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Suffolk students make the case for better college funding

PUBLISHED: 13:36 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 22 October 2019

Rebekka Bunting (Otley student of the year) with Belinda Deacon (student services manager of the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College) backing the campaign. Picture: JOHN NICE

Rebekka Bunting (Otley student of the year) with Belinda Deacon (student services manager of the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College) backing the campaign. Picture: JOHN NICE

John Nice

Colleges across Suffolk came together last week to make the case for better funding from government with a week of activities.

Craig Shimmon and Julie Begum from Suffolk New College backing the Love Our Colleges campaign. Picture: JOHN NICECraig Shimmon and Julie Begum from Suffolk New College backing the Love Our Colleges campaign. Picture: JOHN NICE

The Love Our Colleges campaign spearheaded by the University and College Union and Association of Colleges calls for better funding for colleges and sixth forms, having suffered a 30% funding reduction from central government in the last decade.

Staff from Suffolk New College were backing the cause at the Suffolk Skills Show held at Trinity Park.

Marketing manager, Craig Shimmon, said: "We fully support the Love Our Colleges campaign as it rightly champions the importance of places like Suffolk New College.

"From our perspective, we are a place for people to learn, make friends and progress in life - and we also have a crucial role in supporting groups and individuals in our community."

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Sullivan Ford, 23, who studied at One Sixth Form College in Ipswich and is now an apprentice at BT Adastral Park, said: "One was great - the teachers were passionate about their subjects and they knew their stuff.

"I think One has over 2,000 students so the fact it is growing is good - and I definitely back the colleges campaign. People need to know the important work that colleges do."

At the Otley campus of Easton and Otley College, students took part in a photography contest which featured personal tales of why they loved their college so much.

Six former students from One Sixth Form College who are now apprentices at BT Adastral Park, backing the campaign. Picture: JOHN NICESix former students from One Sixth Form College who are now apprentices at BT Adastral Park, backing the campaign. Picture: JOHN NICE

College spokesman John Nice said: "Around 50 photos were submitted and some of the written tributes to the college were quite moving. It was lovely to hear so many positive comments."

A student at West Suffolk College said: "I found West Suffolk College had more understanding and support in place for if you were going through personal issues, it always felt like a safe environment and the quality of teaching was superb during my experience.

"I also got some opportunities with the course that I'll never ever forget. You were always respected and treated like an adult and I found the college had so much guidance and advice to give for options after completion of your course such as university or entering the world of work.

"Without that guidance from the college staff I would have never considered a university degree."

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