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Principal & CEO Halesowen College

Are you an inspirational and ambitious leader with the drive and tenacity to transform lives through education? Look no further. Halesowen College are seeking a new Principal & Chief Executive to drive their ambition and support everyone to learn, succeed and flourish.

  • Location: Halesowen, West Midlands
  • Salary: c.£120,000

Who we are

At its heart, Halesowen College is a tertiary college offering young people a wide range of opportunities to follow either academic or vocational pathways.  16-18 learners form the vast majority of our learner body, and we intend that to remain the case, even as we grow and diversify further.  We are a college that is not satisfied with being ‘Good’.  We are determined to provide the best possible education and training for all our learners, and this means striving for excellence in all that we do.

Halesowen College is a lively, ambitious and highly inclusive tertiary college providing a broad and extremely supportive education to young people from across the West Midlands and in an increasing range of vocational Higher Education courses, Apprenticeships and training for adults. We have over 4,000 learners.

The College has maintained a good reputation and Ofsted rating for a sustained period. However, we are not satisfied with being “good” and are determined to provide the best possible education and training for all our learners, which means striving for excellence in all that we do.

To support this, we have clear aims that:

  • our curriculum will be broad, inclusive, responsive and purposeful,
  • our quality will be demonstrated by exceptional teaching, learning and outcomes,
  • our learning environment will make a difference,
  • our people form a truly diverse, empowered, supportive and accountable community,
  • our finances are sound to allow investment and keep us at the forefront of provision.

We actively promote equality, welcome all learners whose needs we can meet and strive to make our college a “learning village”, where learners of all levels, backgrounds and disciplines mix freely and benefit from contact with each other, so that the College is a place where everyone can be who they are and be the best they can be.

We are committed to the development of our learners as people, to keeping them safe and to preparing them to succeed in the world. To this end, our support for learners is exceptional.

The College works extensively with employers across the whole range of our provision and has growing numbers of Apprentices including at higher levels.

The College also offers vocational Higher Education courses in areas of the curriculum where we can deliver a high-quality experience, extend participation and make progression opportunities available locally and we expect this provision to continue to grow. We work with adults in a range of settings and at various levels, and we believe Halesowen College has a greater role to play in improving adult skills in our communities.

About the role

Our next Principal & Chief Executive will need to lead the College through our next stage of organisational development with an aspirational strategic plan and organisational vision, taking us through to 2025, with the ambition to be the first-choice college in our region for learners, parents, business and staff, working with partners to achieve remarkable things.

Working with Jo Chilton, our Chair, and with the wider Board, there is a need for you to recognise and appreciate the great things we already do and the even greater things we have yet to come. Under the leadership of a new Principal & Chief Executive, we expect the pace and ambition for development and success to continue with the support and engagement of our Board and our staff.

We have high hopes and expectations for our next Principal & Chief Executive – there is a great deal more work to do to ensure we achieve the necessary milestones that will move us from our current position to becoming an outstanding place for students to

learn, and a pillar of community education for the region. Under your leadership, we will further develop an excellent reputation amongst the local business, external stakeholders and education communities.

As a medium-sized FE college, trusted by thousands of students, we must ensure they reach their full potential when studying or training with us, and they are made aware of the opportunities to progress their learning through us over a sustained period.  As Principal & Chief Executive, you will need to work through and with your Leadership Team to address all these areas, and those you highlight as being priorities, making sure that our curriculum offer provides the necessary pathways for students whilst being sector and industry relevant.

We appreciate this is no short-term project and we are fully committed to the journey ahead of us.  We are dedicated to investing heavily in our staff, our resources, and the development of our external relationships. Halesowen College is a great place already, and as Principal & Chief Executive we need you to take the very best parts of our college and the areas that need support and improve them further.

Who are we looking for?

At Halesowen College, we need our next Principal & Chief Executive to be an inspirational, ambitious and visible leader with highly effective people leadership and influencing skills.

We believe that for our college to flourish and realise the success we are planning for, the person appointed as our next Principal & Chief Executive will need to be a proven, innovative and credible leader – well versed in the nuances of our sector; its policies, funding methodologies and curriculum specialisms.  We need someone who has the competence and confidence to lead as the Principal & Chief Executive, bringing direct experience of having overseen substantial and organisation-wide change and improvement with and through other senior leaders. Being equally as comfortable with curriculum planning and development as you are with scrutinising organisational finances and performance, you will know from experience how to balance the need to invest (in people, resources and innovation) with cost control and financial sustainability.

Building relationships that add value to an organisation will come naturally to you and we expect you will have a great deal of experience of managing major stakeholder relations, acting as a lead ambassador and spokesperson for your organisation. You will know the importance of engaging businesses and organisations – such as the LEP, and the local authority organisations – and have experience of engaging these partners previously. Externally, you will be considered an expert on how a large FE college can add value to the local communities served by the College, and the businesses and institutions that work in partnership with us.  Internally, you will recognise and value the importance of being visible and known ‘on the ground’ and will want to get to know the people who work for you and engage them in the journey to greater success.

We need someone to embed and deliver the board-approved strategy and add value to it. You will promote a sense of stability and a continuation of the emerging culture and the trust between the organisation and its leadership.

We believe this role will suit someone who thrives on challenge, can spot an opportunity and cares deeply about providing high-quality education and training to support social mobility and skills development. Your relentless focus on improving the lives of students – enabling them to reach their true potential – will be welcomed, as will an inspirational and approachable style of leadership that encourages a mutual focus on high performance, fair reward and staff wellbeing.

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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Atkins-Boal

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Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming the next Principal and Chief Executive at Halesowen College. This is a hugely important and exciting role at a thriving college, and we are delighted that you are considering applying to join our team.

The College currently has a Good Ofsted rating and Outstanding to Good Financial health. This is an exciting time as the College is ambitious to move to Ofsted outstanding at a time when there are many national challenges facing the FE sector. The new Principal and Chief Executive Officer will be instrumental in providing inspirational leadership to achieve this ambition.

Halesowen College is a Tertiary college in the Black Country operating from three main sites, Whittingham Road, Shenstone House and the Coombs Wood Technology Centre. There is an ambitious estates strategy in place to continue to provide quality learning environments for students and staff.

The College primarily serves the communities of Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley and Sandwell.  Many students are from urban areas that include wards that score highly on the index of deprivation. In addition to providing one of the most

comprehensive curriculum offers in the region, delivering programmes ranging from Entry Level to Level 5, the College works hard to remove any barriers that its 4,000+ full-time students may encounter.

Through the careers programme at College, we meet the Gatsby benchmarks, and our focus remains on giving the best chance to progress at College, onto higher education, or employment.  To this end, the College works collaboratively with higher education providers and local employers and is embracing its role within the developing Local Skills Improvement Plan.

The College prides itself on its welcoming, inclusive, and caring ethos.  Recent research with staff, students, parents, employers, and applicants identified four themes which sum up what is valued most at Halesowen College:  A seriously supportive, caring community, innately inclusive and actively ambitious. The College is a designated College of Sanctuary, has repeatedly been recognised as a Leader in Diversity, a Leader in Safeguarding, and has been awarded the Rainbow Flag.

The Corporation is seeking to appoint a Principal & Chief Executive of the highest calibre who will be able to identify and deliver what is necessary to further improve the College. It is highly desirable that the successful candidate will have a proven and successful career in educational leadership and a thorough understanding of the post-16 phase of education. The person specification outlines the key skills that this pivotal role requires, but equally important is a vision for the future and ability to lead a cohesive team.  Applicants with a limited experience in the education sector with outstanding proven leadership skills will be considered for this role.

If you believe you are the leader we are seeking, then we look forward to your application and to meeting you.

Jo Chilton
Chair of Governors
Halesowen Corporation

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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

About Halesowen College

Halesowen College is a thriving tertiary college operating from three main sites, Whittingham Road, Shenstone House and the Coombs Wood Centre.  Facilities, buildings and resources are modern and inviting, and the campuses are exciting places to learn and work.

The College is structured in three Curriculum Faculties, each with an Assistant Principal and two business support areas, Learner Support Services and Corporate Services.

Quality and Standards is overseen by a fourth Assistant Principal and the teamwork across the College to improve the quality of education, creating a culture of enthusiasm for continued

professional development and assuring a high-quality learner experience.  Their overall aim is to drive up standards in teaching and learning through tracking, monitoring and support for staff, reporting on performance, improvement strategies and impact.

The College has maintained a good reputation for a sustained period.  This was reaffirmed in September 2017 when Ofsted judged the College to be “Good” overall.  Achievement rates have steadily improved and are now amongst the best nationally.

We are proud to be recognised as a Leader in Diversity which has been retained since November 2020, for Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.

The College primarily serves the communities of Halesowen, Stourbridge, Dudley and Sandwell.  Many students are from urban areas including many wards that score highly on the index of deprivation.  In addition to providing one of the most comprehensive curriculum offers in the region, the College works hard to remove any barriers that students might encounter.  We are the only college in the region to offer a free coach service to all learners with over 2000 students accessing these coach services each week.

The College has:

  • Excellent relationships with local schools and recruits students from more than 100 others.
  • Some 4,300 funded full-time 16-18 learners.
    • Both GCE A levels and vocational provision of which 70% of students follow level 3 studies.
    • Growing numbers of adults;14-16-year-old elected home-educated students and a small but rapidly increasing number of apprentices.
    • Programmes range from Entry Level to Level 4. Adult provision is primarily concentrated on GCSE English, Maths and Access to Higher Education programmes supported by some specific vocational expertise on areas such as Counselling.
    • There is a growing number of students who receive learning support assistance, and most have access arrangements for their exams or assessment.
    • University Centre Halesowen partly funded by the University of Worcester, as well as other extensive partnerships that compliments the College’s higher level vocational pathways for students who are unlikely to access traditional university education.
    • Strong relationships with a range of stakeholders, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, Local Enterprise Partnership, schools, multi-academy trusts, employers and the local community.

Staff benefits include

  • Local Government Pension Scheme or Teachers’ Pension Scheme
  • Opportunities to develop in your role with a comprehensive staff development programme.
  • Away Day in the Summer term.
  • Our Employee Assistance Programme helps you deal with life challenges including 24/7 GP service, counselling, carer advice, spine and neurological advice, financial wellness, legal helpline.
  • Onsite parking, heavily subsidised.
  • Business mileage, cars 45p per mile and 24p per mile for motorbikes and 20p per mile for bicycles.
  • Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund – health cash plan through payroll.
  • Salary sacrifice for Cycle2Work.
  • Staff Digital Scheme (loans for IT equipment).
  • Sick pay scheme (after qualifying periods up to six months full pay and six months half pay should you need).
  • Shutdown days December/January.
  • Remote access to college networks.
  • Discounts on treatments in our training salons.
  • Fitness and wellbeing facilities and instructors.
  • Eye care – VDU users can have their eye test paid for and receive staff discounts at local opticians.
  • Free Flu Vaccination onsite.
  • Onsite wellbeing checks.

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

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043


Halesowen College understands that different members of the community have different access needs, and have made some modifications to the way we do business in order to accommodate people from diverse communities and abilities. Our accessibility provisions include:

  • Step-free access to the building, accessible workstations (e.g. desk, office), and step-free access to all key meeting rooms and toilets.
  • Accessibility dogs are welcomed.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats if needed.
  • Working patterns/working locations can be adjusted.



Equality and Diversity staff training continued through the 2019/20 academic year.  A broad range of training was agreed upon and developed by the Staff Development Director and E&D Forum.

Staff development activities included:

  • The Gender Pay Gap is reported on each year on the government website and the full report is available on the College’s website.
  • The BAME staff group meet regularly as a safe space and senior managers often receive feedback from the group to inform decision making
  • The College works with the Job Centre recruiting Over 50’s seeking employment
  • Staff from underrepresented groups nominate themselves for attending recruitment and selection training to be able to sit on staff recruitment panels
  • Trained a range of staff as mentors with BAMEeD, and staff from underrepresented groups put their names forward to be mentees
  • Promotion of wearing badges for staff and students on: anti-racism, inclusive ally, and preferred pronouns.

Staff Statistics

The following is a snapshot of the breakdown of staff employed by the College as of January 2023.

  • All White ethnic backgrounds combined are 89.2% of the workforce
  • All Asian ethnic backgrounds combined are 6.3% of the workforce
  • All Black ethnic backgrounds combined are 3.9% of the workforce
  • Managers 91% are from white ethnic backgrounds and therefore Black, Asian and other ethnic minority staff are under-represented in middle and senior management.
  • Within the group of 276 teaching staff, 86.5% are from White ethnic backgrounds, 7.9% from Asian ethnic backgrounds and 5.4% from Black ethnic backgrounds.
  • 90% of support staff are from white ethnic backgrounds
  • 8% staff with declared disabilities and 1.6% consider themselves disabled.
  • 70% of staff are female and 30% male

For reasonable adjustments, we will consider requests. We have previously allowed additional time for occupational testing for candidates with low working memory and/or dyslexia and we have provided questions in written format in relation to neurodiversity needs.

If you have any further needs around accessibility, please get in touch with the advising consultant for a confidential chat on how we can best fulfil your needs:

Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

    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 and complete this equality monitoring survey.

    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 “Halesowen College – Principal & CEO” into the subject field.

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

    Sarah Atkins-Boal | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017043

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

    All applications will be considered solely on merit.

    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.


    Closing date: Monday 13th March 2023
    Candidates informed of outcome: Tuesday 21st March 2023
    First Stage Interviews: Wednesday 3rd May 2023
    Second Stage Interviews: Thursday 4th May 2023

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Halesowen 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring survey.

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    The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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