The Fashion Retail Academy Awards Ceremony was attended by Sir Philip Green (Arcadia) and fellow sponsors, including:- Marc Bolland (M&S), Andrew Varley (Next), Jill Easterbrook and Jason Tarry (Tesco), along with many other business leaders in the fashion retail industry.

Special guest, Gary Barlow  presented the Fashion Retail Academy Commitment Award 2012 to Shauna Harding from the Higher Certificate Merchandising course.


Other Award winners included:

ARCADIA OUTSTANDING STUDENT 2012 - Briar Rolfe, National Diploma Fashion Clothing

M&S OUTSTANDING STUDENT 2012 - Owanate Gad Briggs, Level 3 Diploma

NEXT OUTSTANDING STUDENT 2012 - Sophie Bolongaro, Higher Certificate Merchandising

TESCO OUTSTANDING STUDENT 2012 - Leigh Hart, Level 4 Buying & Merchandising

COLORSET OUTSTANDING WINDOW AWARD - Jack Wright, Level 4 Visual Merchandising

FTCT COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARD - Michael Putz, Higher Certificate Merchandising

ACCENTURE FDA RETAIL AWARD - Lauren Ramsey, FdA Fashion Retail Management

ORACLE MERCHANDISING AWARD - Josie Townsend, Level 4 Buying & Merchandising

The Academy, based in Gresse Street, London W1, opened 7 years ago offering a vocational education to 16 and over wanting a career in fashion retail.  The FRA has gone from strength to strength growing from 50 students in 2006 to 699 today.  In September 2012 the target is to enrol 691 FE students and 75 HE students bringing our total of students studying at FRA to 766 next year.

The FRA continue to work with retailers to improve their approach to work experience and have now developed partnerships with 105 Brands.  This year the Academy has secured 704 placements across all our courses.

69% of the students have been offered jobs from their work placement company.

The Level 4 courses of Buying & Merchandising and Visual Merchandising to date have 68% of students with jobs.

The leading course for students gaining employment is the HE Certificate in Fashion Merchandising which has an amazing 83% to date who have secured MAA roles.

Out of 699 students enrolled we have 465 graduating with 234 continuing their second year studies at FRA. Today we have 77 of our graduating students receiving distinctions.

-- Ends --

Notes for Editors

  • The Fashion Retail Academy is located in Gresse Street just off London’s Oxford Street in the heart of London’s fashion retail district.
  • The Fashion Retail Academy is a ground breaking industry and public-private partnership supported by major fashion retailers and funded by the Government.  It was the first National Skills Academy setup for high quality FE vocational training in Fashion Retail.
  • The Academy offers students from age 16+ an education specifically designed for a challenging and fast-paced career in the fashion retail world.
  • Places at the Academy are free and funded by the Government for students aged 16 to 18.
  • A programme of short courses and master classes is also on offer.
  • The Academy is backed by the Arcadia Group, Marks & Spencer, Next and Tesco.  These industry links ensure work placements for students through the academic year, many of which lead to permanent employment in the fashion industry.
  • Lecturers at the Fashion Retail Academy all have diverse retail experience, offering a wealth of knowledge about the fashion retail industry

For further information contact Helen Balfour Tel: 020 7307 2332 or visit


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