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College report 2008

Shuttleworth College  - Sept  2008


There have been a number of really exciting developments at Shuttleworth during the last year which are helping shape the college's position in the future. Many of these have built on the links that were made last year as the college has become much more part of the Bedfordshire Learning Community.

Recruitment for this year has been phenomenal. Provisional Full Time numbers are over 470 and Part Time are over 345. This reflects the increasing interest in our courses and reputation as well as the confidence that we can deliver what students want.

One of the most significant developments has been the Environment and Land Based Diploma which has been offered to Bedfordshire School students at GCSE level. This year we have recruited 65 to this course of which 35 are studying Agriculture. As this programme develops we expect to see an increase in the number of students opting for this qualification rather than being limited to traditional GCSE's in school. 65 is a number in vogue this year as that is also the number of students we can accommodate in the halls of residence. We have yet to receive final confirmation from all applicants but it looks good and all the residences will be full. A position that I am sure will go down well with many old students and that will help build the community spirit.

We have also added to the range of courses on offer at the college to reflect the interest in tourism and leisure in the countryside. The parkland and mansion activities give such a tremendous opportunity for students to gain hands on experience and the confidence to find jobs. 

This year, the Bedfordshire Young Farmers held their annual event at the college. Apart from the disappointing weather the event was a massive success and the best outcome was that Biggleswade YFC won the team events.

During the year the students have had some fabulous successes. A Shuttleworth  student on the Advanced RHS course achieved the highest score in the UK . Students achieved 2 gold and 1 silver award for their garden designs and creations at the East of England Show and floristry students won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd placement in floral arrangements. Students showed the Champion Male and the Champion Female Large White pig at the Royal Show and won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the young handlers competition in both cattle and pigs at the Suffolk Show. A Countryside Management student won the best female shot in the Landex College annual competition. There is some real talent at the college.

We are in the process of upgrading some of the teaching rooms, adding more and faster IT suites, installing wireless and modern teaching facilities as well as upgrading the student halls. The range of machinery available to students is growing and students have access to increasing areas of the estate which must be a great motivator as well as adding to what they get out of college.

There is a lot more to do to give the students the best possible start in their careers and the focus this year is to make sure that we give them the best.

Mike Johnston ( College Manager)