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Fantastic for a Wiganer!

December 15, 2008

hastings-collegeIt was brilliant to be able to catch up today with Sue Middlehurst, the Principal of Hastings College, and to learn a bit more about the work of the College, their plans for the future, and where they are with the developments at the Plaza site in the centre of Hastings and the site up on Parker Road.

Sue comes across as a very down to earth lady and I was delighted to learn that she hails from Wigan, the rivals from time immemorial of my own home town rugby league team – St Helens.  I enjoyed having a good Northern chinwag, and I hope it’s the first of many.

From what I gleaned from my meeting with Sue, the College is attempting to grow in a sustainable way, and not attempting to bite off more than it can chew financially.

Times are tough for everyone economically and the College is not exempt from this.  There is a funding shortfall at the moment in order to provide for some of the young people not in training or education that the College has managed to engage and enroll.  I will be watching this issue carefully, as it is one that is close to my heart.

I also hope that we see the fruition of Sue’s dream for the site in Parker Road – that the College and the community really gel and that there is real ownership of what goes on there by the local community.  I was asking whether or not there will be community governors, and it seems that certainly Sue has in mind that the local community will be involved in making decisions about the future of the College.

In my experience of working in communities where there is high levels of poverty and exclusion, there is often a negative experience of the education system – across generations.  This will need to be overcome in order for the College to be part of the regeneration drive in this area of Hastings.

[What do you think about the plans for the expansion of Hastings College?  Please use the form below to send in your views]

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