Experienced principal appointed chief executive designate ahead of merger

Andy Wilson (pictured above) has been appointed as the new chief executive designate of City and Islington and Westminster Kingsway Colleges.

Mr Wilson, who has been principal of Westminster Kingsway since 2004, was selected for the role after an interview process with the appointment panel of the colleges’ shadow board, including an external advisor.

The shadow board, consisting of governors from both colleges, was launched in January, marking one of the first moves towards the merger of City and Islington and Westminster Kingsway Colleges, which was initially announced in December 2015.

As chief executive designate, Mr Wilson will lead both colleges. He will carry out this role alongside his responsibilities as principal of Westminster Kingsway until July 31, 2016, after which he will take on the new position in full.

Read an FE Week expert piece by Mr Wilson on marketing for colleges here.

Sir Frank McLoughlin, who has served as principal of City and Islington College for 14 years, reportedly decided not to put himself forward for the role of chief executive of the new college group. He will remain in post as until the end of July 2016.

Sir Frank McLoughlin CBE

Sir Frank gained his knighthood in the Queen’s 2015 birthday honours list and you can read FE Week‘s profile of his life and work here.

City and Islington and Westminster Kingsway Colleges are expected to merge on August 1, 2016. In a previous interview with FE Week, Mr Wilson said of the merger: “It could be seen in some ways as a federation, but there is only going to be one corporation, because that’s a lot more efficient way to operate … we’ll have a single corporation but it will be like a group of colleges.”

The corporation will take the name of the Central London Colleges Group, subject to approval by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and further appointments will be made nearer to the time of the merger.

Based on 2014-15 figures, the two colleges will enrol 26,500 students, of which 7,500 will be aged 16-19 and 2000 will be apprentices, with a combined total income of £84m. The governors of the colleges have confirmed that the existing brands of both providers will be retained.

City and Islington College was rated as ‘outstanding’ across-the-board by Ofsted in 2008 and Westminster Kingsway received a ‘good’ overall rating in 2011.

The shadow board of the colleges has also appointed Alastair Da Costa as chair and Ruth Duston as vice chair.

Mr Da Costa is currently the chair of City and Islington College while Ms Duston is currently the chair of Westminster Kingsway College.

Commenting on the changes, Mr Da Costa said:Frank has been an outstanding principal and national leader within the FE sector. City and Islington College owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his inspiring and dedicated leadership.

“We are delighted though, that Andy will become the new chief executive. He is an experienced and proven college leader and governors have full confidence that he will be able to meet the substantial challenge of leading the two colleges into the next stage of their development.”


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