The Manchester College’s Jack Carney has announced he will be retiring after 35 years at the college — having spent the last two as principal.
Mr Carney’s tenure at the top has seen the 26,000-learner college move from an Ofsted grade three to two, but he plans to retire during the next academic year.
“It’s the right time for me personally and importantly it’s the right time for the college too,” he said.
“It’s time for someone new to take the college to the next level.
“I’ll be working closely with colleagues and partner organisations over the next few months to put us in a great position for the future.”
Governors’ chair Sue Murphy said: “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Jack for his service to The Manchester College over many years.
“He has worked tirelessly to raise aspirations, improve lives and support learners from all backgrounds to achieve, including those from some of the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Manchester.”
The college is now searching for a new principal.
Chelmsford College principal David Law is also due to retire at the end of the academic year, with Andy Sparks, head of FE at Essex’s Writtle College, replacing him.
Mr Law, who has been at the college for 18 years, and principal for 13, said: “After 13 years I think I deserve it. I’m feeling quite excited about retiring — I’m looking forward to doing other things.”
He added: “I will be very sad to leave, I love the place, but I think there’s a time that’s right for everybody.”
Mr Sparks began his career as an auto electrician before moving into teaching at Easton and Otley College, Suffolk, 20 years ago.
After a decade of teaching he moved into senior management as head of technology, and then as director of business services, before moving to his current position at Writtle College in 2009.
He said: “I’m enthusiastic about my first principalship. It will be a challenge but I’m ready to make that step up and it’ll be good to get my feet under the table and we’ll see what we can build at Chelmsford.”
Mr Sparks will take over the college from August 26.
Janice McClane, Chelmsford corporation chair, said: “Andy comes with a range of qualifications and experience which we feel will continue to build on the successes and achievements of our retiring principal David Law and lead to improved outcomes for all our learners. We look forward to welcoming Andy.”