The president of the Association of Colleges is retiring as chief executive of one of England’s largest college groups at the end of the year.

Sally Dicketts has informed the Activate Learning board that she will be stepping down after 18 years at the helm.

She told FE Week that she will being staying on as president of the AoC, a role she has held since August 2020, for another year.

Dicketts has worked in further education for more than 35 years and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Honours List in July 2013.

She’s also a board member for the Education and Training Foundation, Pearson, and deputy chair of the LEP skills board.

Dicketts said she is retiring as she will turn 66 in July.

She has “no intention” of working as an interim college boss once she retires, but plans to do something part-time.

She has been chief executive of Activate Learning since 2003, bringing together in one group seven FE colleges.

The group is currently rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.

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