Agriculture students who have just completed their studies at the closure-threatened Newton Rigg College, Penrith, have been celebrating after achieving some “superb” results.
Although national comparisons have not yet been made, the results must put Newton Rigg’s agriculture department at or very near to the top of any UK league table — and form a powerful argument against the loss of such a valuable educational resource.
Penrith and the Border MP Dr Neil Hudson said: “I congratulate the students of Newton Rigg who once again have secured superb results this year in a number of courses. They and the staff who taught them should be very proud.
“It only goes to back up the case for the importance of saving Newton Rigg College.
“The training and life chances that this vital college provides must be maintained and these results from their fantastic students are a tribute to everyone in the Newton Rigg community.”
Of the 34 students who finished their two-year extended technical diplomas in agriculture at the college — all on a livestock pathway — every one achieved at least three merit grades, and some did even better than that.
Five gained three distinction grades; six got three distinctions, one of them starred; two gained three distinctions, two of them starred; and one achieved the rare feat of gaining three starred distinctions.
Last year nationally, 10 per cent of agriculture students gained three distinctions and above, whereas 42 per cent of this year’s group at Newton Rigg achieved it.
Dan Stamper, programme manager for agriculture at the college, said: “All the staff in the agricultural team are delighted with the effort the students put into their studies and these fantastic results.
“These are from two external exams and two synoptic assessments.”
He said he never thought he would see a student achieve three distinctions, all starred.