We recently spoke to Andrew Hjort, Principal at Melton College and asked him about their 60 years anniversary. Here is what he said:
2023 marked 60 years of Melton College. How have you celebrated this milestone so far and how do you feel about the 60th anniversary?
The year has been so busy we have had little time for celebration! However, we did have a lovely Garden Party for hosts, staff, former staff and students at the end of the Summer Course. 60 years has, in some ways, crept up on us as Melton College is my life, our life and we have grown together.
How has the school changed over the past 60 years? What has stayed the same?
The College is a very different place from 1963 but in some ways the core of what we do, welcoming people to a small, family-run, owner-managed school remains the same. Perhaps the biggest change is that small, personal, owner-managed schools, once the majority, are now quite rare!
Melton College joined QE in 2003 as one of the first 12 QE schools - what were the reasons that made you want to be part of Quality English?
Small schools were already starting to be overshadowed by chains, firstly because they were bigger but perhaps more importantly, because they have more people in their marketing teams than we had staff (and in some weeks, students!). I often say to partners that the only time I am not at the College is when I am at marketing events though, with the rise of Zoom even this is no longer true!
Can you tell us one or two of your fondest memories from the early days of the school?
Remember the early days of the school were also the early days of me! Spoilt for choice but paddling in the Cascade at Chatworth House on an excursion (aged about 6), Cooking staff lunches (slightly older), helping Elizabeth with paperwork (my first encounter with Accreditation was doing a comparison of the Red Book and the Blue Book and almost no one reading this will get the significance!).
What plans do you have for the years to come?
Doing more of what we do well. We now run a smaller College with a clear focus on families. We run a hotel in the building next to the College. We have welcomed many students who are the children of former students and, this summer, welcomed the first grandchild of a former student!