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West Sussex apprentices celebrate graduation at The Hawth

West Sussex apprentices celebrated their achievements at a graduation ceremony at The Hawth, Crawley on Monday.

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A total of 65 graduates attended the ceremony with local employers, training providers, friends and family members. This year’s apprenticeships ranged from social care, management and engineering.

Speakers at the ceremony included Paul Wagstaff, West Sussex County Council’s Director of Education and Skills, Jim Cunliffe, Sussex Area Leader of the Federation of Small Businesses, Steve Pullen, Varian’s Senior Manufacturing Manager and Holly Jade-Ryder, Mid-Sussex District Council’s Business Development Officer.  

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the apprentices who graduated at the ceremony this year and to the family and friends who joined them.

“I would also like to thank the employers who attended and who have supported these apprentices through their training. 

“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for people to learn whilst working in their chosen field and we hope to see more people becoming apprentices in the future.”


Among those at the ceremony was Beth Reeves who graduated as an Advanced Apprentice in Engineering Manufacture (Engineering Maintenance) and works at Roche Diagnostics Ltd in Burgess Hill. As a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Ambassador, she has now moved on to a Higher Apprenticeship qualification in Engineering.

She said:

“It was great to see so many different industries and employers celebrating and promoting apprenticeships across the county. Graduating from education whilst in full time employment has had its challenges but today has made me feel proud of how far I have come. I got that feeling of achievement from everyone in the room today.”

Jim Cunliffe, FSB’s Sussex Area Leader said:

“My firm employs apprentices and this is something I am very committed to. It is important we recruit, train and employ people, especially young people, using apprenticeships. This ensures a pipeline of talent to our smaller, local businesses and supports our economy.

“Events like the one today brilliantly raise awareness of what can be achieved through an apprenticeship. I wish every one of the Apprentice Graduates success in their chosen career.”    

The graduation event has been running for four years and is organised by West Sussex County Council and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Education

The happy faces of Crawley’s GCSE students

It’s smiles all round as the towns GCSE students celebrate another successful year with their results.

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From all areas of Crawley nervous students have been collecting their GCSE results this morning.

GCSE results show that there has been a slight increase in the number of pupils across West Sussex who have achieved passes in English and Maths.

Figures show that an average of 65.7% secured passes in both English and Maths, compared to 65.4% in 2018.

Results in West Sussex are slightly lower than the average across England, Wales and Northern Ireland of 67.3% achieving passes in both English and Maths.

Most GCSE results in England are now being graded from 9 to 1, with 7 the equivalent to an A and 4 a C grade.

Early figures provided by West Sussex schools and academies combined show:
• The proportion of West Sussex students achieving the pass level Grade 4 (equivalent of a C grade) has gone up by 0.3%

• Schools’ Attainment 8 scores (the average of their students’ grades across eight key subjects) have also gone up from 37.1% to 44.5%, an increase of 7.4%.

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“I know pupils across the county, as well as teachers and school staff, have worked very hard during the past two years. I’m delighted that this has led to an increase in this year’s pass rate.

“I pass on my congratulations to those who have received their results and are now planning their next move, whether that is further study, employment or training.”


Students who did not achieve the grades they wanted are encouraged to speak to their school or college about the opportunities still available to them.

The results are provisional until the Department for Education issues more detailed examination results later this year and the figures have been confirmed.

Hazelwick School were very happy with the Chair of Governors saying how proud she was of the students hard work.

Kirsty Armstrong (pictured with Headteacher, Ann Fearon – 7 grade 9s , 2 grade 8s)

Headteacher, Ann Fearon, said:

“Our students should be immensely proud of their achievements and I congratulate them for their effort, commitment and resilience. The new ‘9-1’ GCSEs in all subjects continue to present a real challenge to all schools and I am delighted with how well our students have risen to that challenge. I would also like to thank Hazelwick staff and parents/carers for the fantastic support provided for our students.  Hazelwick School is a school to be proud of.  We are ambitious for our students and that ambition is making a positive difference to their futures.”

At Thomas Bennett Community College there was extra reason to celebrate after the Schools turbulent past years. But now the school has seen a massive rise in student results.

Headteacher Stuart Smith said:

“Congratulations to all of the Year 11 students for a set of fantastic results. They are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication put into your studies this year and through your time as a student at Thomas Bennett.  I’d like to say a big thank you to staff for their commitment in ensuring that students were well prepared.  Also to parents and carers for working with the school and supporting students at home.  I wish all of the students the very best of luck in the next stage of their learning.”

Over at the Gatwick School it was their first Year 11 cohort who took their exams.

Head of School Mark Roessler stated:

“This year The Gatwick School had its first Year 11 cohort sitting their GCSE exams, and with less than 50 students sitting these exams, I am extremely proud of how they have risen to the challenge. They have led the way for all the other year groups who will follow them and I am delighted at how well our students have achieved; they are a credit to their families, to our school and, most importantly, to themselves. I am proud of my excellent staff who have supported and dedicated themselves to our students. They pride themselves on going above and beyond expectations on a daily basis for all students. I am also grateful to our families for their faith in The Gatwick School and for the support they have shown throughout the incredible journey that we have been on over the last 5 years. As Head of School, I am determined that ‘All Can Achieve’ at The Gatwick School. We provide students not only with the academic grounding that allows access to further education and employment, but an extremely high level of pastoral care and support, which enables all students to develop, both in self-confidence and in maintaining a strong moral compass, which is just as important as academic success”. 

At St Wilfrids there was more success with a high number of students achieving at least one grade 9.

Mr Ferry (Headteacher) said:

“We are seeing a lot of happy faces this morning and I am immensely proud of all of our students. The new examinations require students to cover much more detail than in the past and they have worked incredibly hard over the last two years. Make no mistake, the grades they are receiving today have been hard earned”.

Over at Ifield Community College Head teacher Rob Corbett paid tribute to the success of his pupils saying:

“ICC continues to go from strength to strength and the hard work of staff and students has paid off in our GCSE results this year. The school, judged good a year ago and expanding due to its’ popularity, is celebrating the success of its year eleven students.

We are extremely proud of the success of all of our students who showed the tenacity and dedication to succeed in the reformed qualifications.”

Ifield Community College GCSE students.

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