Reaseheath Annual Review 2020

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Review 2020

Message from the


“There is heightened awareness of the value of students with the right specialist skills, and also the attitudes and resilience that employers require.”

Marcus Clinton Principal and Chief Executive

2020 saw an unimaginable transformation in Further and Higher Education which few of us could have predicted.

service personnel, our construction department designed and manufactured face mask clips for frontline NHS staff and our college catering department and individual staff and students donated to our local food bank.

Covid-19 certainly brought challenges but staff at both Reaseheath College and University Centre Reaseheath remained positive, adapted to a new way of teaching by harnessing digital technologies and ensured that our students and undergraduates remained engaged and continued to develop transferable lifelong knowledge and skills.

These selfless actions are proof that our Reaseheath family is special, and is the reason so many of our students take away friends and memories for life along with their qualifications. Our strength is our resilience and ability to embrace change, and this is what makes Reaseheath so successful.

Crucially, our students tell us they have continued to enjoy learning in this new world, despite the change from face to face to online delivery. This is undoubtedly down to the creativity, innovation, dedication and passion of the Reaseheath team, and I thank every member, including our governors, for playing their part in ensuring we continued to function professionally throughout the pandemic. One of our major commitments within our 2019 strategic plan was to develop and support our staff. This has proved to be key to our success post pandemic, as it has ensured that we have the right people with the right skills already in place in this fast changing landscape. If one positive thing has come out of lockdown, it is that the Government has a higher recognition of the value of the technical skills we offer. We are extremely well placed to meet the needs of employers and businesses as we respond to the national effort to drive productivity.

As we approach our very special centenary year celebrating the 1921/22 first ever students, Reaseheath is truly an anchor institution, interwoven into and integral to our local, regional and national communities and the sectors we serve and live within. Throughout the last hundred years, thousands of students have benefited from and enjoyed the Reaseheath Experience and we are always hearing about their success in life and work. It will be fantastic to return to something akin to normality with a programme of public events and activities demonstrating the very best of what our land-based community can offer. We will, of course, continue to invest into skills development and on improving and adding to our courses, and there will be a whole new growth area surrounding T Levels which we are superbly positioned to support. So lots to look forward to. Thank you all for your contributions in a testing year, and here’s to the future!

Despite all the challenges, life certainly hasn’t stood still. Working within government restrictions, we have developed new and innovative partnerships with employers and our strategic alliance with the University of Chester has continued to flourish. Our Leading Edge agenda has resulted in the completion of new industry-standard facilities offering highly sophisticated digital and technical training resources, some of which are described in this Annual Review. We have made every effort to keep our campus safe by making physical changes to our facilities. We have invested in and fast forwarded our digital strategy and put in every effort to support the wellbeing and mental health of our students and staff. Throughout this difficult year our wonderful Student Association has demonstrated all our PRIDE values by working tirelessly to provide Covid-safe, fun activities for all while continuing to fundraise for our current charity ‘Make-a-Wish UK’. Students and staff have also supported our community where possible. We offered campus accommodation to emergency

David Pearson Chair of Governors



Our Drive:

Our Mission Industry focused, career ready

Strategic Aims and Objectives

Our Vision n Be the leading specialist land-based college in the UK n Be the preferred place to learn, work and progress n Support the growth and prosperity of the specialist land-based industries, technical sectors and rural communities we serve

n Place our students and staff at the heart of everything we do n Provide an inclusive offer facilitating appropriate progression for

2019 has seen the implementation of our five-year strategic plan. It sets out our vision to be the leading specialist land-based and technical college in the UK ensuring the sectors we serve have highly skilled, technical specialists with the right attitude and aptitude for work. We will do this through our guiding principles, which are to ensure that: 1

We are financially strong, sustainable and able to invest to continually develop so that all our stakeholders can benefit from an outstanding environment supporting learning, personal development and positive experiences.


We are relevant and meet the needs of students and employers. Our students will benefit from up-to-date high-quality programmes of study that meet their individual needs and the needs of employers.


We will work together in a safe and secure environment with a positive approach to our own and others’ health and wellbeing. We will respect democracy and individual liberty, recognising the valuable contribution each person can make to society.

We create a sustainable environment by ensuring students, staff and industry have the skills, knowledge and facilities needed for the emerging challenges of net zero carbon, resource efficiency and environmental sustainability.



We have excellence in all we do and consistently exceed expectations. We will continually strive to ensure we have a high performing culture with high expectations alongside the highest levels of support and infrastructure.


We have a leading edge. We will lead in the sectors we serve, be engaged with our stakeholders and take an innovative approach to ensure we are at the forefront through our specialist facilities and equipment, technologies, our people, systems and processes.


n Deliver an inspirational learning experience and environment supported through our values, our guiding principles and commitments

Our PRIDE Values People:

We will be responsible for our own actions and decisions whilst making a positive contribution to community cohesion and pride. We will demonstrate environmental sustainability through our behaviour.

Our top priorities within the strategic plan are:



We will demonstrate honesty, integrity and ethical standards in everything we do. We will respect the rule of law and act fairly in the best interests of all.

Our offer - We will continue to refine our curriculum in order to facilitate high quality and impactful learning for our students, regardless of their starting points.



Our people - We will continue to invest, develop and shape our ‘Reaseheath Family’ to ensure we are able to support our evolving delivery model and offer.


Our environment - We will continue to improve our environment to ensure we keep students at the heart of what we do. We will do this by providing specialist technical education facilities while delivering on our commitment to a sustainable environment.


Our employer solutions, innovation and scholarly activity - We will develop our relationships with businesses, public sector and private sector partners so that our students and clients have relevant technical and professional skills.


Our core processes and supporting systems – We will achieve our ambition of inter-operable, complementary systems and processes that add value, remove waste and release time for staff and students to engage in innovation and personal development.

We will actively promote equality; recognise, respect, promote and celebrate diversity and individual difference and strive to create an inclusive environment. We will challenge behaviour or views which discriminate against others.

Excellence: We will challenge ourselves to strive for the highest standards of quality and behaviour by adopting a supportive self-critical approach in our pursuit of excellence. We will always aim to be the best that we can be.



Our Students Further Education Motor vehicle partnership Our motor vehicle technicians are learning about current technology and systems on modern road cars, thanks to the generosity of salvage and vehicle recycling company SYNETIQ. SYNETIQ was formed following a successful merger of local company Car Transplants with three other vehicle processing businesses and provides a national service for leading Insurers, company fleets and police forces. We had a long standing partnership with Car Transplants and SYNETIQ has continued to loan us a range of current models and static engines. Our students are gaining relevant skills by working on the vehicles in our automative workshop, which has ten vehicle ramps, modern diagnostic equipment and a simulated MOT standard test lane.

Tree safety technology Cutting edge technology which detects decay in trees was demonstrated on campus to forestry, arboriculture and countryside management students. The masterclass, hosted by Sorbus International, showed how noninvasive PiCUS sonic tomography systems measure the speed of sound waves as they pass through tree trunks, producing images and data on decay and defects which often cannot be seen externally. Tomography systems are widely used by local authorities, consultants and contractors. Sorbus International is a key supporter of Reaseheath and visits annually to demonstrate these technically advanced systems and to update students on innovations within the industry.

Florists gain industry overview

Self care initiative benefits students

Bridleways project earns BHS award

Our students are looking forward to a healthier future after Reaseheath became the first land based college to successfully achieve its Silver Self Care Award.

A project by equine students identifying safe offroad routes for horse riders has been recognised with a British Horse Society (BHS) national award.

The award is part of a programme by NHS South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group to spread the benefits of self care throughout its local communities. The initiative rolls out key messages using specially trained Self Care Champions and particularly targets young people. Reaseheath’s Student Services and Wellbeing teams, along with our Student Association, Student Life and Freshers Crews, have co-ordinated a campus-wide network promoting personal, physical and mental health which new students, many of whom are living away from home for the first time, find particularly beneficial. We also offer Covid-safe social and physical activities.

The Level 3 students plotted over 300 bridleways or footpaths with bridleway rights in Staffordshire which could be lost if not officially re-recorded on new maps by 2026. The students’ research was a collaboration with the national BHS Project 2026 and earned them a BHS 2020 Access Achievement Award for their significant contribution to equestrian access. It will also count as part of their community engagement qualification, which is in addition to their college qualification. BHS Project 2026 aims to protect alternative routes for equestrians who otherwise must risk using potentially dangerous roads.

Our florists gained an overview of their dynamic industry during study tours of influential floristry businesses. Level 2 Diploma students enjoyed an informative visit to wholesalers Country Baskets, where they looked at stock ranging from flowers and accessories to tools and equipment. They were also introduced to pricing and VAT and used the experience to think about their future careers. A further trip to Bents Garden Centre, which is renowned for its display techniques, enabled them to appreciate the complete product journey. Level 3 Diploma students visited specialist wholesaler Van Vliet to see how fresh flowers are imported for same day delivery. All visits were outside lockdown periods and followed Coronavirus restrictions.



Our Students Higher Education

Professionals advise on career choices Visiting professionals helped our equine science undergraduates make the right career choices by sharing their knowledge and experience. A presentation on British Horse Society (BHS) qualifications, a dressage demonstration and a workshop on equine performance physiotherapy were among inspiring extra curriculum activities held at our Equestrian Centre. BHS qualifications are particularly useful for the career progression of yard managers, professional riders and coaches while the dressage demonstration was aimed at those considering working on a competitive yard, wanting to compete or thinking of becoming dressage trainers or judges. The physiotherapy event was much appreciated by undergraduates considering careers in veterinary science, equine sports performance and horse welfare.

Research helps zoo collection readjust Undergraduate Gemma Jones has used her research skills to monitor how animals were adjusting to a zoo reopening. Gemma, a Foundation Degree in Zoo Management student, was one of two volunteers invited to rejoin staff at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis in Cumbria to prepare for the easing of Covid restrictions during summer.

Undergraduate’s success in prestigious competition

Heritage beach house project

Agriculture undergraduate Olivia Edgerton was crowned runner-up in the prestigious Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) 2020 ‘Dairy Student of the Year’ competition.

BSc (Hons) Landscape Architecture undergraduates have begun a unique heritage project to help restore the grounds of a historic beach house in North Wales.

Olivia, who has since completed her Foundation Degree in Agriculture with Dairy Herd Management with us, received the award at Dairy–Tech, an industry-leading dairy event for next generation dairy farmers, managers and technicians.

‘Ty Crwn’ is on the estate of Gwrych Castle, 2020 location for ITV’s reality series ‘I’m a Celebrity – Get me Out of Here!’

Surveys may help amphibian decline

The beach house, which fronts the shoreline, has recently been restored and our undergraduates have been asked to produce planting proposals for its unusual coastal environment. The project follows two years of research already carried out by our undergraduates in the grounds of the castle itself.

Working alongside licensed staff, the undergraduates monitored traps and completed torchlight surveys and egg searches. By using capture-markrecapture techniques, they were able to identify individuals and accurately estimate the population’s size and health.

She had earlier joined fellow finalist Florence Turley from Harper Adams University on stage to interview a prominent dairy farmer and took part in a panel discussion about opportunities awaiting young people in the dairy industry. Olivia hopes to join a graduate programme or to teach inner city pupils about agriculture and rural life.


As the beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Foundation Degree in Environmental Science for Conservation undergraduates have also become involved by surveying its plants and marine life.

Drawing on her skills in a comparatively new area of research, Gemma designed ethograms which she used during lockdown to log behavioural observations on snow leopards, curassows, cotton top tamarins, black capped lorikeets, wallabies and lemurs. She compared this data with studies taken once visitors had returned, using the results to alert keepers to changes in behaviour and enabling them to adjust the animals’ management.

Animal Science undergraduates surveyed the great crested newts on campus so we can better plan for their future management.

Our undergraduates also applied their scientific skills to help researchers better understand a nationwide decline of the common toad. Under supervision, they caught and took DNA swabs from our resident toads during migration and the swabs were sent to PhD students at the University of Wolverhampton for further analysis. The results could unveil genetic trends which are responsible for the decline.


Our Students Apprentices

Reaseheath engineer is construction plant ‘star’ A talented Reaseheath trained engineer carried off a top award in a competition to find the nation’s best construction plant apprentices. Alisha Giles was national runner-up in the Level 2 Plant Mechanic of the Year category in the prestigious Construction Plant-hire Association’s Stars of the Future Awards. The competition is an annual highlight for the construction plant industry and showcases the talent of future leaders within the sector. An apprentice construction plant fitter with the GAP Group, Alisha is based in Brighton and attends Reaseheath Engineering for offthe-job training. She has progressed onto her Level 3 apprenticeship, alongside which she is studying for a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Once qualified she hopes to become a workshop foreman and eventually a chief engineer.

Apprenticeship could benefit wider industry A bespoke apprenticeship for leading tomato supplier the APS Group has proved so successful that the company believes it could benefit the wider commercial growing industry. The APS Group partnered Reaseheath in designing a bespoke Level 3 Apprenticeship for Crop Technicians which would offer a career route for talented employees. The training programme has worked so well that APS is keen to engage with other growers to make it applicable across the industry.

HSS Hire apprentices continue journey

Career ready apprentices for SMT GB

APS Group Safety Health and Environment Manager Gary Swayne said: “Reaseheath has had the foresight to invest in glasshouses and equipment which mirror the commercial environment and this programme has delivered an in-depth knowledge to our crop workers, who now have the ability to develop and progress.”

The third cohort of apprentice engineering fitters from HSS Hire are continuing their apprenticeship journey with us.

Our elite engineering department has welcomed a new partnership to provide career ready construction plant service engineers for SMT GB, the UK’s only distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment.

Morrisons funds agriculture apprentices

The company is a leading supplier of tools and equipment for hire and provides customers with equipment ranging from generators and power diggers to lawn mowers and high powered saws, so apprentices need a broad range of engineering skills, delivered with speed and accuracy. Although the apprentices typically work with specific products, our programme introduces them to a wider range of light and heavy plant systems including electric and diesel. They complete their three years of block training as highly qualified Level 3 Land Based Service Engineers (Construction Plant Standards).


The bespoke Level 3 Land-based Service Engineering Apprenticeship welcomed 19 apprentices at two levels of experience, some who are beginning their three year programme and others who are part way through their training. The apprentices, who work at SMT GB’s nine national depots, are based at our £8 million Centre for Advanced Engineering and Agri-Technology for their theory and practical training. Between study blocks they return to their workplace, where they are mentored by a dedicated engineer and grow their industry experience.

Two Reaseheath agriculture apprentices are being supported by supermarket chain Morrisons through its Apprenticeship Transfer Levy funding. Chloe Cooper and Nick Hartland work on Cheshire farms and are studying for their Level 2 Stock Person’s Apprenticeship. Their training fees are being met out of a £2 million fund which the retailer has made available annually as part of its mission to support the next generation of farmers. Chloe is one of eight employees on our own campus farm and is gaining experience in dairy, beef, sheep and arable farming, while Nick works for a family run dairy farm on the Bolesworth Estate. As they are supported by Morrisons, both will gain retail sector experience as part of their programme.


Industry excellence

Tetra Pak international partnership

Multi-national engineers, technical operators and managers from global processing and food packaging specialist Tetra Pak continued to receive bespoke training in our industry standard dairy processing halls before lockdown restrictions were introduced. We have delivered short targeted programmes exclusively for Tetra Pak for over 40 years – proof that the company appreciates our expertise, facilities and reputation for delivering effective training. Although Tetra Pak itself offers opportunities for specific in-house training, our programmes deliver a more general understanding of dairy science and particularly their practical application. Professionals from different countries and job roles enjoy the chance to get ‘hands on’ in our industry standard processing halls and also relish the chance to mix and learn from each other.

Parlour Safe professionals graduate

The fourth cohort of specialist engineers and allied professionals from the milking parlour industry graduated just before lockdown with a qualification from Parlour Safe, the Milking Equipment Association’s (MEA) industry training scheme. The bespoke Category 3 (Advanced) course is accredited by the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) in recognition of its professional quality and high standard of training. It attracts professionals from leading milking parlour manufacturers such as DeLaval, Fullwood, GEA UK, Lely and BouMatic, plus individuals such as dairy vets. Reaseheath has worked closely with the MEA to create this modular course, which offers practical and technical training on parlour management, from dynamic testing and cow welfare to health and safety and building design.

Industry accolade for Food Centre

Our food processing halls team again achieved the highest standards of food safety and hygiene within a food production facility. Following a rigorous audit against the new British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRCGS) Version 8, the team was awarded the prestigious Grade AA standard for a second consecutive year. This is the highest possible benchmark for best practice in food manufacture and proves that our Food Centre operates under highly controlled conditions and at the highest industry standards. The updated BRC Version 8 includes new clauses on food safety culture, site security and threat of adulteration. The team achieved the highest level of compliance, with just three minor non conformances noted throughout the two day audit.


Rural Crime Team conference Cheshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team made the most of our training facilities during a two day regional conference which brought together 40 police officers and associates. The team was set up in 2019 to protect communities from rural and wildlife crime. Building on their practical skills and understanding of animal behaviour, delegates practised safe handling with livestock on our farm and equine centre, and studied birds of prey at our mini zoo. Industry specialists who gave presentations included Farm Manager Ed Parrish and representatives of the RSPCA, RSPB, the Environment Agency and the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

Facilities benefit Altrincham FC Training at our sports performance centre has enabled Altrincham Football Club to continue its meteoric climb to the elite level of non-league football. Since the semi-professional football club began using our professional facilities they have been promoted twice and now play at Step 1, the elite level of non-league football in the Vanarama National League. The club’s first team uses our sports science laboratory, sports hall, and all-weather AstroTurf pitch for pre-season testing and occasional midweek training. Players also use our high spec physiotherapy unit to rehabilitate and maintain fitness, and classrooms for game analysis when preparing for an upcoming fixture.

Business Hub helps post Covid Our Business Hub has continued to offer industry recognised qualifications to help businesses and individuals rebuild following Covid-19. Throughout 2020, subject to restrictions, we have delivered sector-specific vocational qualifications from awarding bodies such as City & Guilds and the Road Transport Industry Training Board which are designed to reflect industry needs and to be relevant to employers. We aim to support all rural businesses, from large to niche, and where possible we tailor training to suit. Businesses can use our courses to develop their workforce’s skills to a higher standard, and they are also accessible to individuals. Current qualifications include chainsaw operation, tractor driving, telescopic handling and forklift truck handling.

Farm Forum encourages discussion The future of the food and farming industries, whether a degree or a job leads to better career prospects and the impact of veganism on agriculture were three topics covered in our insightful Farm Forum. Agriculture undergraduates and students were actively involved in discussion with a panel of advisors from across the supply chain in this annual event, sponsored by the Food, Drink & Agricultural Group of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Institute of Agricultural Management (Cheshire branch). The panel was unanimous that UK and international markets offer career opportunities and that agri-technology is the key to success.


Our Communities Construction supports frontline staff Head of Construction Andy Gould improved the working lives of frontline NHS staff by producing attachments which make surgical facemasks more comfortable to wear. Andy programmed his department’s 3D printer to make adjustable plastic clips which fit round the back of the head and have fixings for the loops of the face mask. The design takes the pressure away from the back of the ear while continuing to hold the mask securely. Hundreds of the clips have been distributed to health professionals across Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire. We also offered campus accommodation to Cheshire Police and NHS professionals while the college was closed, so they could continue to work without putting their families at risk.

Our students continued fund raising for our fantastic RAG (Raising and Giving) charity Make-A-Wish UK despite the challenges of Covid-19. Student Association members, who had already handed over nearly £3,000 to the charity before lockdown, organised some very original challenges which kept students entertained within controlled and heightened hygiene measures. Our virtual RAG Week raised over £500 through activities including a sponsored walk by individuals around their local parks, collectively surpassing the target of Lands’ End to John O’Groats (1,407 km) by 200km! Construction students and staff raised £1009 by making and selling garden planters while agriculture student Luke Holmes raised £275 with his first ever sky dive. We also had themed Halloween and Christmas activities.

Record Christmas Foodbank collection Generous students and staff donated a record collection of food and treats to help local people in need over Christmas. All departments were involved in collecting over 50 boxes of items for Nantwich Foodbank, which had seen a 300% increase in clients mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our contributions were co-ordinated by animal management, business, food science and foundation students, processed by Nantwich Foodbank and handed over to those identified by agencies as being in need.

Reaseheath unites to remember

We encourage our students to engage with their local community and have supported Nantwich Foodbank since it was launched in 2013. This year was our best response yet and our collection exceeded all expectations.

Students and staff united to mark Remembrance Day through departmental tributes, managed within Covid-10 restrictions, in honour of the people and animals who made sacrifices during conflict.

Military veterans find next career

Floristry students created an archway of poppies at the entrance to Reaseheath’s historic hall, students from our Academy of Land and Environment spelled out ‘Lest We Forget’ and ‘Thank You’ on the college lawn and we had readings of famous poems by equine and public services teams. Tributes of poppies and Armed Forces memorabilia were made by our construction, engineering and food departments while the contribution of animals in warfare was marked by animal management and agriculture students.

Good deeds by animal management Writing postcards for care home residents, celebrating the role of animals in war and taking part in a virtual global tea party were some of the good deeds carried out by first year Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management students as part of their ‘Classroom Kindness’ Challenge. Despite lockdown they continued to help others through monthly events which raised nearly £800 for our RAG charity Make-A-Wish UK and other appeals, as well as . brightening the day for members of our local community. Students also co-ordinated a college charity shoe box appeal, collected animal food and toys for the RSPCA and wore blue to celebrate the lifechanging wishes granted by Make-A-Wish UK.


RAG fund raising continues

The 22nd cohort of military veterans graduated from our bespoke property maintenance course at a socially distanced ceremony attended by the Mayor of Nantwich, Councillor Pam Kirkham. The service leavers gain practical skills in bricklaying, plastering, wall tiling, decorating, joinery and plumbing and train for a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety which allows them to apply for their CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card, a requirement to work in the building industry. The course is delivered in partnership with armed forces training charity Building Heroes. Reaseheath has trained over 250 veterans from a variety of military backgrounds, with 90 per cent going into employment, self employment or further training in the construction trades.

Land girl training recalled for VE Day We revisited our links with World War II during a virtual celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Archived photos recalled the outbreak of war in 1939 when Reaseheath, (then the Cheshire School of Agriculture), closed to students and became a training centre for the Women’s Land Army and the base for the War Agricultural Committee. At that time Women’s Land Army recruits received four weeks of training in skills such as market gardening, milking cows and growing field crops and fodder. Women such as those trained at Reaseheath proved they were capable of performing tasks that had traditionally been men’s work, and this contributed towards improving women’s position in society.




Abi Donaldson


Advanced engineering centre opened

Enterprising Abi used lockdown to put the final touches to her own on-line cake business and has gone on to achieve considerable early success. AbiDBakes began as a portfolio of cakes Abi made for friends which she put on social media. There was so much interest that she registered as an official business, completing the process using knowledge and confidence gained from her Diplomas in Professional Bakery and Foundation Degree in Bakery and Patisserie Technology. Abi bakes cakes for all occasions, from bespoke celebration to every day cupcakes, and makes postal treats like cookies which are enjoyed UK wide. She hopes to open her own shop, so her treats can be enjoyed by even more people!

Our £8 million Centre for Advanced Engineering and Agri-Technology was officially opened just before lockdown.

One of the most sophisticated technical education centres of its type in Britain, the centre was created in partnership with leading agricultural engineering companies to deliver next generation skills in precision engineering, precision farming, service engineering and diagnostic testing. The initiative was supported by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership which contributed £8.9m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund to this and other college projects. Many of our partners attended the launch with their latest models, including JCB’s World’s Fastest Tractor, giving our agricultural engineering students unrivalled access to their industry’s most progressive technology.

Biochar research planned

Felix Rowan-Young BSc Zoo Management graduate Felix Rowan-Young has been appointed Vice Chair of Chester Zoo’s new Youth Board. Working with the Board of Trustees and executive team, Felix and fellow board members will help shape the future direction of the world famous zoo and further develop its appeal to teenagers and young adults. Felix, who completed his degree this summer, was encouraged to apply for the prestigious position by Animal Science Curriculum Area Manager Yvette Foulds-Davis and was selected from a total of 100 applicants. He plans to become a school or zoo educator and has begun a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Adi Thomas Former Level 3 Diploma in Floristry student Adi Thomas has continued to successfully operate award winning Verdure Floral Design despite the impact of Covid-19. The web based business, known UK-wide for contemporary wedding and corporate event flowers, saw demand for bouquets quadruple during the pandemic, offseting turnover lost through cancellations due to the pandemic. To meet demand, business owner Adi and fellow directors increased their creative and delivery teams and now employ ten professional florists. Adi himself is a regular exhibitor and award winner at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, last year taking a gold medal and the previous year the award of Best Exhibit in the Flower School plus a gold medal.



Reaseheath-led trials on the impact of feeding biochar to cattle and plans for further research were presented at an event showcasing local solutions to the climate crisis. Simon Burgess, our Head of Projects, Research and Innovation, spoke at a virtual conference organised by TEDxNantwich to launch ‘Countdown to Climate’, a global initiative aimed at halving greenhouse emissions by 2030. Biochar is a charcoal-like substance made by burning organic material in a controlled process. Studies elsewhere show that adding biochar to feed rations can substantially reduce the methane a cow produces. Planned further research by animal science undergraduates will examine biochar’s impact on milk production and cow health and could help farmers move towards more sustainable farming practices.

Turbidity sensor developed

A low-cost turbidity sensor has been developed by Reaseheath’s Projects, Research and Innovation team in collaboration with technology specialists FreeUP Ltd. The sensor is integral to the Smart Catchment concept, an approach created at Reaseheath to monitor and map water quality in watercourses. The technique uses a network of turbidity sensors to generate and transmit realtime data to a cloud-based platform. Turbidity is a measure of water cloudiness caused by microscopic suspended particles and can indicate poor water quality. The sensor data is used to produce real-time turbidity maps on a dashboard which is accessible through devices with internet connection, providing users with early warning of potential problems.


Our Year in Review

2020 student numbers:M Further Education

Higher Education


2,147 697 529


Residential students


Students supported with bursaries

£672,000 685 1.7m

Awarded to students in financial support

Students using college transport to Reaseheath daily Amount Reaseheath College supported students with cost of transport

Measuring success: Students score the preparation they receive for next steps or employment as 7.6 out of 10

96% of learners would recommend the college to a friend

94% of 16-18 years olds achieve their qualifications 0%

77.6% QUARTILE 4

81.4% QUARTILE 3

85.3% QUARTILE 2


National Average

72% of apprentices were successful, 7% above the national average







97% of learners progressed into a positive destination such as employment or further study We’re in the top 25% of colleges for success in Level 3 academic qualifications QUARTILE 4



(23rd out of 128 general further education and specialist colleges)



We’re in the top 25% of colleges for maths progress QUARTILE 4




(30th out of 185 general further education and specialist colleges)



Student Experience Surveys Further Education Pulse Survey


Students felt safe in college

Students satisfied with their college experience


Staff numbers by gender






Teaching support





97% 97% 95% 95% 97%

Students scored their course support 8.4 out of 10 Students were satisfied that staff responded to their views 8.1 out of 10

Higher Education National Student Survey I have had the right opportunities to work with other students as part of my course

I have been able to access course-specific resources (equipment, facilities, software, collections) when I needed to


Staff breakdown by role


Staff satisfaction

Students scored their course teaching 8.4 out of 10


Total number of staff


The library resources (books, online services and learning spaces) have supported my learning well

My course has provided me with opportunities to bring information and ideas together from different topics

of staff are proud to work for Reaseheath College of staff gain job satisfaction from their role of staff are optimistic about the future of the college of staff would recommend Reaseheath College as a good place to work of staff feel the senior team are leading the college in the right direction

Our Equality and Diversity objectives Eliminate unlawful discrimination

• Deliver high quality training to all staff that promotes best practice and reinforces minimum standards thus ensuring the highest levels of safeguarding and compliance (including to the Prevent agenda) • Ensure the college values of People, Responsibility, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence are promoted and reinforced with staff, students and visitors

Advance equality of opportunity • Promote equality and diversity of opportunity through high quality teaching and learning • Recognise and celebrate best practice in equality and diversity


• Enhance the opportunity for success for those from disadvantaged and minority populations

Foster good relations



I have been able to contact staff when I needed

• Maximise opportunities to embed equality and diversity in lessons and through college wide initiatives, events and campaigns


Reaseheath College Group

Continued investment ensures progress

Financial Results Financial Highlights

Reaseheath has some of the most progressive facilities and resources in the country and we have continued to expand and grow, subject to Covid-19 restrictions.

Reaseheath College Group Financial Results 2019/ 20 Reaseheath College Group Financial Results 2019/ 20

2019/ 20

387 Students were awarded a bursary 387 Students were awarded a Bursary £672k The amount of money we awarded in bursaries £672k The amount of money we awarded in bursary 387 The proportion Students were awardedgenerated a Bursary from student fees 24% of income 24% The proportion of income generated from Student fees £672k The amount of money we awarded in bursary 58% Staff costs as a percentage of total expenditure 58% Staff costs as a percentage of total expenditure 24% The proportion of income generated from Student fees £250k The underlying after adjustment for exceptionalcosts costs £250k The underlying surplussurplus after adjustment for exceptional

Centre for Advanced Engineering and Agri-Tech We officially opened our £8million Centre for Advanced Engineering and Agri Technology just before lockdown (see Page 16) This is proving to be a fantastic new asset for the college and provides a dedicated centre for high end precision engineering, computer controlled automation, GPS and other advanced agricultural engineering systems. It is also the hub for our construction plant academy and rail services and transport infrastructure centre.

58% Staff costs as a percentage of total expenditure £250k The underlying surplus after adjustment for exceptional costs Reaseheath Colleges Group Reaseheath Colleges Group

Income for 2019/20 Income for 2019/20 Reaseheath Colleges Group

does the money come from? Where doesWhere the money come from?

Income for 2019/20

9% 1% 9%

Where does money come £19.4theFunding body grantsfrom?


Funding body grants


Tuition fees and education contracts


Other grants and £7.7 £2.7 Tuition feescontracts and education contracts Catering and residences


Catering andFarming residences £0.4 £0.9 Other grants and contracts income


£2.7 £0.0 Catering and residences Transport Farming income


Other income £0.9 £1.1Farming income Transport


Other income


Endowment and investment income


Tuition fees and education contracts

3% 3%

Automated milking system

3% 3%


£19.4 £0.4 Funding body grants Other grants and contracts



The new facility enables us to ensure agriculture students can competently harness digital technologies to produce sustainable food within the confines of climate change. The Lely Astronaut A5 system incorporates a robotic milking arm with integrated data processing giving highly accurate readings in areas such as feed intake, milk yield and cow health. It also has automated feeding and cleaning systems.



Endowment and investment income £0.0 £0.0 Transport


Other income


Endowment and investment income

Reaseheath College Group Reaseheath College Group

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, which supports our efforts to involve young people in digital and STEM subjects, contributed £656,000 to the build through its Local Growth Fund.

Expenditure for 2019/20 Expenditure for 2019/20 Reaseheath College Group

Where is the money spent? Where is the money spent?


£19.2 money Staff costs Where is the spent? £19.2 Staff costs




£1.4 Establishment costs, including professional Transport, bus costs fees,student staff development and recruitment


£1.4 £2.1 £3.8 £2.8 £0.6

Other operating expenses including exam

fees, insurance and administration £1.7 Transport, student bus costs Establishment costs, including professional £2.1 Premises costs including utilities, fees, and administration maintenance, £1.4 insurance Establishment costs,rent including professional fees, insurance andservices administration £3.8 Supplies and costs including farm Premises costs including utilities, expenditure, IT costs,utilities, food and provisions £2.1 Premises costs including maintenance, rent maintenance, rent and amortisation £2.8 Depreciation




Fundamental restructuring costs £19.2 £1.3Staff costs Other operating expenses including exam

fees, staff development and recruitment Other expenses including £0.0 operating Fundamental restructuring costsexam £1.7 Transport, student bus costs fees, staff development and recruitment

8% 9%

Fundamental restructuring costs




Expenditure for 2019/20 15%









Supplies and services costs including farm £3.8 Supplies and services costs including farm £0.6 Interest other finance costs expenditure, IT, foodand and provisions expenditure, IT costs, food and provisions



4% 5% 5% 4%



Interest and other finance costs £0.6 Interest and College other finance costs Reaseheaths Group Financial Summary for 2019/ 20

£32.1M - £32.9 = £0.75M (Total Income) (Total Expenditure) = (Underlying Operating Surplus) Reaseheaths College Group Financial Summary for 2020 Reaseheaths College Group Financial Summary for2019/ 2019/ £32.1M - £32.9 £0.75M £32.1M - £32.9M ==£0.75M

Net Impact of COVID-19 £1m = Revised Underlying Operating Profit £0.25M

(Total Income) - (Total Expenditure)


Our animal science undergraduates may use the generated statistics for a planned research-led project on the potential of feeding biochar to cattle and weaners, while further education students and apprentices will compare the performances of the new system with our conventional dairy.

Ensuring campus safety

Depreciation and amortisation £2.8 Depreciation and amortisation

(Total Income) - (Total Expenditure)

We have installed an automated milking system on our campus farm to provide training in the emerging areas of digitalisation, robotics and data-driven dairy management.

= (Underlying Operating Surplus)

= (Underlying Operating Surplus)

Net Impact of COVID-19 £1m = Revised Underlying Operating Profit £0.25M

Net Impact of COVID-19 £1M = Revised Underlying Operating Profit £0.25M

While the health and safety of our students and staff has always been a priority, this year it has been even more so. We have made a considerable investment in campus-wide measures including increased safe study areas, heightened hygiene measures, extra food outlets and renovations and extensions to allow for safer social distancing and relaxing. We also expanded our coach transport system to offer increased seating capacity and ensured that our Health and Wellbeing Service was able to offer round-the-clock advice and support to any student or staff member feeling vulnerable or unwell.


Reaseheath Nantwich Cheshire CW5 6DF General enquiries 01270 625131



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