Edition 130: Kevin Smith & Richard Heatly

Edition 130:  Kevin Smith & Richard Heatly

Stoke on Trent College has welcomed Kevin Smith as its new principal.

Mr Smith, who has more than 25 years’ experience in education, will support chief executive Sarah Robinson, allowing her to dedicate more time to the strategic future of the college, according to a college spokesperson.

In his most recent role as vice principal at Riverside College, in Cheshire, Mr Smith helped lead the college’s 11-month turnaround from Ofsted ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ by early 2010.

“I am passionate about transforming people’s lives through the power of education; making teaching, learning and assessment our first priority and ensuring that the needs of our learners always come first,” said Mr Smith.

“Among my main aims as principal are to help Stoke on Trent College become the first choice for school leavers, adults and employers across the sub-region and lead the college to become a centre for vocational excellence.”

Mr Smith, whose appointment at the grade two-rated college came around three months after FE Commissioner Dr David Collins visited over financial concerns, brings with him expertise in curriculum and quality following his time with FE Associates, where he provided interim management and performance improvement solutions to more than 100 colleges and independent learning providers.

Ms Robinson, who had previously served as Stoke college principal, said: “Kevin is passionate about high standards within education and his attention to detail in quality improvement makes him a perfect fit for our college.”

Meanwhile, Richard Heatly’s 12 years at the helm of Hereford College of Arts (HCA) is due to end at the end of the academic year.

Before he moved into teaching at the 350-learner specialist college, rated as good by Ofsted in November 2013, he was a maker and ran a successful creative business, exhibiting his work in London, Milan and Paris.

A college spokesperson said: “When Richard joined the college in 2003, the future of HCA was uncertain. In August he will leave a financially secure College that has developed immensely, thanks to the major achievements of staff and students under Richard’s leadership.”

Mr Heatly said: “HCA is now the major university-level provider in the county, and its future will be as an arts university.

“It will complement the technology focus of the new university — which of course we also support.

“The college is the kind of place that hardly exists elsewhere, so we should all value it and be proud of it. Herefordshire is a really creative place, and this college is the foundation and centre of that creativity.”

He added: “I plan to pursue my interest in the arts as a practitioner again and by being involved with organisations.

“I hope to keep in touch with the College as of course I will remain a great supporter of HCA.”