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The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Education, will be visiting Bicton College on 11th May. Bicton will be one of the first land-based colleges to welcome Mr Gove since he was appointed to his current role in May 2010.

The Secretary of State for Education’s visit to this leading land-based college in East Devon is a welcome chance for staff, students, employers and suppliers to show exactly why vocational qualifications are so important in the changing landscape of work and careers.

With an impressive 89% of students from Bicton College achieving a career of their choice and a multitude of courses to choose from, the further education sector is currently outperforming more traditional routes to work. Courses at Bicton range from entry-level preparedness for life qualifications through to foundation degrees in subjects such as agricultural management and outdoor leisure. This means that students are able to access both the course that suits them right now as well as giving them something concrete and more challenging to aim towards.

Michael Gove’s visit on the 11th May will give him the opportunity to see the ground-breaking EaRTH centre – a sustainability hub that gives both students and industry, along with the local community, an innovative centre to learn about new technologies that have been developed. From solar panels through to biomass boilers, EaRTH offers a technologically advanced study base for anyone with an interest in sustainability. Coupled with this, Bicton College has vowed that all students, on any course, will be able to learn about sustainability in their chosen field.

David Henley, Principal of Bicton College, said, “We welcome the opportunity to show Michael Gove MP exactly why further education colleges offer such a wonderful alternative to young people who wish to stay in education but who also wish to gain commercial experience and vital skills. Our courses are all designed to reflect today’s land-based careers and we are teaching the next generation of countryside custodians, not just in theoretical practice but in real business. Our agriculture students learn on a working farm and get up at 5am to milk, just as they will when they enter their careers. Our outdoor leisure students learn about the multi-faceted approach to running an adventure centre so that they are fully prepared once they enter work. Coupled with this is our commitment to apprenticeships that are worthwhile both for the employer and the apprentice – we pride ourselves on ensuring that both parties gain huge benefit from this partnership.”

Media Call:

11th May 2012 from 3.30pm – 5.15pm
Michael Gove MP will be at Bicton College, East Budleigh, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 7BY
Please RSVP to Viki Kirby, PA to the Principal at Bicton College or to Sarah Wolf to confirm your place.

Further media information from Sarah Wolf at diablo PR - 01373 471849 / 07812 099243 /

Notes to Editors:

About Bicton EaRTH

Bicton EaRTH has been designed to provide high quality training for businesses and communities across the South West in renewable energy technologies and environmental education. It is a local facility supporting commercial and educational development in the growing low carbon sector. EaRTH also offers unique conferencing and interpretation facilities to host events, seminars and education days for local businesses, schools and community groups. It is already being recognised as a centre of excellence and a local resource for impartial information and development support.

By renovating old stable blocks, the BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) “very good” rated, EaRTH project demonstrates best practice in sustainable building refurbishment techniques whilst applying leading renewable technologies and building management services to create a unique and fully functioning regional demonstration centre of excellence.

Courses in Photo Voltaic Panel, Solar Thermal Hot Water Installation and Micro Certification Scheme Accreditation are held on a regular basis.

About Bicton College
Bicton College is a leading land-based college set within an area of outstanding natural beauty in the heart of Devon. The grounds comprise 200 hectares of open parkland and rolling countryside; a majestic Georgian manor house overlooks the beautiful lake and sits alongside the latest in modern facilities and equipment. 

It is the perfect setting for the range of land-based courses that are available from entry level to higher education, in the following subject areas:
• Agriculture
• Animal Care
• Countryside Management & Arboriculture
• Engineering: Vehicle, Plant and Manufacturing
• Equine Studies
• Environment
• Floristry
• Horticulture
• Outdoor Leisure
• Veterinary Nursing
• Sustainability

89% of students from Bicton College go on to enter a career of their choice – this number is rising.

Bicton College has been rated as ‘outstanding’ in the provision of Level 2 apprenticeships

The UK’s first fully residential Military Academy opens at Bicton College in September 2012

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Diablo PR in the following categories: Environment & Nature, Education & Human Resources, Farming & Animals, for more information visit