Movers and Shakers

Edition 136: Andrew Gower, Ela Piotrowska & Shobha Tynan

Former East Kent College vice principal Dr Andrew Gower has taken over the top job at South London’s Morley College.

His appointment follows the announcement last year of former principal Ela Piotrowska’s retirement.

Dr Gower began his career leading and teaching courses in music technology at Canterbury College and Kingston University. In 2002 he was appointed as a senior lecturer in music at Canterbury Christ Church, specialising in electroacoustic composition and studio production. Between 2007 and 2011 he was director of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Broadstairs Campus.

“I am delighted to join Morley College and to become part of this exciting learning community. During this 125thanniversary year since Morley was founded we continue to celebrate the many successes of the past while now creating our future,” he said.

“I very much look forward to working with students, staff and governors, with partners in Lambeth and Southwark, and our many stakeholders, to consolidate and develop the college’s inspirational opportunities for adult learning that are transformative, both for the individual and the communities within which they live and work.”

Morley College governors’ chair Peter Davies told FE Week: “The governors are delighted to welcome Andrew as their new principal. His varied FE and higher education background will bring a different and fresh perspective to the college and help shape its future direction.

“Equally, he is clearly passionate about learning, has a personal interest in music and the arts and will, I am sure, be another powerful advocate and champion for the importance and value of adult education in the round.

“These remain challenges times for adult education, but governors are looking forward to working with Andrew as we develop Morley’s strategic plan for the next few years and ensure that Morley remains at the forefront of adult learning in all its guises.”

Mr Davies also paid tribute to the work carried out by Ms Piotrowska, a former inspector for Ofsted, the Adult Learning Inspectorate and also the Further Education Funding Council.

“I first met Ela in 2008 when she took over as principal at Morley and I was principal at City Lit,” he said. “I guess coming from Ofsted, she was also gamekeeper-turned-poacher, but her inspection background certainly helped her identify very quickly where Morley had to change.

“Indeed, with her professionalism, hard work and true dedication, Morley has come a long way and she can be rightly proud of everything she has achieved, while ensuring the college retained its traditional commitment to adult education, the community and of course the arts.”

Meanwhile, former mechanical engineer Shobha Tynan, ex-assistant head at Ashbourne’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, has been appointed vice principal designate at Derby Manufacturing University Technical College, which is due to open in September 2015.

She said: “I am passionate about retaining and expanding the manufacturing industry in Derby and the East Midlands and it is vital that we produce skilled engineers in order for the region to build its manufacturing capability.”

Principal Philip Morris said: “Shobha’s engineering background and more than 20 years’ experience in education makes her the perfect person for the vice principal role at the UTC.”

Construction work is progressing on the £8m new purpose-built UTC campus on Pride Park, due to be completed by August.

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