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Partner Story – Gold Edge Training

In this interview, Christine Baxter, Chief Executive Officer at Gold Edge Training shares her view on partnership with EduGrowth and how the future of higher and further education is changing.

What is Gold Edge Training?

Gold Edge Training is a multi-award nominated bespoke & specialist online training provider delivering accountancy and higher professional education courses.

The company was founded in 2012 by Christine Baxter following a successful career in industry and later in further education management plus accountancy, teachers training and management lecturing.

What motivated you to launch Gold Edge Training?

In 2002 during my time in further education, I led the research and then designed and developed an accountancy distance learning programme. I instigated the project because I believed, as a classroom lecturer at the time, that there was a better form of adult education than classroom study. Even though the College was an Ofsted outstanding college, and my accountancy team of teachers were equal to the best, some students still failed exams each year who shouldn’t have failed.

Their failure was nothing to do with resources or the teaching, it was the rigid structure of classroom learning education and the fixed completion times. I was proven to be right through direct comparison between the classroom learner on fixed programmes and the distance learners on flexible programmes. The distance learner pass rates significantly exceeded the classroom in every exam for the next 9 years that I remained at the College.

Whilst I learnt a great deal in those early years pioneering distance learning, I realised, to achieve the bespoke adult distance learning experience that I believed was capable, I had to move to the private sector and its far more advanced technologies.

This is the reason behind the launch of Gold Edge Training.

I was told that Gold Edge would fail because it wasn’t possible to offer bespoke one to one education to high volumes of students. They were wrong. We prove year on year as our numbers have grown and our excellence has risen to a UK top 10 AAT online college, that student volume is not a barrier to excellence or bespoke, one to one education. Our high volume of students are renowned for achieving the highest pass rates, which is testament to the Gold Edge Training methods of course delivery.

I think it is often forgotten in many institution that when a student enrols, you take on the obligation of ensuring that student succeeds. Our programme design makes sure we remember.

Why did you decide to offer EduGrowth programmes?

The EduGrowth programmes are different and that is exciting in today’s standard education. Most importantly, I believe EduGrowth programmes are relevant to modern industry, education and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Gold Edge Training’s mission is always to breakdown adult education barriers to deliver the best education available. The advanced EduGrowth programmes allow the scope, for Gold Edge Training to deliver courses that provide real and achievable growth opportunities for both business and education.

Where do you see the future for E-learning?

In our specialist field, online e-learning is outgrowing traditional classroom delivery at a rapid pace. It is already the leading method of study for adult learners.

I believe strongly that this growth will continue and within the next 5 years, online e-learning will be the only worthwhile form of adult, post 19 years, education.

I feel education overall is going through an age-related transformation where traditional classroom-based learning will be focused on learners up to the age of 19 years.

Post 19 years education, depending on the nature of the course and its requirements, will be either distance learning or blended learning. With any classroom attendance being kept to a minimum for practical skills to be delivered in block study format. In the more academic subjects, the classroom element will be delivered either through recorded or live online lectures. Private training providers have led the online e-learning market for many years. They use such advanced technologies that it is now impossible for public sector education to respond.

What type of learners do you deliver to?

We teach ambitious professionals who are either seeking to begin a career, change a career or advance their careers.

We run a young professionals programme for 14 – 18 year olds who want to get ahead of their peers in the careers market. The majority of our students are in employment or about to return to employment after having families. Their age range is 25 – 55 years old.