New course launch as college wins praise

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 December 2010

Weston College principal Dr Paul Phillips

Weston College principal Dr Paul Phillips

WC

‘SIGNIFICANT progress’ has been made by Weston College according to Ofsted inspectors – and that is not the only good news staff and students are celebrating.

Nick Turner

After a recent visit from the board assessors found improvement in nearly every area in the college since its last inspection in 2008.

Overall it received a ‘good’ rating with ‘outstanding features’ and inspectors said it is backed by ‘strong leadership and effective strategic planning’.

Principal, Dr Paul Phillips, said: “I am delighted with the Ofsted inspectors’ report. It shows we continue to build on our strengths to make Weston College one of the best in the South West and further afield.

“We look forward to supporting our staff and students to create a successful future for themselves, the college and the surrounding areas.”

In relation to students, inspectors said there had been significant progress at level one and foundation courses and there were above average numbers of young people on apprenticeships and train to gain courses.

The college, which has more than 500 apprentices and 450 undergraduates, has also just launched a new solar energy course – the first of this kind at the new construction and engineering centre of excellence in Locking Road.

Pupils are being offered the chance to learn practical skills in photovoltaics (PV), a five-day course aimed at electricians who want to extend the scope of their work.

An increasing amount of homes are going ‘green’ by having solar panels fitted in a bid to reduce bills and protect the environment.

The panels capture and convert sunlight, even on a cloudy day, into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.

Course tutor Russell Grainge said: “This is the first course of its kind that Weston College has offered and demand is high already.

“The need for competent solar PV installers has gone up thanks to various Government requirements and initiatives, so this course is reflective of that need and we are pleased to be ahead of the game.”

The college has also just received a new accreditation to allow students, and anyone else wishing to work within the construction industry, the opportunity to take the health and safety test which is required to apply for the appropriate card under the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS).

The CSCS was set up to help the construction industry improve quality and reduce accidents and is considered a vital qualification to have.

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