Edition 123: Signe Sutherland, Matt Hamnett and Amanda Melton

Edition 123: Signe Sutherland, Matt Hamnett and Amanda Melton

North Hertfordshire College principal Signe Sutherland has revealed she is to retire in March, while her replacement has been announced as Matt Hamnett, a director in Capita’s major deals team.

She will be stepping down after nine years at the college having been appointed principal in 2012.

“We are delighted to announce Matt’s appointment, who will take up post when I retire in March 2015,” Ms Sutherland told
FE Week.

“We conducted an extensive search to find a principal with the expertise, experience and passion for education required to take the college forward and with his experience of government, education and the commercial world, we are confident that Matt will be a huge success.”

A college spokesperson said Mr Hamnett spent eight years as a civil servant in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its predecessors with responsibility for FE, skills and apprenticeships. During that time he led work on a wide range of different strategy, policy and finance projects.

More recently he spent two and a half years in PwC’s strategy practice where, among other client projects, he led the development of the professional services higher apprenticeship working with businesses across the professional services.

“I’ve been hugely impressed by everything I’ve seen of the college so far,” said Mr Hamnett.

“I have met a team that is deeply committed to the task of preparing our students to succeed in the ever-changing world of work, and supporting local businesses in their efforts to improve and grow.

“I have seen an enthusiasm for well-founded innovation that I am incredibly excited to support and develop.

“And I have already been fortunate enough to meet some of the employers with whom the college is delivering fantastic initiatives which benefit both the employers and our students.”

Meanwhile, Lancashire County Council has brought in Nelson and Colne College principal Amanda Melton as interim principal of Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) after it slumped from an Ofsted grade two rating to inadequate last month.

Ms Melton is set to share her time equally between her posts at Nelson and Colne College — rated outstanding at its last inspection, in 2008 — and LAL, the council’s adult learning service, for the remainder of the academic year.

Ms Melton said: “Despite the outcome of the recent inspection I think there are strengths to build on and I’m looking forward to working with colleagues across LAL to make the improvements that are needed.”

Steve Hailstone was LAL principal up to April 2013, before being replaced in an acting capacity by his deputy, Joyce Dalton. However, she left at the end of August last year.

Tony Martin, cabinet member for adult and community services at the council, said: “Amanda’s appointment as interim principal is a sign of our commitment to implementing a comprehensive action plan that will pick up everything the inspectors said needed to improve.”