A hairdressing partnership at South Tyneside College is going from strength to strength – and two masterclasses have helped establish ever firmer roots.
The Lee Stafford Education Academy at STC, now in its second academic year, boasts 80 full-time students.
It is the national education brand of celebrity stylist Lee Stafford, a former British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year.
Its aim is to teach students and their lecturers a single hairdressing standard that is recognised across the country.
As well as supporting students to get industry-relevant skills and qualifications, the academy also develops lecturers’ skills.
They learn the latest industry styles and techniques, which they pass on to their learners.
The first masterclass was delivered by Rory McPhee, a Leeds-based hairdresser who assists the academy.
He delivered sessions lasting four hours which showed students how to get the best out of using twisted tongs.
His visit was followed by that of Georgina Woodward, an educator with the Redken hair product brand, which is an academy partner.
She supported students and lecturers around the best use of Redken’s colouring products.
Lecturer Kathryn Parkin said: “Rory and Georgina’s professional input was greatly appreciated by students and the lecturing team.
“Their demonstrations delivered new and valuable insights into techniques that will support learners’ training.
“It is great that the college has the support of Lee and his team, they add an extra special touch to learning.
“Along with our own lecturers, they help ensure students get the skills that are so important to them gaining employment.
“The courses at the college, and the qualifications they deliver, help them to achieve a professional skills level expected by industry.”
And Georgina added: “Education is a core value of both Redken and Lee Stafford colleges.
“Being able to come and share knowledge, to help develop both students and staff, is something that I am proud to be a part of.”
Lee, a former British Men’s Hairdresser of the Year, describes the academy’s training as ‘Michelin standard’.
His academy, operating at the college since September 2016, delivers a tutoring and mentoring programme which has won national plaudits.
The partnership also sees recruitment events being held for employers and students across the North East.
He created the education arm of his business to introduce a single recognised hairdressing training standard across the country.
His handpicked team of trainers is made up of salon owners and hairdressers, and includes College Artistic Director Georgi Hunter, who coordinates training.
Lee opened his first salon in 1984 in his home town of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, and later a second in London’s Soho.
Although he operates partnerships with several colleges nationally, none are in the same region, ensuring exclusivity of training.
Lee’s other accolades include being named the Most Influential Hairdresser of the Year by his peers in 2002.
More information on the academy and on the hairdressing courses is available by calling 0191 427 3900 or visiting www.stc.ac.uk