Buxton & Leek College
Principal of Buxton & Leek College
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Over 30 years experience in FE; over 19 of those as a manager with the last 15 in senior management positions.
Leek College of Further Education and School of Art merged with the University of Derby on 1st August 2012. This was the second FE college to become part of the university following the merger of High Peak College in 1998. The University used this second merger to form a new Further Education subsidiary to operate independantly as Buxton & Leek College. I was appointed in November 2012 as the first Principal of the new College and took up my post on 1st January 2013. The new college has financial challenges and faces some significant staffing restructuring to balance costs at the same time as looking to grow. Our OFSTED inspection in February 2014 concluded that the College is GOOD in all aspects; I am confident that together with a very positive group of teaching and support staff we can look forward to a successful future.
I moved to Shrewsbury College in 2003 when it had recently failed an OFSTED inspection and was in dire financial difficulties. I was one of a number of new senior managers appointed by the new Principal to bring about change and recovery. My remit was to resolve data and information systems problems and to apply my considerable curriculum and funding experience to modernising a neglected curriculum offer. Following a management restructure in 2006 I took formal responsibility for College wide curriculum strategy, quality management, ILT strategy, information systems, data collection, validation and audit and network and IT system support. From 1st August 2010, I assumed the promoted post of Vice Principal for Curriculum, Quality & Information with the remit of leading the College's strategic aim to achieve 'Outstanding' status. I left to take up the new post of Principal of Buxton & Leek College on 1st January 2013.
I started my Preston College career as Head of Information Systems in 1998 with responsibility for College information systems and ILT strategy development & implementation. I was promoted to Assistant Principal Information Services in 2000 when I managed £250k+ project to install and implement a new student records system including direct entry enrolment, negating the requirement for students to complete paper enrolment forms. I finally moved to Director of Information Services in 2001 following a management restructure before leaving for Shrewsbury College in 2003.
I started out as IT technical support, installing and running various computer systems including DEC PDP11 and VAX. I installed the first networked student records system in '84 using VAXMate and the first IBM PC network for students in '86 . I was then was seconded to the local authority for a year to write marketing analysis systems using Oracle RDBMS. Then I ran a TVEI funded project to setup the College's first learning resource centre supporting students and developing resource-based learning software. I started teaching part time for a year or so alongside running the LRC and was appointed as a full-time teacher of computing in 1990. I progressed gradually up the teaching and management 'tree' becoming Programme Coordinator, Programme Manager, Resources Development Manager, Acting Head of School and finally my first cross-college position as Funding Manager before leaving for Preston College in 1998.
I was employed as a Computer Operator helping to control a Honeywell Level 66/40 dual processor mainframe computer, seven Honeywell Level 6 mini computers and an ICL 1904s mainframe. This involved punched card and mag tape processing, disk pack exchange and printer management. There was also a daily modem link using manual telephone connections to sync data with regional depots.
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