The annual Achievements Ceremony for The Bedford College Group took a new form at the marquee of the Bedford Rugby Club on Thursday September 15th.
Including the top student representatives of Bedford College, Tresham College, Shuttleworth College, the National College For Motorsport (Silverstone), and the newly joined Central Bedfordshire College, as well as The Bedford Sixth Form, the event was designed to showcase the highlights of the academic year. Next year it will include the stars from The Corby Sixth Form which opened earlier this month (September).
Sponsors were: TopHat the international modular house-building company already working with Tresham College, Aegis Support Services, Mida Civil Engineering, The Harpur Trust, Love Bedford, Tata Steel, Ashe, Axis, Devonshire Architects, Craig Pullen Consulting, T & B Contractors, Mindful Education, Marsh Construction, Panda Construction, Vertec Roofing, Solution Consulting Engineers and Manners PR.
A range of successes
Among many categories covering successes in a wide range of subjects, overall FE Student of the Year was Yaryna Synelnykova of a BTEC Level 2 First Extended Certificate in Information and Creative Technology at Bedford College.
Apprentice of the Year was Abigail Bradshaw, a Land and Horticulture student of Shuttleworth College.
Deputy CEO of the Group, Em Lowe, welcomed all the contenders and congratulated them on their successes. A selected performance of Six, the hit musical staged by performing arts students at the end of term, was rerun at the ceremony enjoyed by all of the guests.
2023 is the farewell year before the retirement in December of CEO Ian Pryce CBE who is believed to be the longest serving college leader in the UK with 25 years at the helm:
“It has been my privilege to lead our wonderful college group. Over the past few years we have seen a major transformation of our college estate. These projects have been funded from our reserves but also from external grants – we have brought into our community investment of over £100m when you add in the creation of Bedford Academy (of which Bedford College were champions) and Wixams Academy and Wixams Tree Primary (schools opened as part of an academy trust set up by Bedford College).
“These developments have gone alongside a growth in students to 18,000 from the 5,000 when I started. We are the largest provider in the region to 16-18 years olds. In Bedford we now have 4,000 students studying each year – compared to 2,000 in all local school sixth forms. We send more people to university than any other educational establishment in the region.”
Chair of the Group’s Corporation Allan Schofield finished the evening by calling for people to take up the challenges of technical skills required in the future.