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A Bath College student with a thirst for business has stepped up to take on the job of college principal for the day.
 
Staff at the college have been handing over their roles to students during the first-ever Student Takeover Week, organised by the Students’ Union.
 
Teenager Oliver Watkins successfully applied for the top role on offer and spent a day with Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson.
 
The Level 3 business student attended a senior leadership meeting and was asked to investigate the issue of smoking in the college.
 
Oliver, 19, had to decide if the college should continue to have a dedicated smoking area, or should become smoke-free.
 
After doing some research and interviewing students, he presented his ideas to Mr Atkinson and Carole Stott, Chair of the Board of Governors.
 
Oliver said: “I decided by 2020 the college should become smoke-free.
 
“Being principal is a big job, it’s easy coming up with ideas but the hardest thing is choosing the best idea and making sure you have the best decision. That’s when you really have to weigh it up.
 
“The role of principal is something you wouldn’t normally see as work experience, so I submitted my CV and went for an interview.
 
“At the start I had some nerves, but when I got into the role I started enjoying it. I enjoyed the responsibility of taking charge of an issue in the college.”
 
Students are also working with the college’s graphic designer, web development officer and sports development officer for Student Takeover Week.
 
Oliver, from Bristol, finishes his course this summer, but will continue to study for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) at Bath College.
 
As a student, he has made the most of his time at college, volunteering with the National Citizen Service (NCS) and helping the Bath branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) complete a high street survey.
 
He said: “The best thing about college is the opportunities. Some of these things, if you didn’t hear about them, you wouldn’t think of them – being at college has shown me what’s out there.”
 
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “It was great to hand over the reins to Oliver for the day. I was really impressed with his skills and contributions, and was delighted to work with him for the day.
 
“Giving our students a say in key decisions is really important to me and I am very pleased with the recommendations that Oliver made to myself and the chair of governors.”

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