1. Principal announcement – information on returning to college

    Leave a Comment

    You’ll be aware that following the Prime Minister’s statement and government updates since, that schools and colleges should plan to open from 1 June in a phased way.  

    In his message, the Prime Minister specified a range of year groups, including those in years 10 and 12, with a focus on those taking exams in the following academic year. 

    Most students at college, however, do not study two-year programmes with exams at the end; many courses are assessed at different times and in different ways. Practical courses (particularly those that need a formal assessment of their skills competence) and apprentices are not able to achieve their qualifications on the basis of a teacher proposed grade.  

    We have been working hard on plans for a gradual and phased return of our students and staff with a focus on those who cannot achieve their qualifications or progress to the next level without some face-to-face support or assessment. We will only start this when we feel it is safe to do so.  

    Because there is a lot of preparation needed to make our buildings safe and to prioritise which students need our support to achieve this year, we will not invite any students into college buildings until 15 June at the earliest.  

    Your teachers will contact you individually by 5 June to let you know if you need to return before September. If you are not contacted by that date, please do not arrive at college on 15 June.

    In the meantime, we hope that you are able to continue learning remotely and you are in regular contact with your teachers about next steps, whether that is continuation on your current course or progression to the next level, an apprenticeship, higher education or employment. 

    Danny Wild
    Principal Harrogate College 

  2. College remains closed – a message from the principal

    Leave a Comment

    I hope you and your family are safe and well. I know these last weeks will have been challenging but I wanted to thank you as the vast majority of students have embraced remote learning and have engaged with their tutors very productively.  

    Due to the likely further extension to the lockdown, we wanted to let you know that the college will remain closed after the Easter holidays (from 20 April) until further notice.

    I’d like to reassure you that we will do our utmost to support you to achieve and progress this academic year and you can access careers support to help with your plans for September. 

    Your studies will continue remotely with Google Classroom or your designated digital platform. We hope you’re adjusting well to this new way of learning. If you are having any issues, please contact your tutor. 

    We have provided some Chromebooks and other devices to students who didn’t have access to these; again, your tutor can be contacted if access to remote learning materials, teaching and assessment remains an issue.    

    While our college is closed, we will still be available to offer advice and guidance to potential and existing students, parents and members of the public. You can contact us by emailing

    This is an unsettling time for us all. Below are some useful links if you are struggling with your mental health:

    All students who were entitled to a free college meal will continue to receive support through a voucher scheme. This seems to be working well but please do contact your tutor if there are problems accessing this. There is lots of information about our support services on the college website and the student intranet. 

    I do hope we can welcome you back to college before too long, but in the meantime, we need to maintain social distancing recommendations and do our best to limit the spread of the virus. 

    We will keep you updated of any changes, informed by recommendations from Public Health England and the government, as soon as they are made.  

    Take care and stay healthy! 

    Yours sincerely

    Danny Wild
    Principal – Harrogate College

  3. Coronavirus contingency planning

    Leave a Comment

    In light of recent developments and advice from the government, I wanted to let you know how we are preparing for every eventuality to ensure that students’ safety and learning are our priority.

    If the situation changes, we will communicate to students via text and email and clear information will be available on our website.  We are monitoring our staffing levels as well as following the advice of Public Health England and the Department for Education.  I am sure you understand that much of this is outside of our control.

    We are protecting students and staff through:

    • Enhancing cleaning and encouraging handwashing, including additional cleaning of rails and door handles throughout the day
    • Ensuring that toilets are checked regularly and that there is adequate soap available
    • The postponement of some student events such as open evenings

    We have been planning for the possible disruptions COVID 19 could bring and there are a number of possibilities, including partial closure to full closure of the college. We will keep our website updated as regularly as we are able and will work with as many students as possible to ensure they are able to continue their learning on a range of online platforms. As yet, we have no further guidance regarding summer exams and the advice from OFQUAL is to prepare as usual.

    We appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time for our students, their families and communities and we thank you for your support in this matter.

    Thank you,

    Danny Wild – Principal Harrogate College

  4. Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and update

    Leave a Comment

    On 11 March 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) officially named COVID-19 as a pandemic.

    Public Health England (PHE) and WHO are working with other international partners to constantly monitor the situation.

    We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that Harrogate College takes the health and safety of its students and staff very seriously. We are carefully monitoring the situation and will keep you informed of any updates. In the meantime, students and colleagues are encouraged to continue to attend as normal.

    Infections such as colds and influenza are very common in the UK at this time of year. For the time being, if you develop viral symptoms, you should manage these as you usually would. 

    Advice for travellers and returning travellers
    Below is nationally recognised advice for anyone due to travel or returning travellers.

    Returning travellers
    Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people (self-isolation) if you have travelled to the UK from the following locations in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:

    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Hubei province in China
    • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo, Gyeongsan)

    Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you have travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:

    • Cambodia
    • Hong Kong
    • Japan
    • Laos
    • Macau
    • Mainland China (outside the Hubei province)
    • Malaysia
    • Myanmar
    • Singapore
    • South Korea (outside of the special care zones)
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand
    • Vietnam

    Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Instead, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next. In Scotland, call your GP or NHS 111. In Wales, call 111 (if available in your area) or 0845 4647.

    Advice to travellers to and from mainland China
    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) latest travel advice is that all Brits in China should leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

    Additionally, the FCO advises against all travel to Hubei Province and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).

    Advice to travellers

    Brits travelling or living overseas should check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s official travel advice

    Frequently asked questions

    Q:What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
    A: Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common across the world. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, China. 

    Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
    A: Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

    Q: How does coronavirus spread?
    A: As this is a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, however, similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It’s very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.

    Official advice emphasises the importance of hand hygiene to protect yourself from infection and important hygiene practices to follow include: carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, then bin the tissue and wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser if this is not available.

    Q: Should I really be worried about COVID-19?
    A: We would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we recognise the seriousness of this situation. Though we would urge staff, students and parents/carers not to panic, we do encourage everyone to continue to follow government advice such as maintaining good hand hygiene.

    Q: Is there a vaccine or cure for COVID-19?
    A: At the moment there is no vaccine or cure for COVID-19, though a vaccine is being researched and developed. Antibiotics will not help as they do not work against viruses. Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness and you will need to self-isolate until you have recovered.

    Q: What does self-isolate mean?
    A: If you are advised to self-isolate this means you should stay at home and avoid contact with others for 14 days after your arrival. You should contact NHS 111 for advice and should not visit your GP or hospital. Anyone in self-isolation can resume normal activities after the two-week period as long as they have not developed a fever, breathing difficulties or cough. If you feel unwell during this time, contact NHS 111 immediately.

    Q: Is my immigration status affected?
    A: The Home Office recognises that some individuals in the UK are unable to return to China. The guidance states: “Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the UK. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control. Subject to guidance, most people in the UK whose immigration status is affected by coronavirus will get an automatic visa extension until 31 March 2020. More information on visas is available on the government website.

    Q: What is Harrogate College doing about COVID-19?
    A: We are following official advice from the UK government and Public Health England. Additionally, we are taking precautionary measures such as cancelling our March events and ensuring all staff and students can access hand sanitiser. We are monitoring the situation and putting in place contingency plans, all necessary information will be communicated to staff and students as required.

    Q: How will Harrogate College keep me updated with information?
    A: Students will receive any important updates via text. We have spotted some fake new stories circulating on social media, if you spot any fake news stories or have any queries feel free to contact us.

    Contacts and resources
    If you are a member of staff and are concerned that you (or another member of staff) are affected by the situation please contact your line manager. 

    The below general resources are trusted sources that may be helpful if you wish to learn more about coronavirus and keep up-to-date on the situation.

    Please note, we encourage all of our staff and students to act based on advice from official channels such as those listed below.

    NHS COVID-19 page
    Official NHS information and advice on coronavirus can be found on the official COVID-19 page on the NHS website. This includes an overview, recommendations for self-isolation, information on the 111 coronavirus service, information on the disease and how to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus.

    UK government guidance
    The UK government continues to update its official website with new advice, guidance and policies relating to the coronavirus outbreak.

    Government response
    Updated information relating to the government’s response to COVID-19 including stay at home guidance, NHS information, guidance for health professionals, travel advice and the number of cases can be found here.

    Government action plan
    More information on the government’s action plan including existing measures and potential future actions as well as information on the contain, delay and mitigation phases can be found here.

    Government information for the publicInformation on the number of cases and risk level in the UK, advice on what to do if you have symptoms and details on the government’s response can be found here.

    WHO updates
    To see a summary of the COVID-19 timeline alongside rolling updates from WHO on the coronavirus disease, click here.

  5. Harrogate College celebrates Apprenticeship Week

    Leave a Comment

    National Apprenticeship Week is fast approaching and Harrogate College will be joining the celebrations again this year.

    It will have a stand at the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair (LARF) taking place at Leeds Direct Arena on Monday 3 February.

    LARF is the largest apprenticeship exhibition in the north and the college will be among approximately 100 companies recruiting apprentices.

    Harrogate College offers a wide range of apprenticeships at every level, from entry to degree. Successful candidates split their time between work and college, combining learning, earning and gaining experience needed to develop throughout their career.

    The college will also be running an apprenticeship roadshow at its campus on 5 February.

    The Apprenticeship team will be available to talk to potential apprentices about the steps involved, as well as information for employers looking to take on an apprentice.

    Lee Pryor, Director of Apprenticeships at Harrogate College said: “We’re are excited to be getting involved in the Leeds Apprenticeship Recruitment Fair that brings together leading companies to offer potential apprentices opportunities to kick-start their careers.

    “Employers are also at the heart of what we do and will gain insight and information on how we can work together to bridge the skills gap in a number of sectors. This includes engineering, health and social care, digital & IT and more.”

    Pryor added: We are committed to bringing employers and young people together to provide real opportunities for them to find out what career path they want to take and to help employers find the right candidates for their organisations.”

    National Apprenticeship Week 2020 is running until 9 February this year. For the first time, the week has been extended to include the weekend, giving the entire apprenticeship community more opportunity to get involved with activities.

    See bus schedule below:

    Wednesday 5 February

    Harrogate College

    9am – 2pm


  6. Students give back to the community through police volunteering

    Leave a Comment

    At the start of the academic year, 12 young people including Harrogate College students met once a week during term time to learn about policing and the law. They were involved in sport and drill sessions and at the end of December, they took their cadet oath in front of senior officers, family, friends, special guests and college staff. 

    The students will now be expected to volunteer an additional three hours per month to policing activities to help their local community.

     Helen Garnham, Director of Curriculum at Harrogate College, said: “We are extremely proud to be able to support this fantastic project, giving young people of Harrogate as well as our students a fantastic opportunity to immerse themselves in something so worthwhile.

    “It benefits them personally as well as our local community. We look forward to following their progress over the coming year”. 

    Harrogate is the fourth volunteer police cadet unit opened by North Yorkshire Police and aims to encourage confidence and positive citizenship among young people.

  7. Outstanding achievements for childcare students

    Leave a Comment

    Our Childcare tutor, Susan Robson, would like to recognise two of her students for their outstanding achievements. Chloe Jackson and Annie Everson both studied the CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education.

    Chloe passed her course above her target grade with an overall A and successfully secured her place at Leeds Beckett University to study social work.

    She said “I have really enjoyed my two years at Harrogate College. I have learnt a great deal on my course and developed my study skills; I am much better at time management, and can now prioritise my work and am better organised. I have also passed my GCSE English, which is another goal that Harrogate College has helped me to achieve. During my course, I completed a work placement and this experience increased my confidence and developed my work skills.”

    Annie also successfully completed her course and achieved above her predicted grade, with an A. This has resulted in Annie receiving a scholarship award to progress to university to study child psychology.

    She said; “I really enjoyed my experience at college; I have felt very welcomed by all my tutors and peers on my course. The course was exactly what I thought it was going to be and helped me to develop many skills such as my organisation and time management. My placement developed my work skills and I now feel more confident in new situations and when communicating with people.”

  8. Spotlight on Harrogate College performances

    Leave a Comment

    Harrogate College has enjoyed a rich year of public theatre performances by the students working towards an award or diploma in performing and production arts.

    Late May saw the premier of Zero for the Young Dudes! performed by a cast of 10. The students included a mix of both Level 1 and 2 students in their first year. The play was set against a political backdrop of tension between younger and older generations, resulting in a rebellion of the millennials which landed them in prison camp.

    In June, the Level 3 second years took us back to 1930s’ Berlin in their production of Cabaret the Musical at Oatlands Mount Club. Students Fred Cash and Ella McCann played the leading man and lady in post-world war I Germany, as the Nazis were gaining power. The story centred on the doomed lovers in this dark period.  

    Other performances included Artaud, Brecht & Grotowski Project and Want by the Level 1 and 2 students. Second year Level 3 students working for their extended diploma performed Status Update and Specialist Projects – Comedy, Improv, K-Pop and Voice Over.

    All of our performing arts students were able to display their talents at Saint Wilfrid’s Church Hall for the 2018 Christmas Variety Show

    The success of all our theatre performances this year shows the confidence, professionalism and determination of our students.

    Keep checking for updates about any upcoming performances for the 2019-20 academic year!

  9. Interior design student gets her dream job

    Leave a Comment

    MA Creative Practice student, Robyn Barratt, tells us about her experience on the course and getting her dream job as an interior designer.

    What made you choose this course?

    Prior to my MA, I was studying for my degree, and gaining hands-on experience as an interior designer was my main focus. I wanted to stay close to my home town, Knaresborough, during studying, to allow me to focus on finding a job within the field. My degree led me on to my MA course alongside working full-time, so again I wanted a local flexible place to study. I also built a good relationship with the college so it made sense to stay there for my next educational step. 

    How was your experience on this course?

    The tutors at Harrogate College are more than happy to help. The staff in the workshop (especially Chris Poole) are so helpful and try to find a solution to any problem you come across. 

    What were your main achievements?

    My main achievement throughout this MA has been creating seven pieces of furniture from scratch. In my everyday job I create visual furniture and gaining skills for the physical side of furniture-making has been a huge learning curve.

    How did you become an interior designer?

    While studying BA Hons Interior Design, I knew how important first-hand experience would be so I made a list of every interior design showroom in Harrogate and determinedly went around handing out a CV and a small portfolio. This led to a job with a small interior design firm where I worked for over three years. 

    Tell us a bit more about your role.

    My role as an interior designer consists of designing client spaces; whether this is a bathroom, bedroom, kitchen or cinema room. I am involved with the full customer experience from taking their details to going out and measuring the space, creating a presentation of what the new space will look like and pricing this up accordingly. I specialise more in the design side where I create realistic CGIs (computer generated images) so the customer can see a realistic visual of what their new space will look like. 

    What inspires your work?

    I keep up-to-date with trends and network with reps to find out the latest products. This keeps my designs fresh and full of new ideas. Customers also can inspire my work with particular briefs that I wouldn’t come across every day. 

    What’s next for you?

    From leaving school I started my degree and then straight on to my master’s. I love education, however I am excited to have the chance to focus mainly on my career as there is still a lot to learn within the field of interior design. VR (virtual reality) is something which has become more popular over the last few years which is something I will consider learning about soon.  

  10. Harrogate College exhibits work of MA Creative Practice students

    Leave a Comment

    Harrogate College celebrated the work of its MA Creative Practice students with exhibits from students from year 1 and 2 of this part-time course, featuring the work of artist in residence for 2018 -19, Angela Hall.

    The college welcomed the mayor and mayoress of Harrogate to the event which made it extra special. They expressed their admiration for the high quality work and diversity of creative practice on display and offered their continuing commitment to supporting the Higher Education art and design courses at Harrogate College.

    Danny Wild, the new principal of the college commented on the high standard of work and took the opportunity to talk to students about their experiences on the course.

    MA Creative Practice offers a diverse collection of art practice and the show was indicative of that extraordinary diversity with students producing an extremely high calibre of work across their specialist fields.

    Photographer Christopher Mainprize showed his mesmerising landscape photographs where he created photo-impressionistic pictures, embracing alternative ways of depicting time and space in a photographic based medium.

    Stacey Sinclair, another photographer, utilised traditional analogue photography and historic dark room techniques to create two series which explored General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and depression. Her photographs are hauntingly beautiful hand-painted art pieces.

    Robyn Barratt in complete contrast focused on millennials who in the future might adopt a more positive attitude towards the threat of ‘stuffocation’. She designed furniture of the future that would be returned to a warehouse where items are upcycled and recycled to reproduce new furniture which is on trend and incorporates up-to-date technology.

    Sasha Bilbija’s final MA exhibition was a sensory and hyper-real showcase influenced by 19th century design theory and her son Theo, who has autism. The colourful and lively designs were a playful modern interpretation of iconic patterns by William Morris.

    And finally, Gordon Wheatley’s intention with his Aerial photography was to show how nature if left alone was reclaiming disused industrialised areas. By using drones he showed these landscapes from a different perspective.

    Also attending were alumni of the college now working on their own professional practice and students taking up places on the course this year.

    Simon Hill who has done various photography workshops with the students in 2018-19 kindly offered to take photographs of the evening for the college.

    The exhibition is open for viewing at the college until 13 September.


Harrogate College

Hornbeam Park Ave, Harrogate HG2 8QT United Kingdom

Tel: 0113 386 1997