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Minister of State for Lifelong Learning Opens New Building For Sir George Monoux College

Yesterday, Dr. Kim Howells, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning and ex-student Nish Kankiwala, President of Burger King International, officially opened the new £5 Million state of the art Drapers building at Sir George Monoux College.

The new building cost £5 Million and is a significant investment by the college, which has an annual fee income of £7 Million. The new 3,000 square foot Drapers building is the second addition to the college estate since 2003. Dr. Howells officially opened the Vi Smith Learning Resource Centre and commended the college on this investment saying, “It is very important that we have a building such as this, it is a visual success to the college. At long last we are starting to get buildings like this up.” This is perfect timing for Sir George Monoux College, especially after Mark Haysom, Chair of the LSC stated at the AoC conference last week that he wanted to improve the estates of the colleges.

Michael Higgins who is the Bursar of the College explained the building was opened within 46 weeks with the help of the Tribal Group. “With over 400 of our students progressing to university per year from an intake of 1800, we are particularly proud of our level of success from our location in North East London,” said Higgins.

Monoux Principal Richard Chambers explained that, “Monoux has enjoyed great success through our partnerships with local colleges, schools and Universities.” These innovative partnerships were very apparent on the opening day, with Principals from three local colleges attending the opening and the catering provided by students from Waltham Forest College.

Ann Robinson from Wood House College in Finchley explained the partnership ethos between the colleges as a developing a “place of belonging”, where students have a sense of community and ethos. Peter Leighton Chair of the Governors explained that the college sees itself as a “Community rather than a FE factory”.

Maybe Prince Charles should have also attended the opening of the new building. He would have seen a successful college in a deprived area of North East London, investing in their learners, developing individuality and producing outstanding results, but with a clear lack of FE robots.

Gavin O”Meara

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