Edition 112: Stuart Rimmer, Penny Wycherley and Brian Keenan

A former “apprentice principal” has taken the reins at Great Yarmouth College (GYC).

Stuart Rimmer has left the director of quality and enterprise role he held for seven years at Lancaster and Morecambe College (LMC) to become a first-time principal in Norfolk.

The 38-year-old takes over following the retirement of Penny Wycherley, who became Great Yarmouth College principal three years ago, and having learned the principal trade from his previous employers.

“I served a great ‘apprenticeship’ for this new role under David Wood, principal at LMC,” said Mr Rimmer, previously Newcastle College’s programme manager for business, accounting and law.

“The journey that LMC went on in terms of finance, quality and curriculum development and the improvement in leadership was tremendous.

“It was excellent being a part of one of the success stories in Lancashire and I hope to apply some of that learning to my new post in Norfolk.”

Ms Wycherley, a former deputy chief executive at Eastleigh College and principal at South Kent College, joined GYC “for six months” in January 2011, but stayed on to lead the college from its inadequate Ofsted rating of late 2010 to last year’s good result.

“Working with the staff and students at GYC has been a pleasure and a privilege,”
she said.

“When I came here, it is was because I like a challenge and because I had met the staff and management team and believed they were committed to creating a good college at the centre of its community.

“While I have been here I have grown to love Great Yarmouth, a community with heart. I will leave with so many good memories and pride in what the team I have worked with has done.

“Their response to growing training to meet employers’ needs and to making a difference to the community is unrivalled and I look forward to hearing the impact of this as Great Yarmouth flourishes.”

Meanwhile, Brian Keenan has been appointed chief executive of Hertfordshire London Colleges Consortium (Hertvec) in Saudi Arabia. The consortium was awarded a £225m contract by the Kingdom’s College of Excellence programme in April to open three colleges in the Qassim and Riyadh Provinces this month.

He has held educational roles at Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, British Aerospace and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), in the United Arab Emirates, among others.

Mr Keenan, who has been based in the Middle East for nearly three decades, said: “Countries in the Middle East and North Africa region face serious employment challenges for their young populations.”

He added: “As incoming chief executive, I am honoured and excited by the challenges that lie ahead.”

Chairman of the board Andy Forbes, principal of Hertfordshire Regional College and president of the Hertfordshire London Colleges, said: “I am delighted that Brian
has been appointed. His knowledge and expertise from working across the Middle East will provide us with unrivalled leadership and insight.”