From education to employment

First up: Roland Griffiths of Reaseheath College, winner in the category of outstanding contribu

Can you explain what your job entails, and how long you have beendoing it for?

I am a part time warden at Reaseheath College at Nantwich. This isa land based college which has Beacon status and is set within thegrounds of a magnificent old country mansion. At present we have 350residents housed in 8 hostels. My job is to come in in the evening,usually about 5pm, and look after the residents. I supervise sportsevents between 6pm and 8pm and then we either have a film evening or ona Thursday a disco/foam party/or some other type of event such as a Bavarian Beer Stompers orhypnotist. On Wednesdays I am involved in enrichment and I accompanyour sports teams all over the north of England. On a Tuesday andThursday evening I run a mini bus, affectionately known as The Rolybus,and I take between 60 and 90 students into town and bring them home froma local nightclub between 2am and 3am. This has a couple of advantages,it gets them home quicker and more safely, it keeps the peace with theneighbours and we dont end up with numerous garden gnomes, shoppingtrolleys etc on the campus. In the past the students have bought me myown number plate, which they had made up at Halfords, and also a modelmini bus which they had decorated in Reaseheath coat of arms withROLYBUS on the drivers door.

I was able to take early retirement, after32 years in the Cheshire Constabulary, and I am now in my 6th year atReaseheath.

Whats the best thing about what you do? And the worst thing aboutyour job?

I have the best job in the world! I get to work with somefantastic young people and that keeps me young. There are no bad partsto my job.

How does it feel to have won the QIA Star Award?

I was quite stunned to hear my name at the awards ceremony. I feltvery proud to hear my name and all I could think of was the students Irepresent. All this starts at the very top. The principal, MeredyddDavid, is one of the first to arrive, about 7 30am, he is one of thelast to leave, about 7pm. If he is driving down the drive at 7pm and hesees me, he doesn”t just drive past and wave, he stops the car andswitches the engine off to spend a minute or two asking me how I am andwhat is going on. Get it right at the top and you get it right where Iam.

Theres been lots of announcements & developments in FE in the past12 months eg. Leitch report, raising the school leaving age, increasingnumberof apprenticeships. What do you think has been the most positivedevelopment?

I dont really get involved in the education side, all I can say isthat compared to the opportunities I had when I left school the choicestoday are fantastic.

Tell us more about Rolys mystery trips!

On my day off, usually on a Saturday or Sunday, about once a month Itry to organise a trip out. I never tell them where we are going. Past trips have included Alton Towers, Blackpool, ferry across the Mersey and ice skating. I usually manage to scrounge some money from the studentsassociation to subsidise these trips.

Many thanks to Roland for taking time out to answer our question

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