PARENTS of students at Tavistock College have been told of a bold and bright new future ahead with a new centre of excellence for science, technology and maths planned.

The rebuilding of several outdated blocks will include a new arts centre to include drama, art and music - subjects which are currently spread throughout the site.

The community meeting at the school last Thursday (January 26) was also updated on progress made since last May’s Ofsted report which called for improvements in student behaviour and in how safe students felt at school. Education quality is also being improved.

Mr Muller-Forster said: ‘We have spent years preparing this bid for these new buildings and have won funding from the DfE (Department for Education) to replace outdated and dilapidated unsafe buildings.

‘We’re planning a centre of excellence for STEM subjects, bringining together teaching of subjects suich as science, technology, maths and design and ICT. Our ITT building has been condemned which are key to so many careers these days. These subjects reflect a growth area in the world economy. So its importance goes beyond the college to supporting the economy of Tavistock and further afield.

‘It’s not just about buildings, its how we are combining subjects and making the most of bringing common subjects together under one roof to gain the benefits.

‘It goes hand in hand with developing the curriculum across the years and especially the sixth form, to give them an environment the students crave and deserve. The same applies to our staff. and a new fit for purpose building will give us all renewed pride in our work and learning.

‘The same applies to the creative side of the curriculum where we also plan to combine the arts under one roof. Our education in these subjects will be remodelled accordingly.’

He said a meeting with the DfE was planned before Easter to work out more details such as design of the buildings: ‘It is an exciting time for those who will benefit in the future, such as the young students and those now in primary schools.’

College Principal Tristan Muller-Forster sought to reassure parents about his response to the Ofsted report. He said the rapid improvement action plan implemented last year, was working. He said outside agencies the school brought in to review the results gave high marks to the outcomes, including the appointment of a new head of safeguarding and clear routes for students to report bullying.

He said: ‘The criticism that hurt the most was about safeguarding. But we have invested heavily in that area and brought in a head of safeguarding who is making improvements in our processes.

‘We have been asked why reports of bullying have risen, but this down to the systems and processes which are giving students confidence in reporting bullying. We are building trust with students in this area.’

Catherine and Nick Hill, parents of two at the college, said: ‘Our children say behaviour has improved and we’re confident in the improvements.’