From education to employment

Stephen Criddle of South Devon College wins Finance Director of the Year

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), in partnership with the Association of Colleges (AoC), has announced Stephen Criddle, Deputy Principal of South Devon College, as College Finance Director of the Year.

Stephen joined South Devon College in January 2003 and has overseen the entire relocation of the college from Torquay to Paignton. The £28 million project involved locating and negotiating for a new site, selling the old campus, securing capital grant support from the LSC and agreeing loan finance with a major bank. Stephen was responsible for formulating the complex business case that delivered operational performance improvement and cost efficiencies.

The award, now in its third year, is designed to promote excellence and good practice in the Further Education sector and recognises and celebrates the achievements of individual College Finance Directors. On receiving the award, Stephen said: “I was surprised and pleased to win the award. South Devon College has really moved on in five years. I”ve enjoyed the part that I”ve played in its transformation.”

Richard Healey, LSC Director of Finance, presented the award. He said: “These awards serve to highlight the impact that a strong Finance Director can have in determining the successful running of a college and in turn its academic performance.”

Bill Rammell, MP Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education said: “Strong financial management skills are vital to the success of any college. Economic excellence for the FE sector as a whole depends on good managers. The workforce is being increasingly professionalised and colleges know that top class teaching and learning has to be matched with top class marketing and a rigorous business focus to meet employers needs”.

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