Construction college appoints first female principal

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day

A 60-year-old specialist construction college has appointed its first-ever woman principal.

Nikki Davis was today announced as the next leader of Leeds College of Building, taking the reins from Derek Whitehead at the end of the current academic year.

The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day.

Peter Norris, Leeds College of Building’s chair of governors, said: “The college is passionately committed to inclusivity in construction and promoting diversity in the workforce, and so we look forward to Nikki commencing her role as principal and chief executive.

“Not only will her appointment ensure seamless continuity, but she also has outstanding knowledge of leadership in the further education sector.”

Davis is currently the college’s vice principal for teaching, learning and quality. She was previously a vice principal at York College, head of department at Kirklees College, and programme manager at Leeds City College.

“I’m delighted to be appointed to the role of principal and chief executive at Leeds College of Building and to build on its previous successes and first-rate tradition of delivering exceptional training to learners from across the UK,” she said.

Leeds College of Building, established in 1960, currently has around 5,500 students and offers more than 200 courses related to construction and the built environment. Over half of the learners are on apprenticeships. In 2019, the college was graded ‘good’ by Ofsted.

Whitehead will be retiring after 37 years of working in FE and skills training. He has worked at Leeds College of Building since 2004 and became principal in January 2019.

He said: “I have genuinely enjoyed all 18 years spent at Leeds College of Building. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved and being involved in leading such a great team of talented, agile, and responsive staff, together with stakeholder and governor support. I’m delighted to be leaving the college in such good shape at the end of a very rewarding career in further education.”

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