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Principal & CEO | Hull College Group

As Principal & CEO you will be responsible for the overall strategic leadership, formulating and implementing strategic plans for ongoing improvements including financial stability and sustainability, the delivery of a high-quality inclusive learning provision and a positive student experience and staff culture. The Board require you to demonstrate and lead in a way which is transparent and inspires the confidence of those inside and outside of the College.

  • Location: East Riding of Yorkshire - Hull & Goole
  • Salary: Competitive and in the region of £150K

About the role

As Principal & CEO you will be responsible for the overall strategic leadership of the Hull College Group, formulating and implementing strategic plans for ongoing improvements including financial stability and sustainability, the delivery of a high-quality inclusive learning provision, and a positive student experience and staff culture. The Board require you to demonstrate and lead in a way which is transparent and inspires the confidence of those inside and outside of the College.

This role will suit someone who thrives on challenge and cares deeply about providing high-quality education and training to support social mobility and skills development, and a relentless and unwavering focus on improving the lives of students.

Working with an energised, professional and highly experienced Corporation Board, you will have the opportunity to influence the direction of the recently released strategy. Whilst this long-term plan is approved, there will be an expectation that you apply your expertise to shape the future of the organisation. In other words, the strategy is not a ‘done deal’ by any means, but instead a long-term vision which sees Hull College Group become more than financially stable and delivering a first-class, outstanding offer which attracts the widest variety of students.

Particular areas of focus for the successful candidate will be understanding and driving the ‘Quality Improvement Plan’ to ensure that the College is on track and prepared for the next monitoring visit, expected in 2021. You will also work with the regulators to ensure that the College exits its intervention status at the very earliest opportunity, having secured its financial position and sustainability for the future.

You will be expected to drive organisational change across the College, to steer a culture of honesty, transparency and achievement – ensuring that you build the structures around you to deliver the very best outcomes for the organisation, the staff, the students and the communities you serve.

In your role as the Accounting Officer, you will ensure the effective and efficient financial operation of the organisation, developing and delivering performance targets and business plans approved by the Board.

Who we're looking for

Hull College Group is on a journey of significant improvement following the ‘Fresh Start’ intervention in March 2018. The organisation has had to deal with challenges around finances, changes in leadership, consistent quality of provision and reputation across the sector and the community. There remains a substantial amount of work to undertake in achieving cross-College improvements and standardisation, and the new Principal & CEO will be expected to drive improvements across all areas and work with the Board to secure a strategy that instils a positive, transparent and engaged organisational culture for students, staff and external stakeholders.

The opportunity to completely transform a college which itself has already changed dramatically is no small or short-term feat. In order to achieve what needs to be achieved for the students, staff and communities served by the College, you will need energy, resilience and determination.

The next Principal & CEO will know how a high-achieving college operates, gained from years of experience in further education leadership. You will care deeply about the sector and believe in the social impact of further education in the community. You will be a shrewd and capable influencer, able to navigate the most complex and challenging of external relationships across the city, the region, and both local and national government. Above all, you will be committed to seeing through the realisation of the Board’s ambitions and securing a highly successful future for the College, its staff and its students.

Hull, Goole and the region in which the College operates deserves a high-performing FE college. Whilst the shape, size and strategy of the Hull College Group has changed, its social mission remains deeply rooted in improving the life chances of people at every stage in their lives.

With unemployment levels at 8.6% of the city’s population, Hull and the surrounding areas have never needed their FE college so much.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact our executive search advisers at Peridot Partners:

Sarah Szulczewski | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017 043

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

Further education recruitment with Sarah Szulczewski

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Sarah Szulczewski

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Welcome from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

Thank you for your interest in the role of Principal & CEO at Hull College Group. The fortunes of the College have been well publicised as we continue the next phase of our ambitious recovery. Securing a new Principal & CEO to shape and lead the vision for the College is critical to the success of the communities that we serve.

The resilience of our staff and learners during the pandemic is a great example of the spirit of Hull College. We are looking to appoint a new leader for an exciting new chapter as we identify and embrace new ways of learning in these unprecedented times.

Our next leader will build on the work already completed in the successful financial recovery of the College. We need someone who will take forward our existing plans and develop successful new strategies for the future. This will include maintaining our strong financial position, focus on our areas for improvement identified in our June 2019 Ofsted inspection, the implementation of a new estates strategy and setting an innovative vision for our long-term success.

As 2017 City of Culture, Hull is a hugely creative and vibrant city. From multi-national employers, to a significant health care system, vast engineering and a number of creative companies, Hull has a rich maritime history and truly diverse spread of industry.

We are very proud of the position our College occupies at the heart of the local community. The area itself provides a range of attractive locations in which to live, with access to good schools. We need our new Principal & CEO to reside in the area and be part of the communities we serve.

We are seeking a Principal & CEO who will have the capability to balance the internal and external leadership demands of this post. We are looking for strong, visible leadership to work with the Strategic Leadership Team in continuing to build a culture where all colleagues contribute to improvement and learner success. Of equal importance is the work to be done across the city externally, to engage widely in the business community to continue and to grow our stakeholder relationships and partnership opportunities together with improving the reputation of the College both locally and nationally.

The Board has seen a period of significant recruitment in the past year and benefits from a range of skills and expertise. Our new Principal & CEO will be well supported by the Corporation to fulfil the range of expectations placed upon them.

I thank you for your interest and look forward to receiving your application for this exciting post.

Kind Regards,

Dafydd Williams
Chair of the Corporation

About Hull College Group

Hull College Group offers over 1,000 courses to over 17,000 students every year from its two college campuses in Hull and Goole.

With programmes available from level 1 through to Master’s level, they offer the widest range of technical and professional qualifications in the region. Their provision includes an outstanding direct entry college for 14-16 year olds, full-time vocational courses, apprenticeships, higher education programmes, and opportunities for adults choosing to return to learning.

The College prides itself on a commitment to preparing students for the world of work, which is why there is so much emphasis on developing employability skills alongside students’ main qualifications. Hull and Goole College students are taught in sector appropriate facilities including hair and beauty salons, a training restaurant, music, dance and recording studios, theatres and workshops – all providing experience of real work settings and the necessary ‘work-ready’ skills to succeed in employment.

Vision: “To be the leading provider of technical and professional education for our communities”

The main campus is located in the heart of the city’s historic old town, with satellite sites at Cannon Street, the Steve Prescott Centre and Portobello Street housing dedicated facilities for motor vehicle, fabrication, sport, public services and construction. Alongside these, there is also the Hull School of Art and Design and the Alex Henderson Building which are dedicated spaces for the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries and the Faculty of Management, Health and Technology.

Hull College Group employees demonstrate energy and resilience, coupled with a genuine commitment to raising the aspirations and educational achievement of young people and adults. The Hull College Group provides an environment that promotes equality for all and celebrates its diverse community.

Over the past few years, the College has experienced significant difficulties focused predominantly on finance, changes in leadership, reputation and quality. With a recently refreshed Corporation Board – and committed leadership team made up of both interim and permanent appointments – an inspirational and experienced Principal & CEO is required to further progress the transformation of the Hull College Group. Whilst significant progress has been made, which has been recognised by the sector’s regulatory bodies, the new Principal & CEO will need to lead continued improvements in the short-term for long-term benefit.

The global pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for the UK and our education sector. Hull College has not lost focus of its improvement journey that it is on to be the leading provider of technical and professional education for its communities. The College is looking for someone that will contribute to achieving this mission as it anticipates and adapts to the challenges brought about by educating during a pandemic.

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the Job Description & Person Specification and please fill out the Equality Monitoring Form.

    If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Sarah Szulczewski | sarahs@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07841 017 043

    Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364 033

    Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

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

    Disabled applicants 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 job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

    We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, color, 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.


    Closing date for applications: 12noon, Monday 2nd November 2020
    Candidates informed of outcome: Friday 6th November 2020
    Preliminary interviews: Tuesday 10th November 2020
    Final interviews: Tuesday 17th November 2020

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

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