Welcome to the Education Collaborative

The Education Collaborative has been formed to ensure a diverse workforce that is well trained and provides high quality care to the local community. We work collaboratively with NHS Trusts, Primary Care, Social Care, Councils, Universities, Further Education Colleges, and schools across Birmingham and Solihull with a shared vision and goals.

Find out more from our frequently asked questions below.

The Education Collaborative has been a key programme of work supporting the education, training, and career development of the health and care workforce across Birmingham and Solihull (BSol) for the last five years.

It will continue to address the non-medical undergraduate workforce for nursing, midwifery, and AHPs, but extends its remit to support delivery of the education and training for all non-medical undergraduate trainees (except dentistry) and elements of the ICS 10 People Functions and responding to system priorities.

The benefits to the system include:

  • A cohesive oversight of workforce education, demand and capacity across the ICS
  • A collaborative and consistent approach between education and placement providers
  • Productivity gains through streamlining approaches across education providers
  • Ensuring a cohesive approach and oversight across NHSE funding sources
  • Standard governance and oversight across delivery of system education objectives.

It is expected that the Education Collaborative will also be an integral part of responding to education and training elements of the NHS Long-term Workforce Plan and the BSol workforce diagnostic report.

Since 2018, the EC has supported the Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care System (BSol ICS) in delivering the following:

  • During COVID:
    • Deployment of 282 nursing students to support the NHS across the ICS system
    • Worked collaboratively to place students keeping disruption to student learning and delayed qualification to a minimum.
    • Introduced interim QA measure to ensure quality of placement for students/assessors/supervisors
  • Student Risk Assessment - single risk assessment, guidance and system wide student RA panel was established

  • Development of multiple entry points i.e. dual qualification, degree apprenticeships, top up degrees, blended learning approach, and shortened midwifery course

  • Developed a data sharing agreement enabling consistent, standard data to be collected, analysed and shared

  • Increased student recruitment to meet 25% DH target for nurse undergraduates

  • Increased overall student recruitment across Nursing, Midwifery & AHPs by 18%

  • Clinical Placement Expansion:

    • Secured £1 million funding (2020/21) to support the system to increase clinical placements in H&SC which included 8 system projects developed, including proof of concept, for student-led clinical placement learning environment.

    • 2021/22 secured a further £4.7 million covering 18 project bids

  • Developed new Community Placement model with H&SC partners and PIV sector, ensuring each student has exposure to community placements

  • Chief Nurses – Improved engagement, hosted biannual Education Summits since 2020

  • System support:

    • Developed guidance to car sharing, lone working, future nurse standards

    • Developed single portal for online training of mentors and supervisors

    • Reduced pre-registration attrition and improving retention (RePAIR) currently a case study site for RePAIR.

Best practice commendations - The EPG has:

  • Been commended twice by the NMC at new providers approval events
  • Recognised by NHSE as best practice with a published case study on NHS Futures.

The EC is formed of organisations across Birmingham and Solihull representing the AEI’s (Adult Education Institutions) FE’s (Further Education), Trusts, Councils, Primary and Social Care Sectors. Currently our members include:


  • Aston University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Coventry University
  • Newman University
  • University College Birmingham
  • University of Birmingham
FE Colleges
  • Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet)
  • Solihull College
  • South and City College
  • Birmingham City Council
  • Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
NHS organisations
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT
  • Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS FT
  • Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS FT
  • Primary Care NHS BSol
  • (The) Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS FT
  • Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS FT
  • University Hospitals Birmingham NHS FT (Good Hope Hospital, Heartlands Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Solihull Hospital)


*AEI’s are Adult Education Institutions, often grouped with HEI’s, Higher Education Institutions. These organisations provide approved training which leads towards a recognised healthcare qualification enabling people to work in the NHS and broader Health and Social Care sector.

The EC reports directly into the BSol Integrated Care System and is supported by several Faculties, which are being uploaded and updated. Please check back in the future to learn more!

How is the Education Collaborative organised?

The Education Collaborative reports directly into the Integrated Care System and is supported by several faculties, which you can learn more about below. These faculty pages are currently being expanded and added to so please keep checking back here to learn more.


Dr Jane Powell - Programme Lead, BSol ICS Education Collaborative

Ruth Pearce - Chair. Head of School of Nursing, AHPs and Midwifery, UHB.

Jeff Aston - Co-Chair. Associate Chief Pharmacist - Clinical Services, UHB.

Sarah Kirwan - Project Support Officer, BSol ICS Education Collaborative