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‘A great day in the history of our great college’ - New college welcomes first students

PUBLISHED: 09:02 22 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:35 24 September 2018

Viv Gillespie, Roger Fern and Julie Patel at the launch of Suffolk New College on the Coast in Leiston  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Viv Gillespie, Roger Fern and Julie Patel at the launch of Suffolk New College on the Coast in Leiston Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A new coastal branch of a Suffolk college has opened with hopes to broaden opportunities for young people in the area.

Julie Patel, Deputy Director of Suffolk New College on the Coast  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNJulie Patel, Deputy Director of Suffolk New College on the Coast Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk New College on the Coast welcomed its first cohort of students to the new campus in Leiston last week – and held an official launch to commemorate the occasion.

The college, which is an off-shoot of the well-established Suffolk New College in Ipswich, has 31 students taking a range of options for post-16 learners.

Qualifications on offer include business enterprise, games media and health and social care. Further courses in hair and beauty, and catering and hospitality will be shared between sites in Halesworth and Leiston from January.

Maths and English GCSEs and “functional skills qualifications” will also be taught to full-time students - and offered to adults aged 19 and over for no cost.

During the launch to welcome staff, dignitaries, parents and students, college director, Julie Patel, said: “This is another great day in the history of our great college. We are thrilled to be working with the people of Leiston and the surrounding towns and villages. Our aim is to provide an exceptional experience for everyone who chooses to study with us.”

Post-16 education has been offered at Alde Valley Academy in Leiston, however Bright Tribe Trust, which runs the school, took the decision to close the sixth form due to low student numbers.

Speaking before the launch, Ms Patel said the new facility would help students in the Leiston area seeking vocational qualification, who currently have to travel to Ipswich, costing £200 a month.

In addition to vocational courses, the college is set to launch a “leisure-learning” programme in October with short courses including jewellery-making, photography, print-making, plumbing and tiling.

Plans are also underway to offer full-time courses in engineering, hospitality, public services, childcare, sport and travel and tourism.

The college said it expected engineering to be “massive” for the region with the possible development of Sizewell C nuclear power station.

Part-time options will include level three childminder courses, level two teaching assistant courses, as well as first aid and taxi licence qualifications.

Some places are still available. For more details call 01728 642900.

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