Rachel Gilmour made an emotional visit to Foxes Hotel on Thursday, April 25. She met staff and students at this unique inclusive hospitality learning centre in Minehead.

Foxes Hotel is the only facility which offers training in hospitality for youngsters with learning difficulties aged 18 to 25 in the South West. There are currently 84 students there, studying over a 3-year period for B.Techs in hospitality. Lessons include cooking skills, kitchen skills and learning how to be top class waiters.

The centre focuses on functional learning to ensure the best results for each and every student. Commenting on her visit Mrs Gilmour says:

“Foxes Hotel really is ‘the jewel in the crown’ of learning for these youngsters. I spoke to staff about the challenges they face and about their passion for this sort of education.

Over a lunch cooked and served by the students, we discussed a wide variety of issues. The best question of the day came from Ella: “What is a politician”?! George told me how much he enjoyed going to Book Club and Amalie and I swapped beauty tips. Chris had just come back from a stint at The Hilton and plans to use hospitality as a way to travel the world.

I was struck by the students’ enthusiasm and most of all, the courtesy and kindness they showed towards each other. I found the visit uplifting and emotional”.

If I have one message for His Majesty’s Government it’s this – stop the ridiculous Ofsted policy which forces facilities like this to spend 4 hours a week teaching maths and English. It’s unnecessarily stressful and entirely irrelevant.”


  • Foxes Hotel was set up over 26 years ago and is now part of the Aurora Group.
  • As well as having 84 students, it employs 120 staff.
  • Students come from all over the UK and learn about Foxes reputation by word of mouth, rather than advertising.
  • Mrs Gilmour has been invited to the Graduation Ceremony at The Regal Theatre in Minehead on July 18.
  • Photo shows Mrs Gilmour speaking to Nicola Gibbs, Head of Education at Foxes.
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