further their career.”


The University of Wolverhampton has grown its work based learning of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships with growth at more than 250% since they were introduced three years ago.

Two University of Wolverhampton students are getting hands-on experience in a project which will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for the next generation of key workers. 


The two students, Ben Harris and Nadia Fernandes, work for Birmingham based Overbury, the contractor appointed to lead the refurbishment and fit out of the new Marches Centre of Excellence in Health, Allied Health and Social Care in the Angad Paul Building at the University’s Priorslee Telford Campus. 


The Centre, which has received £3.5m Growth Deal funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will enable healthcare students to gain hands-on, real-life experience of the profession they will enter and ensure they have the skills and knowledge to benefit employers.  


Ben Harris, 20 from Wolverhampton, is studying for a Construction Management Degree Apprenticeship and is in his 3rd year. He is currently based full time on the Telford project as trainee Project Manager. Nadia Fernandes, 21 from Evesham, is studying for a BA (Hons) Interior Design and is in her 1st year. She works on the Telford project one day a week as a Junior Designer, as well as on another project in Birmingham City Centre. 


Andrew Wood, Managing Director at Overbury Central, said: “Both Ben and Nadia joined Overbury’s Foundation Programme over the past two years, giving each the opportunity to work alongside our teams and learn from their expertise, gain on site experience all whilst completing their qualifications. It’s key for our teams to pass and share our knowledge to the next generation of managers, continuing our excellent delivery in the future. Ben’s course is a Degree Apprenticeship which is government funded whereas Nadia’s degree is being funded by Overbury, whilst they both complete both their courses and their roles with us.” 


Ben said: “It’s great to work on a project at the University of Wolverhampton where both myself and Nadia study. Working with recognised clients is a benefit of being part of the Overbury Foundation Programme. The University course has given me great opportunities to connect learning to practical hands-on work. I am aiming to become Project Manager and the Foundation Programme has really helped me to rise to this challenge, working alongside some of the most experienced people within construction. Being able to complete my studies and turn this into immediate practical experience, is a huge benefit to the completion of my degree.” 


Nadia said: “The team have been great, ensuring I gain onsite experience despite the restrictions within COVID. Being able to work alongside exceptional designers, understanding what the client needs, and then delivering a project is an experience second to none. So far I have competed both sample rooms, stakeholder engagement sessions and key graphics pieces for clients, all with a view to becoming a leading designer in the future.” 


The new Centre will create new skills and simulation facilities that can be used across health and social care disciplines. It will proactively address shortfalls in health professionals across the Marches area, with an emphasis on local people and students who will become key workers. 


The new facilities will include a room for paramedic science and other disciplines, a mock house, various teaching spaces and new student social spaces. 


Also involved in the project are architects Broadway Malyan, Faithful & Gould as the client-side project manager and Gleeds as Project Management and cost management services. 




After a period of consultation with partner schools, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has made the decision to continue with the annual Intro to Panto Tour, a Theatre in Education platform, produced by the Grand, which has now sold out its school allocations for a period of three weeks in December.  


The normal format has been adapted so that it can perform to multiple bubbles in school throughout the day. With thanks to sponsors The Friends Of The Grand and The Steve Bull Foundation the cost to schools has remained minimal. 


There is an opportunity for a Wolverhampton performer to join the experienced cast and The Grand is seeking an energetic, warm, vibrant professional female actor who can sing to play the Fairy.  


The Fairy is the magical connection to the audience and is loved by all children. She speaks in rhyme and is a key element to the development of plot. 


The show is split into two halves, the first 30 minutes is an interactive workshop led by three performers and the Grand Theatre’s regular Panto Dame, Ian Adams. 

Actor Specification:

  • Experience with workshops/performance for children is desirable but not essential. 
  • An enhanced DBS will be required for the role which will be provided for by the Producer. 
  • Playing age: 20 - 35 
  • Height: Any 

Castings will be held on October 26 and the casting breakdown is currently live on Spotlight, for those professional performers who do not currently have Agent representation, CV’s can be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Associate Director of Creative and Production Nathan Brine said, “We are thrilled to be continuing with our wonderfully successful and vitally important Intro to Panto schools tour this year. It has also provided us with a great opportunity to reach out to the professional talent that exists right on our doorstep and will ensure our community remain thoroughly woven into the work we create here at The Grand.”
In July 2020 the theatre regrettably announced that this year's pantomime Cinderella would be postponed until December 2021.