Bridgwater College principal Fiona McMillan has been appointed president of the Association of Colleges (AoC), effective from 1 August.
Ms McMillan will be replacing Chris Morecroft, who will continue to work with her during the handover period.
Despite challenges posed by national funding cuts and new curriculum initiatives, Ms McMillan remains optimistic about FE’s ability to improve the lives of students and their local communities.
“I see the AoC’s role as supporting and promoting a sector which is creative, responsive and very good value for money,” she said.
“It will be a great honour to represent colleges as AoC President. I’m thrilled to have been elected and look forward to building on the excellent work of my predecessors, Chris Morecroft, Pat Bacon and David Collins.”
Nearly two-thirds of AoC members voted for Ms McMillan in the election, which also included Matt Atkinson, principal of City of Bath College, and Ian Ashman, principal of Hackney Community College, as candidates.
John Bingham, AoC’s Chair, said the vote was a testament to the value its members place on this post as an important element in the work representing and promoting colleges.
“Despite the day-to-day pressures on Principals, it’s gratifying to see candidates of such excellent calibre and this is a further reflection of the esteem in which the role is held,” said Mr Bingham.
During Ms McMillan’s 25 years in FE she has taught in, and later managed, a variety of general FE and tertiary colleges in England and Wales.
She has also represented the interests of colleges in the South West on the AoC Board, chaired the Tertiary College Group, and been actively involved in engaging with politicians and civil servants on behalf of the sector.