Posted on July 16, 2015
Incoming Suffolk New College Principal Viv Gillespie has outlined her vision for the future of the institution after officially taking up her new position today.
Mrs Gillespie, who holds a first class honours degree in Business Studies, joins the College with an outstanding track record in further education, having taught and managed in the sector for more than 25 years. She was previously Principal at South Worcestershire College, where she led the fastest turnaround from an inadequate to good Ofsted rating.
Mrs Gillespie was also Principal at City College Plymouth where, during her six years in charge, she oversaw a multi-million pound investment in college facilities, a rapid increase in student success rates and the forging of strong links with employers at home and abroad.
She said: “I am delighted to join Suffolk New College as Principal and I am very much looking forward to the opportunities ahead, working with staff, governors and students, as well as local employers and partners in the community, to lead the College in its next stage of development.
“I have already found that there is a great deal of support for the College from the town and the county.
“It’s a super campus, right in the centre of Ipswich, near to the Waterfront and University Campus Suffolk. We have great facilities that are very attractive for people to learn in.”
Mrs Gillespie has already met with senior colleagues to discuss ideas and is keen to garner the thoughts and views of staff from across the College.
“Since my appointment was confirmed, there has been lots of discussions with the senior team and the chair of governors to plan some early changes – for example, we are in the process of recruiting a director of business development.
“I am also keen to capture the enthusiasm and ideas of our staff. I have already met with the Heads of Schools and everyone is very keen to have a say in the future of the College. These views will help us build a new strategic plan for the College.
“The FE sector is very challenging at the moment. Funding is being cut, which obviously makes life very difficult on an operational basis. However, there are lots of opportunities too.
“We are providing training and education for young people to go out into the global job market and pursue their interests and careers, while at the same time trying to do more to support the local economy.
“We are all committed to delivering the best quality education for young people.”
Roger Fern, chairman of Suffolk New College Corporation, welcomed Mrs Gillespie to her new role: “We are delighted to welcome Viv as our new principal.
“She has a wealth of experience in Further Education and her track record speaks for itself. She was the outstanding candidate for the position and we look forward to the next stage in the College’s development.”