London college appoints CEO after predecessor suddenly resigns

Neil Coker takes the permanent principal post amid senior leader recruitment spree

Neil Coker takes the permanent principal post amid senior leader recruitment spree

A London college has appointed a new chief executive after the former incumbent suddenly stepped down mid-year – and as governors embark on a shake-up of its senior leadership team.

Darren Mepham resigned from Barnet and Southgate College in January after five years at the helm.

His deputy Neil Coker has led the college since as interim chief executive as a recruitment search was quickly launched. The college this week announced that Coker will take over on a permanent basis.

Mepham joined Barnet and Southgate in 2019 soon after it was handed a grade 3 Ofsted rating. The college got back to a ‘good’ rating in 2022, and its latest accounts show a healthy financial position, recording an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) of 10.93 per cent of income.

Board minutes in October and December last year gave no indication that Mepham intended to stand down in the new year.

He started a new post this week as chief executive of the Mayor of London’s Office for Police and Crime. 

He told FE Week: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Barnet and Southgate College and am proud to have been part of the team that moved us out of ‘requires improvement’. My best wishes to Neil and the board on the next steps and to the whole team of staff there who have achieved so much.”

Coker has more than 30 years’ experience in FE, becoming the deputy chief executive of Barnet and Southgate in 2019.  

“I am extremely honoured and proud to have the opportunity to continue to work with the amazing and talented staff across Barnet and Southgate College as we build on the success of the last few years,” he said.

Adam Goldstein,  the chair of governors, added: “Neil has made a huge contribution to the college already as our deputy CEO and is clearly ready to step up and lead the organisation in the coming years.”

Barnet and Southgate is on the verge of a shake-up with an upcoming strategy for 2030. It is recruiting for three roles in its leadership team: deputy principal for quality and student experience, chief operating officer and chief finance officer.

The current senior leadership team is made up of Coker and Tracey McIntosh, the executive director of employer partnerships, following the resignation of the college’s director of corporate services Mark Sellis last August.

“Neil and the board share an ambitious vision for the future of the college and its students, and we are collectively focused on delivering our exciting new strategy from now to 2030,” Goldstein said.

Latest education roles from

Learning Resource Centre Assistant

Learning Resource Centre Assistant

Hull College

Course Leader – Electrical Installation

Course Leader – Electrical Installation

Bridgwater & Taunton College

Lecturer Carpentry

Lecturer Carpentry

Bridgwater & Taunton College

Lecturer Electrical

Lecturer Electrical

Bridgwater & Taunton College

Learning Support Assistant

Learning Support Assistant

New Rickstones Academy

Head of Langdon College (London)

Head of Langdon College (London)

Kisharon Langdon

Sponsored posts

Sponsored post

#GE2024: Listen now as Let’s Go Further outlines the FE and skills priorities facing our new government

The Skills and Education Group podcast, Let’s Go Further, aims to challenge the way we all think about skills...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

How can we prepare learners for their future in an ever-changing world?

By focusing their curriculums on transferable skills, digital skills, and sustainability, colleges and schools can be confident that learners...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Why we’re backing our UK skills ‘Olympians’ (and why you should too)

This August, teams from over 200 nations will gather to compete in the sticky heat of the Paris summer...

Advertorial
Sponsored post

Is your organisation prepared for a major incident?

We live in an unpredictable world where an unforeseen incident or environmental event could disrupt a Further Education (FE)...

Advertorial

More from this theme

Colleges, Long read

Evans’ quality drive that took him from cars to Cornwall  

People-focused principal tells Shane Chowen that too much teaching is bad for teachers and a college’s bottom line

Shane Chowen
Colleges, Students

Bursary payments for vulnerable students dip to new low

Compliance audits rise as colleges see more challenging ESFA rules

Anviksha Patel
Colleges, Politics

College international income takes off after Brexit and pandemic turbulence

£40m was raked in from foreign students and overseas ventures last year

Billy Camden
Colleges, Ofsted

Top Ofsted marks for Lincolnshire sixth form college

Inspectors praised the college's 'rich range' of learning activities

Josh Mellor

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *