Students were commended on their eloquence and ambition, as they expressed the importance of having goals and dreams in life, during a meeting with the councillor about choice and opportunities for young people.
Councillor Asma Islam, Mayoral Adviser for Young People, and also a Mile End War Councillor, visited the college as part of an evaluation of Post 16 education in the borough. She was keen to understand how and why schools and colleges work together (or not), to provide choice and opportunity for young people.
Students from a variety of different subject areas attended the meeting with Asma, led by Principal Alison Arnaud.
During the meeting many students expressed how they felt that their options had not been made clear prior to their GCSEs and that more guidance and information regarding the options ? both for them and their parents ? would have been useful between the ages of 14-16 when choices are beginning to present themselves.
Students also recalled feeling like failures if they were unable to stay at school and study A Levels but now find that their alternative choices have better prepared them for their chosen career and they are getting excellent university offers this way too.
They praised the supportive but more adult culture at college and shared their aspirations and dreams. They were well informed on options including apprenticeships, university and future careers. Amongst the student group were aspirational teachers, engineers, plumbers, child care assistants, IT developers and adult nurses, all full of ambition and enthusiasm.
Alison Arnaud, Principal commented:
Councillor Islam was impressed with the maturity and erudition of the students, which exemplifies the high standards expected from our students. The college welcomes any initiatives which give learners and their parents better information and improved opportunities through a wider range of choices.
It was clear the college is valued by many who arrive from outside the UK - with positive comparisons with the equivalent provision in the US, Spain and Moldova. Local learners talked about the value support areas such as the learning zone and library add to their learning experience.
The way teachers linked courses to future career relevance, in order to offer a more robust and well-rounded learning experience in preparation for the world of work was also mentioned.