​As part of their BTEC coursework, Applied Science diploma students visited a workplace laboratory in a scientific organisation to gather information about their Health and Safety procedures.

This term BTEC students from Esher Sixth Form College, visited the UK’s national measurement standards laboratory, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington. The NPL is responsible for making sure that all measurements made in the UK can be traced back to agreed standards, ensuring consistency and reliability.

Accurate measurements are important in so many fields. Research in science, engineering and technology supports scientific and commercial innovation, international trade, environmental protection and health and wellbeing.

After an introduction by NPL’s Andrew Hanson, students had a health and safety presentation with the opportunity to ask questions. The students then visited a couple of the laboratories.

In the Nuclear Medicine Imaging Laboratory, the students saw the combined PET-CT scanner and learned about the specific health and safety procedures required in that laboratory.

Students then moved to the Mass Metrology Laboratory so they could compare the health and safety procedures in both laboratories. Here, the team of experts help a range of businesses and organisations to measure and control mass, giving organisations confidence in their readings, large or small.

A highlight was being able to see the actual platinum international prototype kilogram (IPK) that all the other masses are compared to, as well as the Kibble balance that has been specifically designed to realise the unit of mass following the revision of the International System of Units (SI) in 2019.

The visit finished with a "meet the apprentice" session, where five apprentices talked about their experiences at NPL. 

**  Funding for BTECs is under threat **

Esher Sixth Form College is working with a coalition of  21 organisations, including the Sixth Form College Association, to petition the government for an urgent reassessment about plans to remove funding for the majority of BTEC qualifications. Already the new Education Secretary ​has delayed the reforms due to the campaign #ProtectStudentChoice.

But we still need your help to keep the pressure on. Please sign the petition and get us to the magic 100K signatures. It takes two minutes to sign, via the link here Protect student choice: do not withdraw funding for BTEC qualifications – Petitions (parliament.uk)

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