Struggling Totton College has announced Derek Headrige as its new campus principal.

Mr Headrige is currently group academy dean at BMW and will start in his new role on April 18.

He takes over at a time of turmoil at the college which is consulting on a restructuring plan that it is thought could lead to dozens of job losses.

Social justice charity Nacro, which uses skills and training to reduce crime and re-offending in English and Welsh communities, merged with Totton College in December after concerns were raised about the college’s financial situation.

Totton College was branded inadequate by Ofsted in June last year.

Speaking about his appointment, Mr Headrige said: “I am delighted to be joining Totton College. Its renewed focus on the extensive opportunities that quality vocational education brings to students, business and the local area are ground breaking.

“I am absolutely committed to supporting staff and students to drive this mission forward and make sure that Totton College is the destination of choice for students, local people and business, now and into the future.”

Having started his early career in the army, Mr Headrige moved to education because of his “passionate belief in supporting young people to aspire, grow and reach their potential”.

He is formerly the head of faculty for automative engineering and building services at Highbury FE College in Portsmouth.

Meanwhile, the current deputy principal at West Thames College, Tracy Aust, will step up to replace Marjorie Semple at the healm when she retires at the end of March.

Ms Aust will move into the role from April 1 when Ms Semple says goodbye to the London college that she has been in charge of for the last eight years.

Ms Semple has worked in the FE sector for almost 40 years. She arrived at West Thames College in 2001 as assistant principal for learning and became principal in 2008.

A spokesperson for the college said that as deputy principal, Ms Aust is currently responsible for the curriculum and for delivering “high quality education to the many different communities, served by the college”.

Ms Aust said: “We need to constantly adapt to ensure that we are giving local people the skills they need to compete in the local labour market.”

And Chris Scott has stepped down from his post as principal of Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT).

He said the decision had been prompted by the “massive changes” in the FE sector — and in his own role — since he took the job nearly two years ago.

Mr Scott has been with TCAT for 20 years, having previously served as deputy principal, and finance director.

He said: “It has been a privilege to work for Telford College, but the unprecedented cuts in finance to the FE sector, and the transformation this has forced us to undergo, has changed the principal’s job almost beyond recognition.

“I have talked the situation through with the board of governors, and we have agreed that the skill set which will be needed to take Telford College forward is not a skill set which I possess.”

A college spokesperson told FE Week that Jo Lomax had been appointed as interim principal.

Ms Lomax has worked with FE and skills solutions specialist FEA since 2007. She has 38 years’ experience in FE and previously worked at Dearne Valley College as deputy principal.

It was also announced last week that Skills Funding Agency (SFA) director Keith Smith had moved to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to take a lead role in levy implementation.

Mr Smith will be on secondment to BIS for the next year, from his SFA post overseeing funding and programmes, while working as director of levy implementation until it goes live next April.


Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.