£2.4m investment for Isle of Wight College

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


A £2.4m facility for students with learning difficulties and disabilities is to be built at the Isle of Wight College.

The investment from the Educational Funding Agency will mean that students will be able to stay on the Island, rather than have to seek specialist help on the mainland.

Work will start as soon as planning permission has been approved, it was announced today (Wednesday).

The new facility will include a hydrotherapy pool, accessible kitchens, classrooms specially designed for delivery of independent living, performance spaces, and a 'movement' studio.

College principal Debbie Lavin said: "This specialist facility will provide significant support for students on the Island and I am delighted that we have secured this investment from the EFA."

The new centre will be built adjacent to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) facility that was unveiled by the college last month.

The STEM building, also subject to planning approval, is being funded by a £6.5 million grant from the Skills Funding Agency.

Both facilities are being designed and developed by Pick Everard, which was behind the sixth form centre at the college, which opened in 2010.

Isle of Wight Council children's services cabinet member Cllr Richard Priest said: "I welcome the news and the investment in this facility, reflecting the position and reputation the college has."


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by Mat Thomas

23rd January 2014, at 16:50:49

What are GKN and BAE contributing to this STEM facility?

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by Roe driver

23rd January 2014, at 13:35:31

ERIC I totally agree about putting things like maths into perspective for some students.
As a poor performer in school myself it wasn,t until I took a saturday job working with lorries which I loved.
The boss of that firm used to get me to price how much each load cost and through that I learned about mass,volume and percentages but in an practical manner from which I could understand why I needed these skills to work in that occupation
A lot of children are not academic but they can be taught practically if that is the way the subject goes in

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by Keven Ball

22nd January 2014, at 21:11:55

I agree that the children have to work and put effort into their school lives Mike. However, going off the results the IOW is failing and has been taken over by experts so it can improve. I believe the IOW has the worse (or second worse) results out of the whole of England?

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by Eric Pike

22nd January 2014, at 19:49:16

This is good news providing the planners do not sabotage it. Education is not just about teachers. Bright children always come through, past the poor buildings and poor teaching. We need to stop talking about equal rights as though that can be achieved and start talking about equal chances. Children from thick parents however rich will be thick. Look at Princess Diana. Equal chances says that some children with learning difficulties have other skills and these are valuable and can be nurtured. The new building helps with this. The STEM building likewise. I remember talking to a lad who hated maths. His dad a builder "did all right". I then explored how a builder used maths to price work, set out and order matertials. You could see a light come on. Teachers must not go school, college and then back to school. They only know theory. Lots of children need to understand how it is applied in the real world. This sort of college will help.

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by Mike Crowe

22nd January 2014, at 18:21:48

Keven, the Island's education is good, but the student has to work at it and be encouraged by parents and grandparents. It works then :-)

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by Keven Ball

22nd January 2014, at 17:13:00

We all know the island's education is very poor. It is good news to have the investment.

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by Mike Crowe

22nd January 2014, at 16:58:14

As one of the very earliest students of the Isle of Wight Technical College when the turf was newly laid outside the labs and teaching rooms, I feel that it is GREAT that said College is on its way to being Vectis University.


Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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