Record enrolement

Matthew Bacon
Matthew Bacon

East Riding College is bucking the national trend by recording its seventh consecutive increase in full-time 16 to 18-year-old students.

With more than 1,100 now enrolled, the College is expecting to beat growth targets for this year.

The New ER College'Bridlington'PA0934-26x'College Entrance

The New ER College'Bridlington'PA0934-26x'College Entrance

The number of full-time 16 to 18-year-olds has increased by 30 per cent since the 2004/2005 academic year and it is expected a large number of young people who have not gone into work or study straight from school will sign up at the College in due course.

The increase goes against national trends which predicted that enrolements would be down at further education colleges by as much as nine percent compared to the current academic year.

A recent survey by the Association of Colleges suggested student numbers had fallen by between five and 15 per cent in a fifth of colleges.

Principal Derek Branton said: “This healthy recruitment follows a very successful 12 months for our students and staff where the high standard of education and achievement levels here have been recognised by inspectors.

“Clearly, the courses on offer at the College and the excellent facilities we provide are really attractive to young people who want qualifications to help them get into work or step up to university.”

He also felt the new college on the St Mary’s Walk site which opened in 2009 had attracted more students who are taking advantage of its wider facilities and courses.

The past year has seen the College receive a glowing Ofsted report, which highlighted “exceptional” student progress and “outstanding” leadership and management.

It has also added new courses to the curriculum to meet student and industry needs which include special effects for film and television, hair and media make-up and performing arts.

Matthew Bacon, 18, of Postill Square, Bridlington, said: “The courses are great, everyone is really friendly and the tutors are brilliant.”

“I did try sixth form but it wasn’t for me. College is a lot more of an adult environment – you really get treated like a grown-up.

I’m really happy here and I’m now planning to go on to university.”