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MP Laura Sandys celebrates East Kent College and Discovery Park partnership

By Emily Stott

MP Laura Sandys celebrated the partnership between East Kent College and Discovery Park by planting a special tree.

The Sandwich MP planted the Sir Isaac Newton tree, which was supplied by East Malling Research. It is genetically identical to the one under which Isaac Newton is said to have pondered the laws of gravity.

Paul Barber, managing director of Discovery Park, Laura Sandys, Thanet South MP and East Kent College Principal Graham Razey planting the Sir Isaac Newton Tree at Discovery Park.

This marks the beginning of the college’s first term at Discovery Park after its science department’s moved to the site in Ramsgate Road, Sandwich.

Ms Sandys said: “I am so pleased to be here to celebrate such a unique partnership between further education and business. This is another great move for east Kent, and shows how we are leading the way in developing the skills of young people for the future.”

To begin with, there will be 70 members of the college’s corporate services team and 35 students studying applied acience at Discovery Park, but numbers are expected to grow.

Graham Razey, principal of East Kent College, said: “The teaching space and industry-standard laboratory we have at Discovery Park allow our students access to first-class facilities.

“However, the real bonus is the number of high-tech companies in such close proximity able to offer advice, student placements and apprenticeships.”

East Kent College principal Graham Razey, left, is moving the college's science curriculum to Discovery Park, headed by managing director Paul Barber

As well as giving students access top science facilities, it is hoped the venture will establish links with businesses on-site, offering students training, placements and apprenticeships.

Paul Barber, managing director of Discovery Park, added: “It is very important to us to have the college on site, as we know it will be advantageous for the businesses as well as the students.

“Finding employees with the right skills for high-tech jobs can be a challenge. Here companies can get involved at an early stage and help to form the curriculum.”

East Kent College recently took over from K College, and has campuses in Broadstairs, Dover and Folkestone.

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