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Members vote for Dr David Collins to be inaugral President

After winning votes from 60% of British colleges, Dr David Collins, Principal of South Cheshire College, has become the inaugural President of the Association of Colleges.

The new President will be responsible for representing the manifold interests of the sector at high level meetings with Government, department officials, external partners and agencies; influencing policy at the highest levels to improve the life chances of current and future learners and last but not least, working closely with the AoC Chief Executive, Chair, Board and Governors” Council to formulate AoC strategy based on membership engagement and consultation.

Dr. Collins said, “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be able to represent AoC and the sector.”

Dr. Collins, who has a lot of experience on his platter, certainly fits the bill. He was formerly the Vice Principal of Sandwell College, where he developed the ISO 9000 quality assurance standard for colleges; a Head of Department at Redditch College (now North East Worcestershire College) and the Education Co-ordinator at Edinburgh Prison and Young Offenders Institution. He has also acted in interim support roles to five other colleges in recovery situations as well as spending a year as acting Principal at what is now Bolton Community College. South Cheshire College had been named the best college in the country under his tenure following an outstanding Ofsted report.

Out of 396 eligible colleges across the country, 228 colleges (57%) voted for the presidency of Dr. Collins. The other contestant in the running was the Principal of Great Yarmouth College, Robin Parkinson.

John Bingham, Chair of AoC Board, said: “We are delighted to announce the election of David as the first AoC President. He has a well-deserved reputation as a dynamic and visionary leader within further education with a demonstrable record of leading a successful college.”

He pointed out that Dr. Collins, as the new president, will also play the role of an ambassador for AoC and the sector in a bid to boost their overall reputation and relationship-building. One of his priorities will be to champion colleges as a major contributor to the economic and social prosperity of the United Kingdom.

Rinku Chatterjee

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