Former student praises Reigate College for making learning available for all

Reigate College was delighted to welcome back former student Fiona Pullen who visited the College on Thursday 19th September.

Fiona was a student here over fifteen years ago when she studied Film Studies & English Literature. As the first student who uses a wheelchair, she worked closely with the then Principal Paul Rispoli to ensure the College was accessible. This included the introduction of automatic doors, height adjustable tables and accessible toilets.

From Reigate, Fiona went on to read English & Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London and has recently completed a Masters in Special & Inclusive Education at UCL. She has also worked freelance on an animation for the BBC, as an Inclusion Advisor for law firms and she is currently working with National Rail to ensure environments are accessible.

Fiona was delighted to be back at Reigate College and enjoyed catching up with staff who remember her. She was given a tour of the campus by Alumni Officer Laura Troop and current Lower Sixth student Kieran Voisey who shared his perspective of being a wheelchair user at College today.

Having worked and studied in a number of environments, Fiona remains incredibly impressed with Reigate College’s approach to making education accessible for everyone, saying: “Reigate has shaped my perspective – everyone at the College was so co-operative during my time here and showed me inclusivity is possible. Reigate College is like the Gold standard and it’s such a shame this isn’t found across the board.” She explained how she recently used Reigate College as an outstanding example of an inclusive College during a lecture on Inclusion she gave to international academics at UCL.

Kieran has also been impressed by the way the College has catered for him, saying, “I’m so glad I came here – the teachers are supportive and the facilities are really good. I’d applied elsewhere as well but one of the reasons I chose Reigate was for its accessibility.”

Fiona is part of Reigate College’s Alumni community, a professional network of around 2,000 former students. To find out more and sign up, visit
https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/signup/reigatecollege or go to the College’s LinkedIn page.

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