Trapped in 'the Tec' time warp

July 28, 1995

Reshuffles in Westminster will do little to help Stan Dey with his problem 300 miles away in North Yorkshire. For most of the Scarborough community, including local schools, still refer to his college in the seaside resort as "the Tec".

Mr Dey, principal of Yorkshire Coast College of further and higher education, says that despite a series of radical changes he has not been able to shake off the college's old image of a technical training institution.

"It's all very well Gillian Shephard changing jobs and incorporating the training brief in to the Department for Education but that doesn't help me escape outdated notions," he said. "It's like a time warp here and we need an enormous cultural change."

Recently Mr Dey recalls being horrified when talking to a colleague from a nearby school. "You won't get any of our lot next year," the teacher calmly told Mr Dey. "They're more academic than usual."

Mr Dey regrets that schools measure their succcess in the numbers of pupils progressing on to sixth form college. "They don't seem to count if they come here," he said. "I am sitting here like a spider in a web wondering what to do."

One solution is to attract students from further afield and the college is developing a European diploma in collaboration with the Lycee Paul-Bert in Bayonne and the Instituto Maria Ana Sanz in Pamplona.

The aim is to offer advanced GNVQs and their French and Spanish equivalents with a common curriculum across the three centres allowing students to participate in exchanges without disrupting their study. An optional fourth year will be available at Teesside University to top up the programme to degree level.

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