WHEN Aaron Jones applied to stay on at his college to take a course of A-levels he was devastated to be turned down.
So it was an added insult when the 18-year-old saw his picture in South Downs College’s 2012 prospectus – being used to promote the excellent work its students achieve.
The teenager, who has dreams of opening an engineering business, said he was shocked to see a photo of him with his bike wheel cap invention being used as promotional material for the college that ‘shut the door in my face’.
He told The News: ‘It’s totally hypocritical of them. South Downs let me down in a big way but now they’re using my project to make them look good.
‘They rejected my application to do A-levels because they said they felt I wouldn’t commit to the course, but clearly they think highly enough of the work I did to advertise it.’
Aaron, of Tanners Ridge, Purbrook, achieved a pass in his Btec national diploma level three last year.
He had the option of a two-year apprentice with the MoD starting next year, and working full-time at Ted Baker in Gunwharf Quays until then.
Instead he decided to apply for A-levels in business, biology and sociology at South Downs, that would lead to a business degree to fulfil his dreams of starting up his own engineering company.
But it all went wrong when South Downs refused to keep him on, even after he appealed their decision.
Aaron, who is now studying psychology, biology and sociology A-levels at Highbury College in Cosham, said: ‘My future was in South Downs’ hands and they took away a real opportunity for me.
‘I’m very happy at Highbury but unfortunately they don’t offer business A-level.
‘I’ll still find a way to get my business degree – I won’t let this setback get in the way of my career ambitions.
‘But I don’t think it’s right for South Downs to be using my image and my invention for their gain.’
Mum Helen said she was disappointed with the way South Downs in Waterlooville dealt with her son’s appeal to stay on.
She said: ‘He put forward a good case – Aaron knows this is what he wants to do, but the college wasn’t supportive at all. What they’ve done is terribly wrong. If you are good enough to be advertised in a college prospectus surely you are good enough to be a member of it?’
A South Downs spokeswoman said: ‘The photograph was taken on April 1 at an engineering event for students to showcase their work.
‘Aaron received a pass grade for this project.
‘The prospectus is promoting the course he was on and completed.
‘The prospectus was in print before Aaron applied for a different course.
‘Many students progress directly to university from the Btec level three engineering course.’