Large south west college group announces new principal

Rob Bosworth will leave Exeter College after 24 years to lead Cornwall College Group

Rob Bosworth will leave Exeter College after 24 years to lead Cornwall College Group

15 May 2024, 16:49

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Cornwall College Group has appointed Rob Bosworth as its next principal and chief executive.

He will take the reins on July 1 from current boss John Evans who is due to retire later that month.

Bosworth (pictured) will join from Exeter College where he has worked at for almost 24 years, currently as deputy chief executive.

Patrick Newberry, chair of Cornwall College Group, said Bosworth has an “outstanding track record in further education” and has played an “integral role in the success of his current college”. The board is “assured he will build on the excellent work John Evans has done and ensure we remain an excellent college for learners and our community”.

As well as playing a key leadership role at Exeter College, which has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted twice in the last decade, Bosworth has also served as chair of Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust, a director of the South West Institute of Technology, and is currently vice chair of Exeter Chamber of Commerce.

Ahead of his move to Cornwall College Group, Bosworth said: “In my experience, place-making, partnerships and people are at the heart of outstanding education and training.

“We will look to grow current partnerships and establish new ones, so the Cornwall and Devon economies can thrive with the necessary skills to deliver their ambitions. I know with the great team we have here at the Cornwall College Group, we can continue to be a college the region can be proud of.”

A job advert for Evans’ successor closed 12 weeks ago and final selection took place on March 20th. There was a delay in announcing Bosworth’s appointment due to the new requirement for colleges to gain government sign-off on salaries of over £150,000. Bosworth’s salary has not been revealed, but Evans earns £195,000 a year.

Other colleges yet to announce permanent new bosses due to delays in the sign-off process include Sandwell College, which closed its applications process in September, and Warwickshire College Group, which saw applications close in February. WCG’s previous chief executive, Angela Joyce, was announced as Capital City College Group in June 2023.

Retiring CEO ‘inspired an amazing energy and drive’

Evans joined the Cornwall College Group in 2019 during a turbulent period that required a £30 million government bailout and a “fresh start” business plan.

Then-FE Commissioner Richard Atkins had suggested the college should merge with Truro and Penwith College, but it was later decided that both colleges should remain standalone.

Since 2019, when Cornwall College was judged ‘requires improvement’, the group has recovered to ‘good’.

Newberry said Evans has “inspired an amazing energy and drive to ensure every learner gets the best education and learner experience possible, and I know Rob is excited to build on this excellent foundation”. 

He added: “We cannot thank John enough and he deserves full recognition for the brilliant college that he is handing over.”

The Cornwall College Group consists of campuses in St Austell and Camborne, Duchy College Rosewarne and Stoke Climsland, Falmouth Marine School, Bicton College, Plymouth Engineering Skills Centre, as well as University Centres in Newquay and at the Eden Project.

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