New Forest of Dean college campus set to welcome students in 2018
The governance team at Gloucestershire College have this week reconfirmed their commitment to building a new state-of-the-art campus in Cinderford’s Northern Quarter, subject to securing the capital required. Three years after the initial new campus announcement, the project timeline is now becoming clearer, and it is hoped that contractors will be on site later this year.
The purpose built campus will provide a new centre for post-16 academic and technical further education, and will house a newly created Sixth Form run in partnership with Dene Magna.
The Sixth Form, which is yet to be named, will utilise the experience of both organisations to deliver excellent academic opportunities as part of a wider study programme, designed to develop the soft skills of students’ and to offer work related development opportunities.
College Principal, Matthew Burgess, said: “I am pleased to be able to reconfirm Gloucestershire College’s commitment to creating an outstanding purpose built post-16 educational facility in the Cinderford Northern Quarter. I recognise that there have been delays in starting the build due to factors outside of our control, but we are working closely with the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership to secure the final element of funding required and I am confident that we will be on site later this year, ready to welcome students into our new campus for September 2018.
“Our mission is to ensure that all students leave Gloucestershire College with the qualifications, skills and experience needed to be successful. Our focus is now on ensuring the new campus build starts as soon as possible, and developing a new Sixth Form offer in partnership with Dene Magna, as well as a new technical curriculum offer that ensures students leave us well prepared and ready to progress into higher education or to succeed in the world of work.”
Stephen Brady, Dene Magna Headteacher, said: “This announcement is fantastic news for the Forest of Dean. We are delighted that our joint commitment to this project is finally paying off and we can start to plan for the delivery of the A Level provision for learners in the Forest. The partnership will begin with us offering A Level PE, taught by Dene Magna staff in September 2017, and our staff will be working with Gloucestershire College staff as this partnership grows to develop other courses. It will be so exciting to be able to add elements that we feel make Dene Magna an outstanding school to the best practice of Gloucestershire College, so that learners in the Forest of Dean can remain in this area for the highest quality post-16 provision.
“Having seen these plans take shape over time, we are confident that this will be a pivotal moment for education in the Forest of Dean. Dene Magna School are proud of the role we play in delivering the highest quality education and we cannot wait to get started in working with Gloucestershire College on the new Sixth Form, working together to play our part in the regeneration of the Forest of Dean.”
Alongside the new created Sixth Form, technical training facilities will include specialist art studios; construction workshops; industry standard training kitchens; ICT suites; a contemporary learning resource centre; and teaching spaces for healthcare, early years and outdoor education, plus hairdressing and beauty therapy salons and a student run restaurant open to the public.
Sandra Tyrrell, Assistant Principal said: “Our plans for the new campus are hugely exciting and it is now within touching distance. For example, we know that the Forest of Dean is a hotspot for tourism, and that tourism can provide a wide range of attractive careers paths, so it makes sense that it is a key focus across our catering and hospitality, construction, outdoor adventure and business offer.
“The new campus will continue to focus on the needs of the local community, and with this in mind, over the coming months we will be working with schools, young people, parents, businesses and local stakeholders, to get their views and ideas on the College’s future offer too.”
Teaching and learning in the Forest of Dean will be unaffected whilst the new campus is under construction. The current Royal Forest of Dean Campus at Five Acres will remain open and fully-functional. To apply for an A Level or technical course starting this September, visit www.gloscol.ac.uk/apply.