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Chief Executive of Student Services Sees College’s Role in the Community

The matrix standard is the leading quality standard for all organisations delivering information, advice and guidance services in any area of work and learning. This award serves to acknowledge the excellent work done by the Student Services team at Filton College, encompassing areas such as Careers Advice, Disability Advice, Dyslexia & Learning Support, Student Accommodation and Welfare and Financial Advice.

These services are a crucial element of the college’s work and are aimed at supporting the current and future students” educational experience. The team leader for the Student Services team, Rosheen Hucker, was justifiably proud of their achievements: “The team have work exceptionally hard to achieve this quality award, and it’s really the rubber stamp that we have strived to achieve.”

The Role in the Community

The Executive Director of Student Services at Filton College, Chris Newman, realises that the provision of good quality advice is an essential part of the college’s mission today: “Colleges of Further Education are often seen as a place in the community where people can come to get advice and guidance about their future. This award assures them that the advice and guidance they receive will be unbiased and of a high quality”.

Chris Newman sees the college as a place that people can go for information that will enable them to be successful, often allaying unfounded fears that are encouraged through uninformed advice. “Information provided by colleges is all about trying to overcome the barriers that are often set-up by well meaning but uninformed friends and relatives. Colleges can help with information on finance, benefits, childcare, disability and counselling and so put an end to the well – known saying “Someone like you cant do that”.”

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Mr. Newman assures those seeking information that this system is not dedicated to co ““ opting people into the college alone, but that it is tailored to suit the needs of the individual leaner. “Coming for advice and guidance at Filton College doesnt mean that you are committed to undertaking a course only on offer at the College,” he said. “For instance, if someone wished to do a course we didnt offer, we would assist them in finding a College which did run the course. We are not sales or marketingorientated.

Addressing the concern felt by many returning to education after their times at school, Mr Newman said: “Many people will feel that they cant return to College because they didnt do very well at school. Colleges provide courses for everyone at all levels; learning support is available to everyone who needs it.”

The student services team is a team in every sense of the word, providing a coherent and focused approach. “If you speak to one member of the student services team you are speaking to them all,” he stated. “They work as a very close team and you will be past on immediately to an expert if the person you are speaking to isnt the right person. All information given is treated in the strictest confidence as we adhere to the British Counselling guidelines on this”.

FE News would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff and officers at Filton College for their help in this article, and offer our congratulations for their success.

Jethro Marsh

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