First chief of freshly merged City of Portsmouth College

The new leader will take the reins in the summer and joins the college 'at the start of a new era'.

The new leader will take the reins in the summer and joins the college 'at the start of a new era'.

City of Portsmouth College has announced Katy Quinn as its first permanent principal and chief executive.

Quinn will join the college this summer from Strode College in Somerset, where she has served as principal since 2017.

City of Portsmouth College formed in August 2021 from a merger between Highbury College and Portsmouth College. It is currently being led by interim chief executive Graham Morley.

“City of Portsmouth College is a remarkable organisation, with many unique strengths, a big heart and a fantastic future,” Morley said, adding: “I am delighted that Katy will be leading the college on the next phase of its journey.”

This role will see Quinn return to college leadership in the south-east, having held senior roles at Eastleigh College and Canterbury College prior to Strode.

“I am very excited to be joining City of Portsmouth College at the dawn of a new era. I can’t wait to get started and work with students, staff and governors as together we strive to make the City of Portsmouth College one of the best FE colleges in the country,” she said.

In addition to her college role, Quinn is also a trustee at the awarding organisation VTCT, a member of the AoC’s curriculum development policy group and the Heart of the South West LEP’s skills advisory panel.

Chair of governors, Paul Quigley, said that Quinn’s “wide-ranging skills, experience and enthusiasm for further education were evident to us all and will prove invaluable to drive our ambitious plans during this exciting period of development, building on the enormous progress that has been made so far”.

For this academic year, Highbury and Portsmouth will continue to operate under their separate identities but will come together under one brand in September 2022.

On the recommendation of the FE Commissioner following historic leadership and governance issues, Highbury College has been in ‘supervised status’ since November 2019.

However, recent board minutes state that the Education and Skills Funding Agency no longer believes it is necessary to attend the college’s corporation meetings as “they believe the college now has a strong board and an effective management team”.

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