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Principal & Chief Executive Officer Telford College

Telford College has been transformed following its merger in 2017. Now, with outstanding finances, Ofsted rated ‘Good’ provision, and plans for expansion and development, the College is looking to appoint a new Principal and Chief Executive Officer to build on the significant successes gained in recent years.

  • Location: Telford, Shropshire
  • Salary: £148,000 (with a commitment to review)

Who we are.

Telford College was formed in 2017 from the merger of Telford College of Arts and Technology, and New College Telford. Following a period of transformation, Telford College is now perfectly placed to deliver, making a significant difference in the lives of the communities we serve.

Our vision is that by 2026, we will be an outstanding educational provider for our community, ensuring that students achieve positive outcomes aligned with high aspirations. Through collaborative engagement, we support employers to have the required skills needed to develop and grow their workforce.

Our growing range of Employer Hubs promote greater collaboration with key employers and open up exciting new career opportunities for students. Our plans for a town centre presence, including a new Digital and Maths Hub in Telford’s ‘Station Quarter’, the build of our new Sixth Form Centre to offer access to students living in the south of the borough, and our £1.8m investment in our main campus, will all help to upskill the workforce. This will provide access to both knowledge and technically-based curriculum opportunities and make the borough more appealing to inward investors.

Telford College reflects the community in which we are situated. Telford is a vibrant and growing town with a blend of social deprivation set against more affluent areas. The Borough of Telford and Wrekin is one of the fastest growing communities in the country, due to significant investment in the area and the development of affordable housing because of our excellent transport links.

We are ambitious for our community and recognise our role in providing aspirational routes for our students, regardless of their starting point with us or their background. We engage well with large employers in the region, across both the public and private sectors, as well as providing training solutions for our SME partners.

Our flexible curriculum, with its blended learning model, takes full advantage of emerging technology. Each year, we engage with more than 2,000 young people, 700 apprentices and 3,000 adult learners across our college. Academic and technical pathways are focused on providing a workforce that is fit for the future, making our students highly sought-after by employers, universities and the community.

To provide excellent progression routes for our students into higher education, we have developed pathway opportunities with institutions including Keele University and Harper Adams University.

We have worked tirelessly to lay strong foundations and thanks to the fantastic work of our staff and students, Telford College is now perfectly placed to look forward to a dynamic, ambitious and sustainable future.

More information about our strategic framework and priorities over the coming years can be found here.

Learn more about Telford here.

About the role.

We have created an inclusive yet aspirational culture for our students at Telford College, and this hard work was reflected on in our last Ofsted inspection.

Our expert leadership team, some of whom are relatively new in post, continue to foster open and trusting relationships with our 400 employees.

They also ensure our dual focus remains on quality of education, financial strength and resilience during a period of infrastructure investment and curriculum development.

Following the news of our current Principal and CEO’s intention to step down from his position later this year, the Board of Governors has taken time to reflect on the opportunity to appoint Graham Guest’s successor as Principal and CEO – and the ultimate custodian of our successful college.

What feels important to us is appointing a Principal and CEO who is as ambitious as us, and someone who can quickly assimilate how important our growth and development is to the borough we serve and the students we educate and enable.

Our current strategy will take us through to 2026 and so this appointment comes at an opportune time when a new Principal and CEO can continue to foster excellent relationships with major stakeholders of that strategy, whilst beginning to formulate the next iteration of our organisation’s evolution.

We anticipate the progress we have made to date not stopping and so we welcome a visionary Principal and CEO, well connected to the further education sector and constantly aware of opportunities to maximise funding and strategic partnerships which add value to our offer.

Upon joining us as Principal and CEO, you will find a talented and hard-working senior leadership team whose members are devoted to their work and considered experts in their field of specialism. We also expect you will appreciate the relationship that exists between the Board of Governors and the leaders of the College; a dynamic that feels supportive, professional and constructively honest.

As Principal and CEO, we expect you to provide expert leadership to the senior team and expert advice to the Board of Governors. You will work collaboratively with both groups and ensure that the pace of quality enhancement, innovation and financial improvement, set alongside community and stakeholder reputation, continues to improve at the expected level.

Who we are looking for.

At Telford College, we need our next Principal and CEO to complement our existing leadership team by being an inspirational and visible leader with highly effective people leadership and influencing skills.

We believe that for our organisation to continue to flourish and realise the ambitions we believe we are capable of achieving, the person appointed as our next Principal and CEO will need to be a proven FE sector leader – well-versed in the nuances of our sector, its policies, funding methodologies and curriculum specialisms.

We welcome interest from candidates with experience gained at an executive level, though remain open and interested to hear from senior leaders who have developed their career through a broad and varied career background in the sector.

We require someone who has the dynamism and confidence to lead as the 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 strategic and curriculum planning 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 in managing major stakeholder relations and acting as a lead ambassador and spokesperson for your organisation.

You will know the importance of engaging businesses and organisations such as the local authority, major employers, other large publicly-funded institutions including the NHS and Chambers of Commerce – and have experience engaging these partners previously.

Externally, you will be considered an expert on how a successful and community-focused college can add value to the local areas 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, known, and accessible.

We need someone to work with our Board of Governors to devise a new strategy and add value to it. You will promote a sense of stability and a continuation of the ever-evolving 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 your welcoming and approachable style of leadership that encourages a mutual focus on high performance and fair reward.

Our vision is that by 2026, we will be an outstanding educational provider for our community, ensuring that students achieve positive outcomes aligned with high aspirations. Through collaborative engagement, we support employers to have the required skills needed to develop and grow their workforce.

Telford College is committed to demonstrating active pursuit of equity, diversion and inclusion for both students and our staff. We have a renewed EDI Policy and an active EDI staff working group and will require all candidates to demonstrate how, through their own personal and professional lives, they support and engage in activities that improve opportunities for all.

Benefits of working with Telford College include:

  • Access to TPS or LGPS
  • 37 days annual leave plus bank holidays and Christmas closure days (the latter are not contractual)
  • Support with relocation expenses will be considered.

Peridot Partners and Telford 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:

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

Dan Baxterdan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

Education recruitment with Drew Richardson-Walsh

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Drew Richardson-Walsh

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Welcome from the Chair of the Board of Governors

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in becoming the next Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Telford College. We welcome your application.

These are incredibly exciting and ambitious times for the College as we strive to deliver the skills that local businesses require through a highly innovative curriculum.

We are very proud of the College’s standing in the local community since its creation in 2017, from the merger of Telford College of Arts and Technology and New College Telford.

It is the role of the Principal and CEO to build on the strong partnerships we have created. Telford is full of talented people, and we need to work together to help retain their important skills in the town.

We will soon be opening a brand-new base in the heart of Telford town centre’s new Station Quarter to deliver maths and digital skills – shortly to be followed by a new sixth form centre.

Meanwhile, our Wellington campus is being repurposed and refitted to become a technical and vocational centre of excellence.

Huge investment in university-standard facilities means we can pave the way for careers in more than 70 different industries, opening up a world of possibilities.

These projects are very exciting for both the College and the local area, and will require the successful candidate to have an understanding of projects of this scale, and the ability to influence and manage many key stakeholders.

They will be expected to ensure that key areas of risk are understood and managed so that our College – rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in its latest inspection – can deliver all of its strategic outcomes.

Telford College has established itself as a key partner for both public and private sector organisations, including local authorities and universities, and the successful applicant will be expected to continue and build on this important work.

This will involve establishing and nurturing effective partnerships with employers, schools, local authorities, chambers of commerce, and other key local stakeholders to make a significant contribution to economic growth and regeneration in Telford & Wrekin.

We believe that learning should be challenging, rewarding and fun. Promoting and protecting an atmosphere where students can feel safe and supported is another vital part of this role.

As Principal and CEO, you will work with the Corporation in delivering and developing our strategic objectives, which in turn will inspire the excellent team of staff to ensure the College continues to grow.

The values of Telford College place students at the heart of everything, so they can achieve positive outcomes aligned to high aspirations.

We look forward to hearing how you believe you can lead our dedicated and dynamic team on our journey to ‘Outstanding’.

With best wishes,

Gail Bleasby

Accessibility information

Telford College respects its obligation and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion; this is reflected within the College’s mission and core values and is entwined within everything that we do.

As part of this pledge, we aim to:

  • Eliminate or minimise disadvantages experienced by individuals due to their protected characteristics.
  • Encourage and support individuals with shared and protected characteristics to participate in College community and student life especially where participation is disproportionately lower.

We work to create and maintain an inclusive College community where:

  • People are treated with dignity and respect.
  • Inequalities are challenged.

We anticipate and respond positively to different needs and circumstances to ensure everyone can achieve their potential.

We offer the following amenities:

  • 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.

Further information

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.

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

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

Dan Baxterdan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

    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 “Telford 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:

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

    Dan Baxterdan@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07939 994524

    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 that 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: 12 p.m. Wednesday 10th April 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: By 5 p.m. on Friday 12th April 2024
    First stage interviews: Monday 22nd April 2024
    Second stage interviews: Monday 29th April 2024

    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Telford 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 practices. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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