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'He thought they were joking': teen's shock at college course rejection

PUBLISHED: 12:55 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:48 29 August 2019

City College Norwich principal Corrienne Peasgood.  PHOTO: Nick Butcher

City College Norwich principal Corrienne Peasgood. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A budding electrician had a shock when he turned up to enrol on a college course - only to be told there was no space after all.

The 16-year-old boy, who is remaining anonymous, was offered a place on the Building Services (Electrical) Level 1 course at City College Norwich in the spring.

But after arriving to enrol he was told by a staff member there was no space on the course, which starts in September.

His father, who also wished to remain anonymous, said: "Before he sat down to enrol the guy said the course was full. He didn't ask for proof of qualifications.

"My son thought he was joking. I was extremely upset because he was promised a place."

A place on the course was found for him a day later after the teenager and his family had a meeting with the college's vice principal of further education curriculum and quality.

"They were very apologetic by the way things were done. My son has now got a place on the course he wanted," the father added.

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College principal Corrienne Peasgood said the problem came about due to a "higher than normal" rate of teenagers taking up places on courses after initial offers were made.

Mrs Peasgood said outside factors influenced what courses young people decided to take up and 15- and 16-year-olds often changed their mind.

So-called conversion rates of teenagers taking up places on courses at City College Norwich vary from 30-90pc and it is up to the centre to arrange courses, teaching staff and equipment before people enrol.

Mrs Peasgood said: "Sometimes we don't get that quite right. The conversion rate of people going onto the electrical installation course and construction has been exceedingly high."

She added the Building Services (Electrical) Level 1 course, which attracted more than 70 youngsters, was specialised and required technical bays, workshop space and lecturers who were fully-qualified electrical fitters.

Mrs Peasgood said that was sometimes a "challenge" and classes had already been "stretched" for extra students.

She added the college made sure every young person had a place on a course for a route they wished to follow in terms of study or work.

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