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The Windsor Forest Colleges Group remains one of only four British Display Society (BDS) Centres of Excellence in the UK. The College was recently re-awarded the status following a visit from the BDS, which encourages and promotes the highest standards of Visual Merchandising across the industry.

A team from the BDS including their Chairman Iain Kimmins spent the day at Windsor, which is home to the College’s Visual Merchandising (VM) department. They were impressed by the standard of work produced by Level 3 students which included scale models, plans and elevations and prop constructions. This flagship course is very much part of the fabric at Windsor College, with the building featuring working windows for students to showcase their visual merchandising designs right into the heart of Windsor’s high street.

During their time at the College the BDS team delivered a very well received talk and presentation to students. Commenting on their visit Iain Kimmins said: “It was a pleasure to listen and talk to the students as to what inspires and motivates them. It was great to view their work which ranged from initial sketches, designs to model making, prop building to dressing the mock-up windows. Given the level of passion and enthusiasm, it proves that there is certainly a generation of inspiring and up-and-coming Visual Merchandisers in the making.

“It is so vital that anyone wishing to move into the VM industry must undertake VM training and learn all the principles.”

Tutor Sue Leadbeater leads the Visual Merchandising department at Windsor College. Her students’ progress to highly regarded art colleges such as the London College of Fashion and The Retail Academy. Her alumni include a Visual Merchandising Director at M&S, the Visual Merchandiser for Harrod’s windows and a number of gold medal winners in the highly celebrated WorldSkills competitions.

Windsor College offers visual merchandising and design courses including a, Level 3 BTEC (equivalent to three A Levels) in Window Display and Interior Design and an HNC at Level 4.

To find out more go to www.windsor-forest.ac.uk.

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