Dr Paul joined Weston College in 2001. Since then, the College has undergone a dramatic transformation, progressing from below average academic results and poor financial security to achieving Ofsted 'outstanding' in 2013 and being named 'College of the Year' and 'Overall FE Provider of the Year' at the 2015 TES awards.
Dr Paul has worked at four Further Education colleges over 22 years and has a wealth of experience and a history of academic excellence in maths, economics, law and statistics. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for his services to Further Education and the voluntary sector.
His responsibilities for the Weston College Group include the overall management of the College and the strategic direction of the organisation, which has seen its annual turnover increase from £9 million in 2001 to more than £50 million. The group now includes a multi-academy trust and a university centre.
Dr Paul is involved in many projects within the community including being a Governor at Herons' Moor Academy, a board member of the North Somerset Partnership and a non-executive member of the Primary Care Trust. Dr Paul is Secretary to the Western Principals Group for the West of England and the Principals’ Professional Council lead for the South West. Most recently Dr Paul was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by Bath Spa University for his services to Further Education and the development of Higher Education courses.
Dr Paul’s background includes high profile roles in both business and education and he regularly contributes to developments in Further Education both regionally and nationally. His involvement in the FE sector is significant and he represents the South West Colleges at the Association of Colleges London Board as well as leading on many regional issues regarding funding and support.
Before the Whitson holiday, I was (like most of my colleagues) exhausted, and when I walked around the College I could see the strain on the faces of staff. The reasons are multifaceted, but they reflect the sheer diversity of what we do and the clever game now is to keep all of the plates spinning...
Meagre is an interesting word, it means deficient in amount or quality or extent. It is a frightening word for Further Education in particular because there is meagre understanding of our sector, meagre allocation of funding and meagre attention to the implications of the massive magnitude of change being thrown at the sector.
I interviewed a candidate for a Lecturer in Health & Social Care this week. She had no teaching experience, a wealth of industrial experience but moreover a passion to engage students. The interview was a pleasurable experience on feedback from both the panel and the candidate.
September is here again and already the College environment is manic as students of all ages descend upon us – some aged 16 and straight from school or academy, others using FE as a stepping stone in their life and career options, and others simply exploring what we have to offer...