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Items filtered by date: June 2019

Robin Ghurbhurun, Richmond upon Thames College CEO and Principal said:

"Richmond upon Thames College is currently building a new state of the art £80 million college campus and, like all post-18 providers we require adequate delivery funding to continue to engage with a wide range of regional and national employers to ensure that post-18 students and trainees are provided with the necessary skills for careers in the 21st century and to help grow the UK’s economy.

The Augar Review is wholeheartedly welcomed and implementing its recommendations must be a priority, particularly to end the 17.5% cut in education funding for 18 year olds is crucial for the future of tertiary and technical education in England and the country’s economic growth.”

  • Every leader from every general further education college in England has written to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education
  • The letter is calling on government to implement the recommendations of the government’s recent Post-18 Education Review [The Augar Review]
  • Recent forecasting by AoC warns that the country risks widening the skills gap and reducing economic output by £3.3 billion a year, if government isn’t swift to act

In an unprecedented move, the leaders of every general further education college in England have joined forces to write an open letter to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Education urging them to “answer the calls from business” and respond to the “challenges of technological change and Brexit” by urgently investing in the country’s technical and vocational education system by implementing the main recommendations of the government’s recent Post-18 Education Review (the Augar Review).

The 203 leaders are responsible for institutions that educate and train 2 million people each year, employing 180,000 staff and they have a combined turnover of £6 billion per annum.

The Augar Review called for, amongst other things, an end to the 17.5% cut in education funding for 18-year olds, support so that everybody, regardless of age, to achieve to at least level three, and a rebalancing of the traditional post-18 educational landscape.

Key extracts from the letter:

“[The Post-18 Review] understands that employers and communities need more high quality technical and professional education and training, industry standard facilities, expert staff and the unique curriculum that colleges already provide. It sees colleges as the key vehicle for the flexible, local delivery of national strategies, supporting industrial policy, productivity, skills development and genuine social equity. It clearly acknowledges that all this requires real investment.”

“In many respects the Augar Review represents a wider emerging consensus across England. We are sure that you will agree with us and other key stakeholders that further education colleges have been neglected, and that there is now a growing appreciation of their unique role, value and potential. What we now need are decisions and commitments: with your political leadership, support and resolve, colleges will be able to build on what they already do to reach more employers and more adults and make the differences our economy and society need. “

Bev Robinson OBE, member of the Independent Panel and co-author of the Augar Review said:

“The government’s response to the outcomes of the well-received Augar Review is arguably a watershed moment for the British government. Choosing to enact the recommendations would demonstrate the government’s commitment to the much-needed skills revolution which our country needs, which industry is crying out for and which will promote social equity for all adults, not just the 50% as it is now.”

Alun Francis, Principal and Chief Executive, Oldham College said:

“The technical and professional education which our colleges specialise in, is a hidden strength of this country. There is some astonishingly good provision, but the system overall has been held back by a clear view of its role backed by a serious investment plan.

Implementing the Augar Review will genuinely change lives, communities and the economy for a generation. Now is the time to act.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges said:

“It is extraordinary to have every leader in every general further education college in the country collaborate like this. But then these are extraordinary times. These college leaders are uniquely placed at the hearts of their communities, working closely with local, national and international business, supporting individuals to get on in life, and driving the social mobility agenda.

Government needs to listen to them if they’ve got any chance of tackling the major issues this country faces, now and in the future.”

Lowell Williams, CEO Dudley College of Technology said:

"There are many examples of colleges in the UK delivering technical learning which is simply amazing. But these examples are too often the exception and not the rule. On the eve of the fourth industrial revolution we have the opportunity to make really great technical learning the norm in every UK college. The Augar Review clearly shows us how. Implementing the Augar Review should be the main focus for the government's skills agenda."

Shelagh Legrave, CEO and Principal, Chichester College Group said:

“The Augar report comes at a critical time for further education institutions and recognises the central role which Colleges are playing in providing a skilled workforce to businesses. It is crucial that the report’s key recommendations for further education are implemented to address the shortfall in technicians in the UK economy.”

On Wednesday 12 June, Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Creative Arts students enjoyed a visit to the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Farnham.

UCA is the college’s creative partner university and students received a warm welcome and were able to view the current students’ artwork at their Graduation Exhibition. In addition to viewing art, RuTC students had the opportunity to produce their own art onsite. They all took part in a printing activity and finished the day with a personalised tote bag. Take a look at the photos below to see how they worked.

Find out more about studying Art and Design at RuTC.

On Tuesday 11 June, Triton Showers, based in the West Midlands, visited Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) Level 2, Level 3 and Apprentice Plumbing students.

Steve Saunders, Senior Technical Manager at Triton Showers, presented their latest product development, how the company has grown since it was founded in 1975 and various career paths at the company. Level 2 and Level 3 Plumbing students learned a lot about technical data and RuTC’s Plumbing Apprentices gave Triton feedback on ways how to support their career development.

Steve Saunders said, “It was fantastic to see the students really engage with the Triton training. We look forward to providing ongoing support to Richmond upon Thames College and the trainee plumbers now and throughout their future careers.”

Find out more about studying Construction Crafts at RuTC!

Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) is delighted to be part of the second wave of further education providers that will deliver T Levels from 2021, as announced by the Department of Education today.

T Levels will offer a high-quality technical alternative to A Levels. These new 2 year courses will be launched in a first wave in September 2020 and will be equivalent to 3 A Levels. They will combine classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement – of at least 315 hours, or approximately 45 days – where students will build the knowledge and skills they need in a workplace environment. Courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and RuTC will offer T Levels in Digital, Construction, Education & Childcare and Health & Science.

Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said, “Everyone agrees that a radical shake-up of technical and vocational education in this country is long overdue. T Levels are our chance to do that – offering young people high-quality alternatives to our world-class A Levels from September 2020.”

“The second wave of post-16 providers we have announced today demonstrates our commitment to making this happen. They will play an important role in ensuring more young people across the country can access these courses and help develop the skilled workforce the country needs for the future.”

“I’m also pleased to confirm today the details of how we will fund providers to deliver T Levels, and that we are making an additional £3.75 million available to the first T Level providers to support them to develop and offer high-quality courses for every student from 2020.”

RuTC Principal and CEO, Robin Ghurbhurun, said, “We are proud that Richmond upon Thames College has been confirmed as one of 64 Further Education providers to be chosen for the second wave of the new T Levels from 2021. This is a very exciting opportunity for the college, placing us at the forefront of technical education delivery in the region.”

“Our position as an early adopter of T Level delivery aligns precisely to the considerable investment in our new campus, with our revitalised careers mapped curriculum, presenting our students with a highly attractive opportunity to achieve industry endorsed qualifications and experience, that really will prepare them for tomorrow’s careers.”

Find out more details about T Levels here.

On Thursday 13 June, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) Supported Learning students organised a raffle and raised £141 for the college’s partner charity Shooting Star Chase.

Shooting Star Chase is the leading children’s hospice charity, caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families. Supporting the charity over the last three years is important to RuTC, as it contributes to the commitment to provide essential care to children and their families from diagnosis to end of life and every stage in between.

Last year, RuTC raised over £770 for the charity. Continuing to support the charity, Award in Progression students decided to host a raffle and collected 39 prizes – from virtual reality headsets to beauty products, jewellery, tool boxes and many more. This academic year, over £460 have been raised so far through hosting the raffle, a Christmas bake sale and festive dress day. In addition, the 5p challenge is still continuing, so wherever staff or students see Shooting Star Chase bottles around the college, they are invited to donate their 5p coins. We are excited to see which great fundraising events are still to come.

Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal Student Experience at RuTC, said: “’Shooting Star Chase’ is a very worthwhile charity which RuTC actively supports. We are delighted that the money students and staff raised will benefit such an important service to the local community.”

Find out more about 'Shooting Star Chase' and their amazing work!


On Wednesday 15 May, Richmond upon Thames College’s (RuTC) UAL Level 3 Diploma Performing and Production Art Drama students took the audience on a unique journey, performing Pulitzer Prize nominee Sarah Ruhl’s interpretation of the play ‘Eurydice’.

Have a look at the photos of their performance and find out more about studying Perfoming Arts at RuTC.


On Tuesday 11 June, Arany Yogeswaran, Level 1 Professional Cookery student at Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC), was presented with a Jack Petchey Summer Term Award.

The Jack Petchey Achievement Award is a peer recognition scheme that supports RuTC to recognise the positive contributions, efforts and endeavours of young people. Achievements can include volunteering, being a role model, helping other over and above expectations, trying hard and overcoming personal challenges.

Students from RuTC’s Catering department were nominated due to the impact they make, both college and community wide. Catering students are involved in preparing, cooking and serving food in the college’s refectory, Redwoods café, Merits restaurant, several events and they cater for ISG staff working on the new Richmond Building.

Arany was nominated and won the award due to her achievements in catering; she participated in numerous prestigious nationwide competitions, including the 2019 Salon Culinaire in Birmingham and Wessex Salon Culinaire, where she won bronze and silver medals for her Knife Skills and showed excellent team work and skills. James Unwin, Curriculum Manager of RuTC’s Catering & Hospitality department, said, “We value Arany not only for her professional skills, but also for her positive attitude, supporting others, being responsible, caring and committed. Even under pressure, she still finds the time to make others laugh.”

Find out more about studying Catering at RuTC.

On Thursday 23 May, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) student Ian Canlas was awarded with the Best Learner Award at the House of Lords.

Every year, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) nominates an outstanding student for the Best Learner Award. Ian stood out among other students due to his impressive development. Although not being an English native speaker, he gained distinction grades in Level 2 UAL Diploma in Art and Design course. Through hard work, Ian then progressed onto Level 3, gaining distinction grades again.

Sharon Cousins, Assistant Principal Student Experience at RuTC, said, “At each stage of his studies Ian has pushed himself to develop creatively. He is superbly organised, responds actively and immediately to tutorial advice and always seeks to deepen his understanding. He takes part in peer work supporting others and sharing his knowledge. Richmond upon Thames College is proud to see a student like Ian succeed on such a great scale.”

About his win, Ian said, “Receiving the Best Learner Award is a great honour and I am really proud of this achievement. I am the first one in my family who can pursue a higher education and although it is hard work, I am thankful for Richmond upon Thames College’s support. I am able to pursue my goals of high grades and to study architecture at university.”

Currently, Ian is pursuing an architecture pathway and will continue his studies at the University of Kent from September 2019, where he will also receive a £2000 scholarship towards his tuition fees.


On Friday 24 May, staff and students from Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) celebrated the Topping Out Ceremony of its new building, Richmond Building, with their construction partner ISG. Over 100 guests attended the event, including Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party and MP for Twickenham, Sir Vince Cable, the new Richmond Mayor, Nancy Baldwin, and staff from the many companies involved in the new campus project.

Since breaking ground in June 2018, the site is unrecognisable with the building’s shell now complete, the Topping Out Ceremony marked this milestone. The ceremony was opened by Robin Ghurbhurun, RuTC’s Chief Executive and Principal, who spoke about the journey to date to create a world class post-16 centre of excellence and thanked everyone involved for their commitment and expertise. He said, “The vision was and is to create a flagship college that will not only benefit Richmond borough residents but also become a major careers hub and community destination for students and employers. Colleges are vital in driving social mobility and providing the skills to boost local and regional economies by providing high quality technical and professional education and training for young people, adults and employers.”

The topping out ceremony was marked by the tightening of the last bolt. This was carried out by RuTC student Bethannie York. Bethannie studies Photography, History and English A Levels and was chosen for her incredible achievements both in and outside of college. She has been involved in the Honeypot Children’s Charity, based in West London, and had the opportunity to visit Downing Street for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May. In addition, Bethannie recently received The Diana Award. This award is the most prestigious accolade a young person aged between 9 and 25 years can receive for their social action or humanitarian work. Bethannie was nominated by the college due to her support of the Hounslow Young Carers Project where she has been a member since she was 9 years old. At the moment she is helping to establish a new young carers’ charity, which will support children who are young carers.

Before the tightening of the bolt, the companies involved in the planning and construction of the building gave a short overview of how they became a part of this project, their individual involvement in each phase and the challenges they have overcome to successfully reach this stage. The companies included project management Fusion, Atkins architects, cost managers Faithful+Gould and Pagabo procurement company. Pagabo measured the Social Value of this project and confirmed that £35m of expenditure generates £53m of Social Value. In addition, the construction of the building created 10 new apprenticeships and 41 new jobs and safeguarded 153 jobs.

Sir Vince Cable contributed by saying, “This building is the first step in realising Richmond upon Thames College’s vision to turn this college into a centre of excellence for vocational and educational training and apprenticeships in the region and I’m really proud to be associated with the project.” He continued, “We have to make sure the further education sector in the UK is properly supported. Post-school education is not just about universities and having a successful further education sector is absolutely critical to the future of the country. I am delighted that the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is hosting such a forward-thinking project and I would like to say well done to everybody who has been involved in bringing it to fruition.”

Steven McGee, Managing Director of ISG’s UK Construction South division, said, “A great deal of hard work, creative thinking and collaboration has bought this project to this fantastic milestone. We would like to thank all of our partners who helped us bring this innovative building forward – we are starting to see a truly world-class facility come to life.”

“The Richmond Building will act as a beacon for the community, attracting the brightest young academics in the region and the best talent in FE teaching and ISG is already playing its part in that vision. Throughout the course of the project, we have engaged with more than 120 young people to drive employment and upskilling opportunities and have even developed our own Level 3 Diploma in Professional Construction Practice which will be rolled out - in conjunction with the college - from this September. We welcome the engagement from our partners, the college and the local community as we continue to create a legacy in Richmond for generations to come.”

The Richmond Building is due for completion early 2020 and students joining the college in September 2019 will be the first cohort to walk through the Richmond Building doors.

Find out more about RuTC's Construction and the Built Environment, Construction Crafts, Engineering and Professional Construction Practice courses.

On Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May, Richmond upon Thames College (RuTC) UAL Level 3 Diploma Performing and Production Art Dance students showcased their incredible skills at the end of year VIBE Dance Show.

The performances consisted of different genres and included many original dances, choreographed by the college’s Dance students themselves. Before the performances, an annual exhibition took place, honouring the graduating students. The exhibition featured props used, costumes worn and snapshots of productions. To celebrate students joining the group of RuTC Dance Alumni, many alumni came back to support the department and watch the performance.

Hannah Fryer, Performing Arts teacher at RuTC, said, “VIBE was made up from a mixture of group numbers, which were designed to showcase the technical progress made by all of our students this year, and selected pieces choreographed by our students that were featured the week before in their Choreographic Sharing. This was an opportunity for all of the students within the Dance department to work together to create a professional and high level performance.”

Find out more about studying Performing Arts at RuTC.

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