Making space for extra bodies

24th March 2000 at 00:00
CASE 1: Greenhead College, Huddersfield. Ngaio Crequer reports on the results of a Curriculum 2000 survey, while colleges give Martin Whittaker their reactions to the changes

CURRICULUM 2000 is bringing physical changes at Greenhead College in Huddersfield.

The sixth-form college is currently building 10 classrooms at a cost of pound;800,000 to accommodate the extra teaching.

"We're building like mad to get ready for September," said principal Dr Kevin Conway.

"We expect to have about 770 students turn up in September, and we think about 700 of those will do four AS levels, plus AS general studies, and key skills."

Nearly a third of the cost of the new classrooms will be met by the Further Education Funding Council, with the rest from college revenue and loans.

Despite this need for extra space, the college is largely on course for the new curriculum, said Dr Conway.

"The only problem we've got at the moment is getting confirmation from the funding council that we will be fully funded for it.

"That just causes difficulty in planning - but we're getting there." He said the major isses have been about physical space.

"The logistics in June 2001 of 1,500 students doing examinations is going to be significant.

"Normally the upper-sixth are doing exams and the lower are getting taught. Now in June each year the whole lot of them are going to be doing exams.

"And it looks like our examinations bill is going to go up by about 40 per cent. That's a big leap."

Dr Conway said the college also has to appoint 12 new staff before May 31.

"The big problem is not knowing what our budget is so we could fire ahead with that. Getting the staff now - that's the key thing.

"Another issue is the key skills qualification, which all 770 students are doing. That's a big undertaking.

"Also, the specifications for the subjects have come out very late. But we're used to all this last minute stuff. We just get on with it and solve the problems - that's our job.

"We're a Beacon college because we have a cracking staff. They're highly-motivated and committed.

"And they're so used to change now that it's just another set of problems to solve. And they'll solve them."

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