At least 13 colleges, independent learning providers and other skills bodies have started the new academic year under new leadership.
he last academic year came to an eventful end, with retirements and resignations announced across England.
Whitehall was no exception, with Nick Boles and Nicky Morgan having been announced as the new Skills Minister and Education Secretary, respectively, over the summer.
Among the more recent announcements is the news that Darlington College has appointed former NHS and local government worker Kate Roe as its new principal following the retirement of Tim Grant, who led the college for five years.
Mr Grant said: “I am leaving at a very exciting time when the future of the college is set fair as a national centre for two important industries.
“The college is the only one in the country to have a sub-sea facility and we are also looking forward to establishing bio-pharmaceutical training here in response to the new biologics manufacturing centre being developed on site.”
Ms Roe, from London, read modern Chinese studies at Leeds University after her A-levels and worked in communications for the Voluntary Services Overseas charity and later the Royal National Institute for the Blind.
She worked for the NHS and held senior positions in local government, taking on leadership roles at authorities in London, Yorkshire and the North East.
Ms Roe said: “Darlington is a great place, really friendly, very positive and proactive; you can see that in the way facilities have been developed here.
“The quality of what we do in college is core to teaching and learning. We are also ensuring that what we do is relevant to the people of the town, employers and the economy.
“Working in partnership is really important as well. I want everyone to continue to be really proud of the college and I am looking forward to the future which, while challenging, also has some really great opportunities on the horizon.”
Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD) has announced that its head of FE, Margaret Mineham, has retired for the second, and last, time.
The college said Ms Mineham had retired once before in 1994, but that this retirement, announced in July as she celebrated her 70th birthday, was her last.
Ms Mineham began teaching at CCAD in 1974 after a career in the fashion industry. Starting as a part-time lecturer, teaching young girls with behavioural issues, she was a full-time tutor in women’s and children’s wear, then course leader for fashion. She was then promoted to business development manager, curriculum manager and finally head of FE.
“I never thought my career would pan out as it has but I wouldn’t change a thing,” said Ms Mineham.
“I’ve loved every minute of it and the best thing of all has been the students. I like everything about them and I’ve built up a lot of respect for them over the years.
“Seeing them grow and achieve is my reward. Many of them I taught, such as Vicky Wake and Stephen White, have even come back to CCAD after highly successful careers in the fashion industry, to teach as tutors themselves.”
Ms Mineham, who was awarded an MBE in 2010 for her services to education, is now looking forward to spending her retirement with husband Ged. Her role has been split, and will be covered by new starters Michael Wheaton, head of visual arts, and John Waddington, head of design.
Adult education charity the Ufi Trust has also seen movement at the top, with the appointment of its first chief executive Rebecca Garrod-Waters, who is charged with driving forward the Trust’s mission to “improve the accessibility and availability of adult learning through the use of technology”.
Ms Garrod-Waters comes from an innovation background, having most recently been at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre. Her previous roles include director of innovation at Advantage West Midlands and deputy director at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Ms Garrod-Waters said: “I am really looking forward to helping the Ufi Trust move onto the next stage. The Ufi Trust is a comparatively new organisation and it has already funded some great projects.
“The challenge for me is to build on the work that has already been done and help Ufi identify further innovative projects that will help widen learning opportunities in the vocational sector and maximise the impact of digital technologies on vocational learning. Technology offers an unprecedented opportunity to extend the reach of learning and help bridge the skills gap.”