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Jacob Rees-Mogg with Bath College staff, Jon Domaille and Tim Goode

News

Bath College representatives meet Jacob Rees-Mogg MP to save BTEC qualifications

 

• Bath College leaders hold a special meeting in Parliament with Jacob Rees-Mogg MP.
• Attendees raised concerns about government plans to drop BTECs and Applied Generals from curriculum.
• Government has consulted on defunding the qualification in favor of the new, more limited, T-Levels – rather than letting them exist simultaneously.

 

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP took part in a special meeting with Bath College representatives on Wednesday 17th July, to hear directly the vital, positive impact BTECs and Applied General qualifications have on the life chances of young people and adults in Somerset after the government announced it is considering dropping the qualifications.
 
The meeting was attended by leaders from Bath College, including Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise, Jon Domaille and Music Performance Learning Coordinator, Tim Goode.
 
A significant amount of learners at Bath College are currently studying for BTEC and Applied Generals qualifications which are a mixed part-vocational part-academic qualification that offers an alternative, less academic focused 16 – 19 education than A-Levels.
 
BTECs are equivalent to A-Levels and are taken by young people and adults across the country who want academic qualifications as well as preparation for the workplace and employment. The government is considering withdrawing funding from August 2020 despite the fact 90% of BTEC students are employed full-time after university graduation.
 
Jon Domaille, Head of Creative Arts and Enterprise at Bath College, said: “I am completely open and willing to being held accountable to ensuring our provision meets the needs of local employers and industry and wholly understand the need to work closely with employers in the provision of quality, vocational training whilst meeting local needs and employment priorities. I know this to be a value that Bath College holds dear, as do many other colleges across the country.
 
“We do though, truly believe that the provision of choice for learners at such an early age in their careers is vital, and Applied General qualification still have a part to play in providing learners with choice, freedom and flexibility to discover their own pathway in this ever changing world.”
 

Students handling Darcy the bearded dragon, getting a taste of the Bath College Animal Care course

Events, News

Writhlington School students get taste of Bath College at the Big Interview Day

 
Last week our Schools Liaison Officer, Sarah, attended The Big Interview Day along with a selection of teaching staff from Bath College.
 
Over 200 students currently in year 10 at Writhlington School took part in the Big Interview Day.
 
After having interviews with industry experts students came into the give it a go area. There were a range of activities on offer from the College:
 
Sport – A “keepy up” challenge with a leader board of who had done the highest number
 
Painting and decorating – Learning the technique of wood effect using paint
 
Animal Care – handling Cornelius the snake and Darcy the bearded dragon and learning how to care for them
 
Stonemasonry – using equipment to carve their initials into stone
 
Public Services – A race against time to see which team of three could build the tallest tower. Two of the students were blindfolded and the third student wasn’t allowed to touch anything and could only instruct the other two how to put it together
 
Health and Social Care – Students had the opportunity to use various items of healthcare equipment on each other to learn how they operate
 
Complementary Therapies – learning about the course whilst receiving a hand massage using various different types of oils
 
Three Bath College students who were previous Writhlington School students attended.
 
The activities were then followed by an assembly talking about what you can study at College and what College life is like.
 
Emma Pascoe, Head of Careers at Writhlington School said: “Thank you so much to everyone from Bath College, our students loved meeting you all and had a great time.”
 

News

Bath College To Government: “Invest In Our Future”

 

Bath College took centre stage in Westminster during a debate on college funding.
 

The debate was the result of a petition demanding that the government increases college funding to sustainable levels. The petition has almost 70,000 signatures, 174 of which are Bath residents.
 

The petition is a reaction to the woeful levels of funding experienced by the sector. Almost half of the further education colleges in this country, Bath College included, are operating at a deficit.
 

Laurel Penrose, Chief Executive of Bath College said; “The strain of budget restrictions is telling on staff, both in their pay and in investment in their departments. Our service to learners is starting to be compromised, because we cannot invest in the infrastructure and enhancements we need to remain at the high standards required by our technical subjects.”
 

College funding cuts resulted in a strike last year, where members of staff from Bath College walked out, demanding pay in line with the rest of the education sector.
 

Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath, who spoke in the debate, said; “Bath College, and the further education sector in general, is vital to social mobility, vital in training people for key worker roles, and central to the principle that this country invests in its people, regardless of background.”
 

“Bath College continually proves you don’t have to go to university to get ahead in life, and gives people the skills that our business community in Bath need. Not funding further education damages our economy, and damages people’s ability to reach their full potential.”
 

Wera Hobhouse and the senior management team at Bath College are continuing to work together to champion the importance of the further education sector, and demand the government fund it appropriately.
 

Carole Stott and Wera Hobhouse

News

Bath College gets support from local MP for increased funding

 

Bath College joined colleges from across the country this week for the Association of Colleges #LoveOurColleges campaign to showcase the critical value of the work it does and make the case for increased investment from government.
 
Bath College’s Chair of Governors, Carole Stott MBE, met local MP, Wera Hobhouse, at the House of Commons to explain the urgent need for more investment.
 
It is now widely recognised that Further Education Colleges like Bath have been unfairly and dramatically disadvantaged by funding cuts. In the eight years since 2011 annual funding for each young student has dropped by over £1,300, whilst education and training opportunities for adults have dropped by 62%. The Children’s Commissioner, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Education Select Committee have all highlighted the issue.
 
Local MP Wera Hobhouse is supporting the call for better investment and has signed a cross-party early day motion calling on the Chancellor for improved investment.
 
She said: “Bath College demonstrates time and time again that young people don’t have to go to university to advance in their lives. Bath’s businesses need young people who are work ready, with specific skills, and Bath College provides this. Young people also need to know that their education will stand them in good stead for progressing in to the world of work.
 
“Bath College do a fantastic job in the face of a very difficult funding environment. I would like to see people given a lifelong learning account, which they can spend at any point in their lives on educating themselves, at institutions like Bath College.”
 
Carole Stott said, “Failure to invest in our college is a failure to invest in our young people and our future.
“Bath College plays a vitally important role in our community. It educates and trains over 2000 young people and 9000 adults each year, leading to successful careers and to jobs so important to our local economy.
 
“We train the engineers, the construction workers, the care workers and the chefs that our society and our community need. We work with hundreds of local businesses providing the skilled workforce they need to thrive.”
 
Despite the funding cuts the college was recognised as Good in all areas by Ofsted earlier this year. They described Bath College learners as developing a “strong range of skills, attributes and ways of behaving which prepare them well for employment.”
 
While “Learners with low confidence or few previous qualifications quickly feel at ease and establish excellent relationships with their teachers. As a result, they swiftly develop new skills in learning, and personal and social skills.”

 
Sarah Kean-Price, the UCU union rep at Bath College said that: “#LoveOurColleges raises a crucial issue in FE – the choice to engage in austerity continues to slash our budget: leaving us overlooked, underfunded and less able to support our community to learn, develop and flourish.

 

“There is an imperative need to challenge the government to fund FE properly for the betterment of all.”
 

Amanda Spielman , Ofsted Chief Inspector commented that: “While it is true to say that spending per pupil in primary and secondary schools has increased significantly in real terms since the early 1990s, the same is not true for further education and skills (FES) spending.
 
“I have expressed my concerns before, based on our inspection evidence, that the real-term cuts to FES funding are affecting the sustainability and quality of FES provision. My strong view is that the government should use the forthcoming spending review to increase the base rate for 16 to 18 funding.”
 
Carole Stott said, “We always put the success and well-being of our students first but recently the college has been operating at a loss which means we’ve had to make severe cuts and have not been able to offer pay increases for our hard-working and dedicated staff. We need to be able to recruit the best staff, and with increased pension costs just around the corner this position is not sustainable.
 
“With skills shortages looming the government must invest in our colleges and our future.”

 
If you would like to show your support and sign the petition, please do so by clicking here.
 

Careers Adviser Launch

Announcement, News

New 2019/2020 Full-time FE prospectus launched at Careers Advisers’ Event

 

This week we launched our brand new full-time FE prospectus at our annual Careers’ Adviser Day.
 
Careers advisers from fifteen schools in the local area came into Bath College to hear from Heads of Department discuss the changes in the curriculum and all about the provision the college has to offer.
 
The new prospectus is focusing on learners ‘starting their journey’ at Bath College.
 
Sarah Cooper, Schools Liaison Officer at Bath College said that: “We were delighted to see so many representatives from schools attend the launch event.
 
“It was really encouraging to see so much interaction between advisers and College staff.
 
“I’m confident that they now have all the tools to signpost students to the wide range of vocational and academic courses we offer.”
 
 
The new prospectus is available to pick-up from the Student Advice Centre at both campuses.
 

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