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Bridget Boreham, the Principal of Bexley College, has announced that she is leaving the College, following a 6-year term in charge and 13 years service as a lecturer and manager before that.

Ms Boreham has decided to take a 3-month career break to go travelling before returning to consider approaches to take on other employment or consultancy opportunities in the Further Education and skills sector.

The Principal informed the governors of the College some time ago that if the College were to enter into a merger agreement with Greenwich and Lewisham colleges, she would not put herself forward as a candidate to become the Principal of the new "super college" for south east London, even though she is very positive about the expected benefits of the proposed amalgamation.

The governors have still to decide formally whether they wish Bexley College to form part of the merger which would be effective from August 2008, but Ms Boreham has decided that the College's interests would be best served if she made her future plans clear at this time. She and the Board of Governors are entirely confident that the deputy principal, David Gleed, and the rest of the senior management team have the requisite skills and experience to run the College very effectively and in the best interests of the students and staff during the next academic year 2007-08.

Bexley College has worked hard in the past five years to make its training services attractive to regional and local employers. Last year, for example, the global cosmetics giant L"Oréal signed a training course agreement with the College's hair and beauty department, while the likes of the Crown Prosecution Service, local NHS Trusts and MITIE Engineering are also customers of Transform Skills service for employers.

Ms Boreham will leave the College with a financial surplus on its end-year balance sheet despite recent cuts in the government's adult learning budgets.

Commenting on her impending departure from the College, Bridget Boreham said: "I would like to thank the governors, staff and students of Bexley College for the wonderful support that they have given me over the past six years and for their hard work in making the College a valued place of learning that can transform the lives of members of our local community. I leave happy knowing that the College is ready to make a full contribution to meeting the skills needs of south east London and north Kent in future years."

Michael Clark, the Chair of Governors, said: "Bridget's leadership of Bexley College has been steadfast, cheerful and extremely effective since she became Principal in challenging financial circumstances. The governors and I are very grateful for her steering the College into a position where it plays a vital role in offering education and training opportunities in the Borough of Bexley. We wish Bridget well for the future."

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