Thomas Jeffrey (pictured right) and Rory Darge (pictured left)

Balancing a full-time college course and playing rugby for your country could be a challenge – unless you happen to be a Borders College student. Thomas Jeffrey (pictured right) and Rory Darge (pictured left) are both on full-time courses but with support from the College are able to learn locally and play nationally for Scotland.

Thomas, 18, from Peebles plays his weekend rugby with Peebles Rugby Club and trains with the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy (Borders and East Lothian branch) four times a week as well as undertaking his studies in Business at the College.

BT Academy Manager - Chris Dewsnap and Head of Faculty – Lynne Gilchrist devised a bespoke plan which would allow Thomas to complete his Level 6 Business course and at the same time take part in the BT Academy.

“I really wanted to do a business a course but also didn’t want to miss out on my rugby and because the Academy has close links with the College they were only too happy to put together a plan which gave me the best of both worlds”, commented Thomas.

Thomas has been fortunate this year to play for the national squad as a prop against Wales, France, Ireland and England making his mark in the under 18s squad.

The opportunity to craft his skill in rugby and at the same time carry on with his academic studies has only been possible with the support of a number of individuals both within the rugby fraternity and at college. Scotland under 18s coach – Ross Miller has been a key figure in the development of Thomas’s rugby both at a local and national level which has seen his ability to make a difference on the pitch improve. At College Lynne Gilchrist has ensured that the learning required for his business course has been managed and organised so that his studies are not adversely affected by the demands of playing at a national level.

Lynne Gilchrist commented: “We understand that for many students education is an important part of their lives and so is sport. We are keen to be creative and flexible with our programmes, by working with our partners, in order that our students can achieve at the highest levels both on and off the field.”

HND Sports Coaching and Development student – Rory Darge, 18, who comes from East Lothian but now studies and lives in Galashiels is another student to benefit from the innovative arrangements with the BT Academy and Borders College. Rory, who is on a two year College course, also plays nationally for the Scotland Team, studies at Borders College and trains with the Academy.

Playing locally for Melrose Rugby Club, Rory has had the call up for both the under 20s – as part of the Six Nations tournament – and Under 18s squads in recent months.

Rory has turned out for Scotland against Wales, France, England, Ireland and Italy no less than 7 times.

Speaking of Rory’s selection in the under 20s squad Course Tutor – Nikki Walker said: “Rory has worked extremely hard on and off the field to achieve this recognition and thoroughly deserves the selection. Borders College does all it can to support rugby players in their sport and academically.”

BT Academy Manager – Chris Dewsnap, speaking of the partnership with the BT Academy and Borders College said: “The partnership with the College has allowed both Thomas and Rory the opportunity to maximise their rugby exposure both in training and competition this year whilst also ensuring they have both continued to progress with their educational and career development. Having a partner who is willing to support young aspiring athletes has been excellent.”

If you are interested in furthering your career in professional Rugby, visit the Borders College websiteto find out more about the Rugby and sports programmes available.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

Educating yourself in Prison: an inside job

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

RT @NCFE: ‘For as long as humans have worked, and whatever industry they may have worked in, success has always been predicated on having t…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page