Success of the lifetime for all

Monday 11 November 2013

Bedford College and CEO Ian Pryce CBE were applauded at the Bedfordshire Business Excellence Awards.

Ian was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award – which he accepted on behalf the 750 staff who work at the Outstanding college, especially his Deputy and Vice Principal Dave Pridmore.

“Teamwork between staff and students and the business community has been the key to our success,” said Ian to an audience of employers at the Bedford Corn Exchange event on November 7th.

MP Richard Fuller presented Ian with the award giving examples of how Bedford College is engaged with every area of economic growth, employability and entrepreneurship in Bedford.

Ian Pryce lifetime achievement award

He quoted:

National Leadership Awards

In the same period that Ian was made a Commander of the British Empire (Academic Year 2011/12) Bedford College won the award for “Best Leadership in FE in UK”.  The Times Educational Supplement (TES) stated: “In a crowded field of excellent contenders, Bedford College stood out. Success rates, recruitment, commercial income and surpluses are all soaring, driving new investment in the College’s campuses.” Even though changes in Government funding have since caused some tough decisions to be made Bedford College has continued to recruit at record levels and now has more enrolled full-time students and is running more quality apprenticeships than ever before.

Bedford College is one of the top Further Education colleges in the UK as demonstrated by the fact Bedford College is taking part in The Skills Show event at the NEC Birmingham this month (November) which will showcase this outstanding centre of learning. Since Ian’s impact began to be felt, Bedford College has won award upon award for every area from student services to marketing, eco architecture to financial management and leadership.

TES continued in its Best Leadership report: “The College’s whole approach is fantastic: in teaching and learning, in how it contributes to the local community, its understanding of green issues, and its work with schools and employers. Its achievement across such a wide range of activities is a sign of strong leadership at the top.

“This is an outstanding long-term success story which aims to be more than just a good college and to take its success beyond its own walls.”

Professional management of investment into area

As an accountant by profession Ian is a numbers man and knows that only the most robust, efficiently financed organisations can adapt to meet the changing demands of Government and the community. Only a solid financial base will allow the College to deliver the best value service in these challenging times. This financial astuteness has allowed Bedford College to access millions of pounds for the benefit of the educational offer to the local community – and in doing so offer people a more modern choice of learning.

Broadening educational choice

Ian has played a leading role in broadening educational choice in Bedfordshire:

  • Sponsored the £25 Million project that is Bedford Academy
  • Project managed the national success story that is Bedford Free School
  • Turned the former Harpur Trust school in Bromham Road into the modern Bedford Sixth Form which now has 500 students
  • Transformed Shuttleworth College, an old style agricultural centre, into a modern land-based learning centre
  • …and NOW has planned a town centre Technical Academy for pupils aged 13+ to specialise in technology-related skills for the jobs of tomorrow.

Employers, entrepreneurs and links with industry

Bedford College has links with over 750 employers from international giants like Lockheed Martin and Nissan to start-up businesses who seek training in the basics of business.

Employability and entrepreneurship have long been qualities which have been instilled into Bedford College students and which Ian has encouraged.

The TES award for Best Leadership praised: “The College’s commitment to sharing its success in partnerships with employers such as General Motors, which has helped increase apprenticeships.”

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