Principal’s Column: It’s time to raise people’s aspirations

Published: July 26, 2019

Students across Shropshire are experiencing a mixture of emotions right now.

Some will be anxiously awaiting exam results which hold the key to their future direction, while others are preparing for life at a new school, college or university.

At Telford College, we’ve just finished greeting our first wave of 2019/20 students during ‘Welcome to College Week’ – a chance for them to meet new friends, and find their bearings around our Haybridge campus.

It is vital that young people make the right choice about where they want to study – otherwise, it can be a very expensive mistake. That’s why we want to give them a taste of what lies in store in September.

We see further education as a chance to raise people’s aspirations and give them the qualifications they require, while boosting their confidence, social skills and self-esteem too.

That means building not just a curriculum which is relevant to the skills needs of local businesses, but also ensuring that the environment at college is right for students to thrive, and study with a smile.

Alongside our 7th Form A level programmes, apprenticeships, and vocational studies across 18 different subject areas – including aviation engineering for the first time – we are proud of our comprehensive enrichment programme.

Graham Guest is principal and chief executive of Telford College
Graham Guest is principal and chief executive of Telford College

Students who sign up with us for the next academic year will get chance to join our sports academy including an expanded number of male and female football teams, or make sure their voices are heard on our student council. 

We’ll also be offering a range of clubs and societies, including the Japanese anime group which proved one of the most popular last year, and running driver theory training sessions during breaktimes, to help students preparing to take their driving tests. We’ve had a big take-up for that over the past year. 

There has never been so much choice for students, right on their doorstep.     

Some may be torn between taking either the academic or vocational route, but that doesn’t matter – they can now have both at our 7th Form centre, blending A levels with careers and work experience, supported by local business mentors. Or indeed, earn while they learn on one of our growing number of apprenticeships. 

Pathways to employment, or ongoing education, are now clearly mapped out, from entry level courses right through to higher education programmes, all delivered at university-level facilities.