Skills Minister to visit Stockton Sixth Form

Stockton Sixth Form College is set to welcome Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles on Friday 7th November.

Mr Boles will join Conservative MP for Stockton South James Wharton to meet with Principal Joanna Bailey, before touring college facilities and meeting with students.

Nick Boles MP holds a role shared between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Education (DfE). His responsibilities include further education, vocational qualifications, apprenticeships and careers advice and guidance.

The Conservative MPs will learn how college staff are preparing for radical changes to post-16 qualifications for 2015, including expanding the range of vocational courses available to local students and working closely with partner schools to prepare pupils for studying linear A-levels and reformed BTEC qualifications.

The college will also showcase how free college meals are offered to eligible students; an initiative brought in by the Coalition government in September 2014 which currently benefits over 150 learners.

Joanna Bailey, Principal at Stockton Sixth Form College, said: “We are extremely fortunate that the Minister has taken time out of his busy schedule to visit us, seeing for himself the very many benefits that a sixth form college has to offer and, in particular, the transformational journey that Stockton Sixth Form College is making.

“We feel very well supported by our constituency MP and proud to be part of a close-knit Stockton community which itself is undergoing a huge regeneration and resurgence of fortunes.”

James Wharton, MP for Stockton South, said: “It is always worthwhile bringing Ministers to see what is being done locally. We need to ensure Teesside’s voice is heard in Westminster across every department of government and I am delighted Nick Boles has taken the time to come and visit Stockton Sixth Form College.

“Part of my job as a local MP is ensuring that our successes are recognised, visits like this play a key part in ensuring that and putting us at the front of the queue. I am really pleased Nick has taken the time to come to Stockton and know that what we are doing here always impresses.”