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Principal & CEO Bridgend College

Bridgend College is looking to appoint a Principal and Chief Executive Officer who can lead the College on the next step of what continues to be an exciting period of growth, development and success.

  • Location: Bridgend, South Wales
  • Salary: £142,000 - £152,000

Who we are

Bridgend College, nestled in the heart of the County Borough of Bridgend in South Wales, no more than a 20-minute drive from the valleys and coastline, is a place of learning, transformation and community development. Our College, steeped in history, is a dynamic hub of innovation and growth, fostering a welcoming and inclusive learning culture, with a mission for all learners to ‘Be All That You Can Be.’

Founded in 1928, Bridgend College has been a steadfast pillar of education within the local community, evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of learners across the region. Our roots run deep and our commitment to excellence remains unwavering. Over recent years, we have become a large and highly successful education provider, supporting a diverse range of learners through delivering high-quality teaching and learning. Our provision is extensive, catering to the educational aspirations of over 10,000 full and part-time learners and employing more than 650 members of staff across three campuses at Bridgend, Pencoed and Queen’s Road, with some provision also based in Maesteg.

The College has established very successful strategic partnerships with Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of South Wales to deliver high-quality higher education provision. In addition, Work Based Learning, working in partnership with the B-WBL Consortium, continues to go from strength to strength, with an ever-increasing contract and an excellent track record in framework completions.

We are privileged to be part of a wide range of networks and other partnerships allowing us to work closely with local businesses and employers across the region to meet the educational needs of our local community. We work in partnership with the Regional Skills Partnership, Cardiff Capital Region, local businesses and Bridgend County Borough Council. The College delivers hundreds of short lifelong learning courses each year via the Adult Community Learning programme and the sub-brand ‘Community College’, as well as A-Level twilight provision taught in partnership with local Comprehensive Schools and the Junior Apprenticeship Programme for young people aged 14–16 years old. Two large regional employers also host our highly successful Supported Internship provision for students with additional needs and disabilities. With a focus on positive learner outcomes and broader regional economic prosperity, these relationships prove vital in supporting local employers to access a pipeline of educated, qualified and work-ready talent as well as upskilling and engaging people in lifelong learning opportunities.

Alongside this, we are also very proud to have our on-site Weston House provision, a 32-bedroom specialist residential provision for young people with additional learning needs which supports them to develop their learning, life skills and confidence. The College also operates a 100-place-day nursery and a 50-place holiday playscheme supporting our local community; both of these facilities are registered with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW).

Uchafbwyntiau Coleg Penybont - Bridgend College Showreel 2023

About the role

Following a very successful period of development, growth and improvement over the last 10 years, led by the previous postholder, Simon Pirotte OBE, this is an exciting time to be joining Bridgend College as our new Principal & CEO. Over the past few years, we have positioned Bridgend College as a vibrant, inclusive and community-focused organisation, known for being a college which goes above and beyond for its learners.

The Governing Body now seek to appoint a new Principal & CEO who will continue to ensure that Bridgend College builds on its local, regional and national reputation whilst ensuring that the experience and outcomes for our learners remain our primary focus, with Simon having moved on to his new role as Chief Executive of the Commission for Tertiary Education and Research (CTER).

The role of Principal & CEO of Bridgend College represents an opportunity for a new leader to join our College and help us write the next chapter in our proud history. This will be a chapter that focuses on growth, development, improvement, and cementing the College as a beacon of educational opportunity and community support for years to come.

We have been fortunate in recent times to have realised some successes in relation to our capital development strategy. Firstly, in 2021 we officially opened our state-of-the-art £30 million STEAM Academy at our Pencoed Campus. Partly funded by the Welsh Government, this facility has already begun to transform the learning experiences of our students as we are able to deliver a curriculum that is fit for purpose in the 21st century in an industry-standard setting. This has been followed by the confirmation of our next phase of development; our new £80m Town Centre campus. Due to open in 2026, this facility will house some of our teaching and learning spaces along with a theatre, a hair and beauty salon, and a recording and dance studio.

From a strategic perspective, we are currently progressing towards the penultimate year of our current strategic plan. Upon taking up the role, our new Principal & CEO will be tasked with reviewing progress made against the ambitions, targets and commitments set out in this document in collaboration with senior leadership colleagues and the Governing Body, before embarking on the development of a new plan to take the College towards 2030.

The College bases a great deal of its success around our ability to build and sustain positive, inclusive relationships. We work with over 150 different employers, have partnerships/collaborations with higher education institutions and work closely with our local authority and the Welsh Government. We also support the further education sector to thrive by maintaining positive relationships with further education colleges in Wales and across the border. These relationships are vital to our success and our Principal & CEO will have a responsibility to maintain these, strengthen them, and

work with our partners to ensure the very best outcomes for Bridgend. As well as being the leader of a vibrant, inclusive, and high-achieving further education college, there are a number of additional benefits attached to the role which include:

  • Teachers pension scheme,
  • Generous holidays,
  • Employee Assistance Programme,
  • Free on-site parking,
  • On-site fitness suite & salon,
  • Refectory,
  • Livery and kennels,
  • Subsidised leisure membership.

The College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Bridgend College welcomes applications from all sectors of the community and is an equal opportunities employer.

Who are we looking for?

The College is the only dedicated post-16 education and skills provider in the local area. With high expectations, big ambitions and a drive for excellence in all that they do, the next Principal & CEO of Bridgend College will need to have significant experience and a demonstrable track record of successful leadership of a similar organisation – although this does not need to have been gained within the Welsh further education sector.

Where candidates are not currently working within a Welsh provider, they will need to be able to demonstrate their appreciation and understanding of the differences in the political and policy landscapes particularly pertaining to further education & skills provision, as well as an understanding of the current and future challenges – and opportunities – faced within the Welsh further education sector.

Given the collaborative nature of our sector where colleges and other education providers work towards a shared goal, our new Principal & CEO will need to be able to demonstrate their ability to build positive, outcomes-focused relationships with a wide range of stakeholders including, but not limited to, other college leaders, Welsh Government (Senedd Cymru) Minsters, community leaders and employers.

The College has been through a tremendous period of modernisation and development in recent years. The investment in our STEAM Academy and the future development of our Town Centre campus are a demonstration of our commitment to ensuring we provide the best possible resources and infrastructure for our learners, our staff and the wider community. To ensure the College remains forward-looking, our new Principal & CEO will need to be a creative and innovative strategic thinker who can work in partnership with our Governing Body, as well as the strong, dedicated senior leadership team to ensure that our latest developments are not the end of our growth.

As a college, we are privileged to be led by a group of dedicated and determined senior leaders who each themselves demonstrate outstanding leadership skills. As an organisation, we are proud of the working culture and positive atmosphere that we have created within the College, where each staff member is respected and valued for their efforts. Our Principal & CEO will need to demonstrate a shared set of values and an attitude to leadership that facilitates personal development, promotes staff well-being and fosters a culture of support and trust.

We want our new Principal & CEO to be an engaged and visible leader. We expect you to work with our stakeholders to grow our reputation; positively influence decision-makers for the benefit of our students, communities and sector; build positive, beneficial relationships with peers; lead by example by living our values; and above all else, ensure that you engage with our learners and make decisions in their best interests, and in the interests of the long term prosperity of our college.

We know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity, and developing a process that values difference and we welcome all applications. Particularly,  we would encourage disabled or female applicants and/or those from the global majority to consider this opportunity. If there are any adjustments that you need to help you with your application, please get in touch so we can provide you with additional support.

Peridot Partners and Bridgend College are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dan Baxter

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Welcome from the Chair

On behalf of the Governing Body, I’d like to thank you for expressing an interest in the role of Principal & CEO of Bridgend College. Building on the successes of the current Principal & CEO, Simon Pirotte, the successful candidate will have the drive and determination to lead the College into its next exciting chapter.

This role entails close collaboration with the Governing Body, the Welsh Government and the senior leadership team to develop and execute the College’s strategy to meet the evolving needs of the community and its economic region. Delivering the highest standards in learning, teaching and assessment will be a key responsibility, as will upholding legal and regulatory requirements, driving commercial initiatives to ensure income creation and directing the College’s community engagement strategy.

The successful candidate will be passionate about the College’s mission of “Be all that you can be” as well as its core values and vision. You will need extensive senior leadership experience within

the education sector in order to lead and inspire a committed team of staff to design and deliver excellence in teaching and learning whilst at the same time providing strategic direction and oversight to the Senior Leadership Team. Most importantly, you’ll share the Governing Body and College’s belief that education has the ability to transform lives and keep students at the heart of all that the College does.

Student and staff happiness and engagement are of paramount importance, and the most recent student and staff surveys showed that 94% of students would recommend their course/College to a friend or colleague and 98% of staff recommend the College as a good place to work. This has been achieved through building and developing a culture of being people-centred and inclusive. Alongside this, the College prides itself on being an ambitious and forward-thinking organisation and has a strong track record of investment and continuous improvement. This includes investing £30m in the new STEAM Academy and a Land Based Centre, which opened in September 2021 and exciting plans to build an £80m campus in Bridgend town centre (opening date September 2026).

The Governing Body is looking to appoint a dynamic Principal & CEO who shares the same vision of being extraordinary, who will champion the College’s mission and who will help shape its future. They will do this by ensuring that the education and training provided are of the highest quality and are responsive to the needs of the community and employers of Bridgend and its wider area.

I wish you well with your application.

Jeff Greenidge
Chair of the Governing Body

Peridot Partners and Bridgend College are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

About Bridgend College

Our College

Based within the town of Bridgend in South Wales, Bridgend College is a further education college supporting more than 10,000 students and employing over 650 members of staff across the organisation.

Our MissionBe All That You Can Be.

Our Values

As a College, we try to live and breathe our values on a daily basis and set positive examples for our students to do the same, working together as a college community. Our values are:

  • Be People-Centred: We truly believe that every member of staff, every learner and every interaction counts. As such, we should each take responsibility for our actions, so if something doesn’t feel right, we value the opportunity for honest conversations so that we are constantly improving and developing. Remember, we serve those that we lead, and as such, we should always demonstrate positive behaviours to develop trust.
  • Be Innovative: We are pioneers, and as such, we aim to lead the sector in enforcing positive change. Yet it’s important to remain connected so that, as a community, we can achieve even more.
  • Be Inspirational: We always aim to be forward-thinking and planning for the future, as well as dealing with what’s going on in the here and now.
  • Be a Team Player: We always put on a united front and champion the decisions we make. We truly support each person that walks through our doors, and we ask for that same support in return.
  • Be Passionate: There is always room for improvement, so feedback should always be welcomed. When we are passionate about what we do, we each become a brand ambassador in our own right.
  • Be Inclusive: Every person can make an impact, no matter how big or small they may think it is. As such, it’s our responsibility to create a trusting environment where each person feels able to contribute ideas.

As part of our Learning Programme Promise, we are committed to developing the vocational and core skills of our students, as well as helping them to improve their personal growth and development. In return, we ask that students agree to our Student Citizenship Code to fulfil our learning behaviours:

  • Be Ready
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Safe

Our Vision

Bridgend College will be an extraordinary, high-performing organisation, dedicated to the advantage of learning. We will attract individuals through nurturing a people-centred, inclusive and enabling culture that allows every individual to be part of something special, something unique. We will be an ethical organisation that consistently achieves excellence and excels through doing the simple things really well and celebrates the successes of every individual.

With passion and innovation, we will lead the way in influencing and shaping education and training. We will look beyond our own organisation and seek to collaborate with ethically minded partners, who also share our ambition to lead a transformation that will improve the life opportunities of our learners, our people and our communities. We will develop creative, happy and global citizens of the future who care for our world, our culture and each other.

Our Strategy

The College’s strategy is to be Extraordinary, we will be Excellent, Efficient and Engaging.

Our Campuses

We have three campuses offering excellent facilities and learning opportunities.

Bridgend Campus

Located within walking distance of Bridgend town centre. We offer a range of courses at our Bridgend Campus from Childhood Studies and Hairdressing to Catering and Independent Living Skills.

Facilities here include the Sony Theatre, our hair and beauty salon, Salon31, and restaurant, Bwyty31, which cater for students, staff and the public. We also have a coffee shop, Clwb Coffi, which is open to the public and is run by students from our Independent Living Skills department.

Our Bridgend Campus is also home to Weston House, our purpose-built residential accommodation for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have additional learning needs or an impairment.

Pencoed Campus

Home to our STEAM Academy and Land-based Centre, as well as our Construction and Sports Academies. This is our largest campus and includes excellent facilities such as a 3G sports pitch, modern equine areas and a sports hall. Our STEAM Academy accommodates teaching and learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

With acres of green open spaces, you could study anything from Agriculture and Construction to Animal Care, Public Services and Sports. Located on the outskirts of the village of Pencoed, this campus also offers local amenities and transport links within easy reach.

Queens Road Campus

Located on Bridgend Industrial Estate and supports many of our Higher Education (HE) courses as well as being home to our Work-Based Learning team.

An Award-Winning Employer

We pride ourselves on the support and opportunities we offer our students, and that applies to our staff too. Here are a few highlights from the past few years:

  • Ranked 33rd in the UK’s Best Large Companies to Work For Awards (2022)
  • Ranked 8th in the Wales Top 10 Best Companies to Work For Awards (2022)
  • Ranked 3rd in the UK’s Education & Training Top 5 Best Organisations to Work For Awards (2022) – the highest-ranked FE college in the UK
  • Achieved a top 50 place in the Inclusive Companies’ Top 50 UK Employers (2021/22)
  • Disability Confident Leader for 4 years running
  • Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index 2021/22 – Gold Award for the third year running. The only education provider in the UK to achieve Gold and only one of three organisations in Wales
  • AOC Beacon Award Winner for Mental Health and Wellbeing (2020/21)

Peridot Partners and Bridgend College are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Bridgend or Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr meaning “The end of the bridge on the Ogmore [River]” has been a designated market town since the 16th century. In recent years, the growth and development of the County Borough of Bridgend, like many similar places, has been stunted by increasing rents, the growth of online shopping, out-of-town shopping centres and the COVID pandemic. This has had additional impacts such as a reduction in the local night-time economy. However, locally, the continuing development of the College is seen as a catalyst for change in this regard. For instance, our new Town Centre campus provides an opportunity to regenerate the town centre and in turn, facilitate more widespread growth of businesses.

With Bridgend County Borough being one of the most desired locations to live in South Wales, and with Wales seeing some of the largest increases in house prices across the UK over recent years, the area is a relatively expensive place for property. Property development continues to be a prime focus across the area, which will bring other positive impacts on local infrastructure. For instance, Porthcawl – 20 minutes from Bridgend – has become the most recent local area to receive funding for regeneration and development.

Transport links to the area are good with Bridgend sitting along the M4 corridor. The town is equidistant (20 miles) between the cities of Cardiff, to the east, and Swansea, to the west. Commuting from one of these cities would take around 45 minutes. There are also many picturesque locations within the County of Borough of Bridgend including the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore valleys as well as

the coastlines of Ogmore, Southerndown and Porthcawl; these are all a 20 minute drive away. There are regular rail services from Bridgend station to destinations including Cardiff, Bristol and London.

Accessibility information

Bridgend College strives to be an equality, diversity and inclusion champion and leader in:

  • promoting equality, diversity, inclusion and belonging;
  • challenging, preventing and eradicating discrimination;
  • providing responsive and accessible services;
  • promoting positive relations between people.

We are committed to providing services which are accessible to all customers, students, staff and stakeholders. As part of our ongoing commitment to inclusion, we take positive steps to ensure that all current and prospective employees and students receive fair treatment and are not discriminated against, either directly or indirectly, on the grounds of gender, gender reassignment, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity or race. We also take a proactive approach in promoting the Welsh Language Standards and ensuring that the Welsh language is treated no less favourably than English.

We are committed to conducting regular physical accessibility audits of our campuses to ensure any barriers to access are removed. We have also conducted a digital accessibility audit of our website to ensure we are providing a digital experience which is accessible to all users.

Adjustments we can offer for a person-centred and inclusive experience at Bridgend College:

  • Step-free access to the building, all key meeting rooms and bathrooms, and an accessible workstation.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

We take our responsibilities seriously in relation to our journey towards inclusion. We are a Disability Confident Leader and offer a Guaranteed Interview Scheme. The Disability Confident Level 3 achievement is given to organisations as a recognition of their disability inclusion journey and acknowledges them as a Disability Confident Leader.

We offer a wide range of support, including a Wellbeing at Work passport, Reasonable Adjustments, Occupational Health support, access to purchase private healthcare via Benenden, Employee Assistance Programme via Vivup, DSE assessments, Access to Work partnership, Wellbeing Advocates, access to counselling support, and referral routes to the 3rd sector, to name a few. Please see our Wellbeing microsite for further information.

We have been awarded Mind’s Workplace Wellbeing Index Gold Award (3 years running), and will also be taking part in the 2023-2024 academic year.

The College was placed 45th in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers (2021/22), and the information contained within this report informed the Equality Plan 2022-2025, along with the feedback from workshops, the Governor Away Day and affiliation meetings with Black Leadership group.

We have signed the City of Sanctuary Organisation Pledge during Refugee Week 2022 to show our solidarity and support for refugees and asylum seekers and are actively embedding the values and principles of the Charter across Bridgend College.

We are the host organisation of a TrACE Lead, to inform our practice in becoming Trauma Informed.

We were awarded:

  • Healthy Working Wales Award Winner for the Covid-19 Commendation Event in the category: Visionary Commendation for Sustainability (2021)
  • Healthy Working Wales Runner-up for the Covid-19 Commendation Event in the category: Best Mental Health Initiative: Large Company (2021)
  • AOC Beacon Award Winner – Mental Health and Wellbeing (2021)
  • Shortlisted for Specialist Provider of the Year (Weston House) (2020)
  • CIPD Award – Embedding a Culture of Workplace Wellbeing (2019)

Click here to find out more about EDI at the College.

In our staff survey:

98% of Staff are happy to be working in their area

98% Recommend the College as a good place to work

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Peridot Partners and Bridgend College are, together, committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and our client expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will be subject to an enhanced DBS check and satisfactory references before any final offer can be made.

    To access a full job description and application details,
    please fill out the form below.


    Thank you for your interest in this role.

    Please download the Job Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Bridgend College – Principal & CEO” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Dan Baxter | dan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

    If you experience any technical or accessibility difficulties, need help making an application, or have any additional support needs to be considered as part of the interview and selection process, please let us know.

    Recruitment selection processes are based on evidence of competence stated in the person specification and in relation to our values.


    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 8th January 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Thursday 18th January 2024
    First stage interviews: Thursday 25th January 2024
    Second stage interviews: Thursday 1st February 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Bridgend College are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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