FE students celebrate success at Presentation Day!

June 2014

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle College held its annual presentation day for Further Education students today 27 June.

The awards ceremony comes at the end of a successful academic year for the College, which has enjoyed receiving a ‘good’ Ofsted rating and record pass rates.

Dr Stephen Waite, Principal at the College, said: “This year, again, the overall success of students has increased with more Further Education learners than ever successfully completing their programmes of study.

“The College’s success rate places it in the top 25% nationally for all subjects and in the top 10% nationally for many. This is an excellent achievement and has been formally acknowledged by Ofsted who rated the College as good earlier this year, noting that ‘learners develop excellent practical skills in lessons taught by highly specialist and enthusiastic tutors’ and that they ‘develop high standards of behaviour, teamwork, conduct and punctuality to enable them to develop a good work ethic’. This is fantastic recognition of the positive attitude of the College’s students and testament to the hard work of staff.”

This academic year – in which the College celebrated its 120th anniversary – Writtle College FE students have once again achieved high calibre external accolades and contributed positively to events and the environment.

Here is a snapshot:

• Horticulture students won a gold medal in the Ideal Young Gardeners of the Year competition at the Ideal Home Show 2014 in London. They have just redeveloped the pond at the Kings Road Primary School and mowed a gigantic, third-of-a-mile-long Tour de France logo into North Weald airstrip to celebrate the race going through Essex.

• In the Young Kennel Club Handlers competition at Crufts, one of our Animal Care students achieved fourth place.

• Agriculture students responded to the plight of farmers affected by the flooding in Somerset and worked closely in support of the Essex Young Farmers Forage Aid response effort.

• Our students held inspiring Art, Design, Photography and Floristry end of year exhibitions where their creative talent and enterprising natures were on show.

This year, the awards were presented by Chris Moody OBE, Chief Executive of Landex, which represents the interests of land-based colleges and the industries they serve.

He said: “The sector skills council, LANTRA, which represents the land-based and environmental sector, has identified that by 2020 148,000 employees are needed in the industry to support growth. A further 447, 000 are needed to replace those leaving because of retirement. This means there are 595,000 more jobs so these students are in the right place at the right time.

“Vocational programmes, such as the ones studied by the Writtle College students being awarded today, give real credibility and value to students both in the workplace and in their personal lives. The transferable skills they gain will ensure these students will have a range of opportunities available to them, whether that is employment, further education or higher education. I hope these students will talk to everyone about the fantastic opportunities that Writtle College has given them.”

The award ceremony marks the success of students completing full-time FE courses at Writtle College across the Equine, Animal Studies, Floristry, Agriculture, Countryside, Art and Design, Sport and Horticulture programmes.

Writtle College’s Head of Further Education Andy Sparks also presented a number of staff awards as part of the ceremony.

He said: “To put our success rates into perspective, there are 350 similar providers of FE education in the country and in the league tables Writtle College is number 14.”