Thomas Danby College, Roundhay Road, Leeds was in days not so long gone by 'the catering college in Yorkshire' It was famous for training top chefs and hospitality managers. Thomas Danby is still a catering college teaching people to cook, run a kitchen, restaurant, pub or hotel, decorate cakes, be butchers, bakers and confectioners. Although it also trains people in art, drama, business management,hair dressing, beauty therapy, accounting and runs access and adult education courses. It may be that the attempts to diversify have resulted in a very good education centre loosing its way in order to increase student numbers rather than quality. The courses available include: City & Guilds NVQ's (now called AVCE's) GNVQ's A-levels National Diplomas Higher National Diplomas The college has a public restuarant where students can put their practical skills to work. There is also a public hair and beauty salon used for the same purpose. There is a large library (resource centre) with up to date and out of date books, a large number of computers and current journals and newspapers. There is also a butchers and a bakery. The student canteen is basic but expensive and the food is not produced by the college outside caterers are used, which seems a little ironic in a catering college!! A lot of the lecturers are part-time and therefore very hard to get hold of unless they are in lectures! I have never seen or heard form the principle in the two years at the college, I'm not even sure that hter is one! Maybe I'' meet him/her on graduation day. The highest person I have contact with is my course tutor and then all the lecturers for each unit within my course. Communication between lecturers is very poor again this may be because some are part time. Assessments need to be completed in order to pass my course, but deadline dates are frequently changed, which is good for tose who
are late completeing, but for the ones that make the effort to meet the original deadline it often feels like a wasted effort. If there is a problem with the college or course then course tutors are very happy to hear it and open to suggestions, they will then suggest brilliant solutions, which will not come into effect until you have finished your course and will therefoe have no benefit from the changes. In the mean time any problems will simply continue and no help will be given! Lectures are organised throughout the day leaving gaps of up to 3 hours between. Good time to spend in teh resource centre if you have assignments to complete or to read journals and keep up to date, but there is only a certain amount of pre-preparing you can do, especially if that week you don't have any assignments to do. Therefore half the day is spent looking aimlessly at texts, journals and internet only to turn up to you final lesson and learn absolutely nothing because the tutor isn't really perpared. If tutors are sick or cannot make a lecture you will not be informed so may drag yourself out of bed at 8 in the morning after a busy late shift at work the night before only to battle through traffic and get to college to find the lecture is cancelled and you don't have another one untill 3.30pm! You may find assignments have not been written by the lecturer who is taking the lessons, but was written by the previous years staff, who no longer teach at the college. It is therefore very difficult to ask the present lecturer what the assignment means or how he wants it answering/tackling. It may only be in my particular course (HND HOspitality MAnagement Licensed Retail) but I have found over the two years a great deal of unit specification is repeated. I must have learnt about health and saftey in at least four units, contract law in three, licensing law in two and the 4 P's of marketing in at least five. Practical equipment was non exi
stent in tehis course. The cellar equipment is there but not working, the samw with the bar and for a course that focuses specifically on the licensed trade this is not very helpful. Facilities for disbled people is very good and the college has a high number of students with disbilities. There is also a good mix of cultures which is to be expected in Leeds. There is a carpark to one side of teh college, with security guards but cars still get broken into and unless you get there before ten ther is no chance of getting in teh car park.