We were delighted to have Rt Hon Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, visiting us for our GCSE Award Ceremony at the Guildford Centre, Surrey Adult Learning (SAL), on 24 November 2017.
Before she presented the awards, she talked about the huge variety of reasons why school doesn't always work for people. Her speech was hugely inspiring for our staff and our learners. She recognised that going back into learning when you're older takes a lot of courage and bravery, "it is a risk and it's a bit like stepping on to a diving board and not being absolutely sure if there is any water in the swimming pool. It's a scary feeling and I absolutely don't underestimate the courage to take it".
Anne congratulated everyone for their achievements, not just for maths and English, but for taking that first step. She also said a huge thank you to our tutors and staff and to Councillor Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for Education, Surrey County Council, who was also present for the ceremony. I was impressed with the time she spent with the learners following the ceremony and how well she interacted with them on a personal level.
Mary Lewis reiterated to our learners, "please go out and tell everyone else if they don't have a qualification and they need to make a difference in their life, they can do it and that this evening is proof to everybody that it can be done".
I also got the chance to update Anne on SAL's new Apprenticeship programme. It is a very exciting start for us and our initial apprenticeship offer will be for Surrey County Council employees, delivering Business Administration, Customer Service as well as Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeships.
The visit went extremely well, and we have thanked all our staff and volunteers involved for supporting our learners and tutors so professionally.