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Director's report 2009

Bedford College, Writtle College and the Shuttleworth Trust have confirmed the transfer agreement on 8 August 2009 and are now responsible for the management and delivery of Shuttleworth College and Bedford College Services (ex WCS) activities. 

There are a number of important advantages and benefits that this brings to both organisations and are the key motivation behind Bedford College 's interest in Shuttleworth as a College which are:

Land and Environment, Science and Technology Curriculum


 Of course Shuttleworth needs to be financially viable as well as adding to the student experience. 

We have already benefited from a number of 'impacts and improvements' and are in the process of reorganising our staffing to match the Bedford College structure.


 The OFSTED inspection under Writtle College was broadly 'satisfactory' with no areas graded 'unsatisfactory' and the capacity to improve was recognised as being 'good'.  Behind these headline figures was a recognition that a great deal of work had gone into raising standards and that success rates had significantly improved on the previous year.  Bedford College has an 'outstanding' OFSTED rating and is a LSIS Beacon College .  Shuttleworth College can expect to see a further improvement in the students' experience and success rates as we move towards attaining these quality standards and this is going to be really good for Shuttleworth students. 


 Recruitment in September 2009 has been very good for 16-19 year olds and has risen to 539 full time students, which is a 14% growth on last year.  However, part time and 19+ student numbers have shown a decline, partially due to the withdrawal of some programmes but also because of increased tuition fees, limited marketing exercises during the summer period and we believe that the recession has had a significant impact on this area of provision. 

Recruitment on 16-19 full time courses has been strong across all subjects, particularly in Animal Care, Outdoor Education and Horticulture which have very strong cohorts.  Agriculture numbers have grown dramatically through the schools programmes and we now have in the region of 90 students studying agricultural subjects.

Our partnerships with schools have strengthened with around 130 students from mainstream Upper Schools and 45 from local Special Schools attending each week to study for nationally recognised qualifications. 

In total the College has almost 900 students studying full or part time courses every week.  In addition to this we have a number of Short Courses covering a variety of activities with a particular focus on professional skills and training towards meeting legislative requirements. 

Schools Events

We have had a very active summer season of summer schools and Children's University events.  BLEBP ( Beds and Luton Education and Business Partnership) have continued to support us and we have delivered: –  

Summer Schools during August Countryside Day Vets Day 'Into Action' Outdoor Education day Aim Higher – 3 events to support young adults 'at risk' Children's University – 180 students had a great experience studying forensic science

Business and Enterprise

The College's Fresh Start project continues to be successful with over 20 aspirant young farming business people attending business events on a regular basis. From its early roots, this group is already helping members develop business skills and opportunities. 

In addition to the £7,000 reported in February 2009, we have now secured a contract with Land Skills East for £80,600 to deliver a number of courses in Agriculture, Horticulture and Food Technology to support enterprise and business initiatives for the rural community.  


Students are already benefiting from improvements to the premises which have resulted from investment by Bedford College . 


Further work includes replacement of the equine school surface, improvements at the Mechanisation Centre to provide for a larger area of hard standing, and a developed wireless network around the site to enable internet access and improved communications from all parts of the campus. 

It all looks good for Shuttleworth!