Cabinet Secretary visits Reid Kerr

George with Craig Stevenson, Mike Russell and the students.

Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mike Russell, visited Reid Kerr yesterday to see how the curriculum for excellence (CfE) was being put in to effect at the colleges Institute of Construction and Engineering. The visit was arranged after Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, paid the college a visit earlier this year and was impressed enough to tell the Cabinet Secretary all about it and encouraged him to see for himself what the students and staff were accomplishing. They both went to meet Senior lecturer Craig Stevenson in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Department and some of the students.

 Speaking on the visit, George said:

 ‘The curriculum for excellence recognises that learning continues throughout our lives. This means that we now look at learning as a continuous development of skills for life, learning and work. Craig Stevenson, Mike Russell and George Adam  

‘When I first visited Craig at the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Department I was blown away by the enthusiasm for this new way of continuous learning. Craig explained to me that students at the course had used left over plumbing materials to design and create sculptures, recycling and using their creative skills to produce art in their own time.

 ‘I really wanted to show Mike Russell how the college was working with students showcasing one of the best examples of how the curriculum for excellence should work.

 ‘Students have produced a number of works and they were keen to discuss their sculptures to the Cabinet Secretary, detailing how each was constructed and how they got their ideas.

 ‘It was a real pleasure to meet the students and staff and it was a privilege to get Mike to meet them’. Mons Meg

Reid Kerr Principal, Audrey Cumberford, said:

 ‘For many of the students this course represented their first experience of college education. They have been encouraged to raise their own expectations and ambitions, build their confidence and develop a clearer understanding of how they can continue to explore opportunities whether within education or in work. Almost all of the students on this programme will now progress onto further study or apprenticeships and should be proud of what they have achieved during their time at the college’.

Mike Russell, the Cabinet Secretary added:

 ‘George has mentioned this college course numerous times to myself and indeed parliament. Listening to the students and their plans for the future was quite inspiring. Everyone at the college should be commended for their efforts and delivery of such an inspiring example of vocational education’.

Pictish Cross

Record High Figures for College Numbers and Attainment

George outside Paisley Abbey

 Figures released by the Scottish Funding Council have shown that more 16-24 year olds than ever are working on full time college courses. These statistics show that colleges are exceeding the annual commitment of 116,000 full time equivalent places. This is an educational record for college student numbers between the ages of 16 and 24.

 Speaking on the figures, George Adam said:

 ‘These figures show how colleges are meeting and exceeding targets that will help our young people be ready for the work force when they leave college to meet today’s challenges.

 ‘Too often we are pointed towards the negatives and don’t recognise the great work that our colleges are doing everyday.

 ‘Reid Kerr is a prime example of a college on our doorstep doing great work, including courses on new renewable energy opportunities, giving our young people the tools to meet the work challenges of the future, matching employer’s needs. I have had the privilege of visiting the college many times, meeting the Principal Audrey Cumberford who has a vision for the future of the college and its students.

 ‘These figures are good news but we must never be complacent in order to meet the needs of our young people and employers.’

 Education Secretary Michael Russell said:

 ‘I pay tribute to the role of colleges in delivering Opportunities for All, our unique guarantee of a place in training or education – their part here in providing learning for young people cannot be underestimated.

 ‘Not only are our student numbers targets being exceeded, but more young people than ever before are benefiting from full time courses and more are successfully completing their studies. This is especially true for young people from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

 ‘Our commitment to the FE sector is clear. We have increased funding by £61 million over the spending review period, compared to plans in the draft budget statement and we are giving the sector the necessary framework for better college governance through the Post 16 Education Bill. Today’s figures show we are creating an improved college system from a position of real strength.’



The FTE figures used in this release are for Scottish Government funded places.


These figures are taken from two reports published by the Scottish Funding Council:

* Scotland’s Colleges: A Baseline Report for Academic Year 2011-12

* College Performance Indicators 2011-12


Alongside this, the SFC has also published a report on ‘HE Students Eligible for Funding 2012-13’


These figures can be accessed at: