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New Management Team to Lead New College Group

The East Sussex College Group, the new group formed by the merger between Sussex Coast College Hastings and Sussex Downs College, has appointed a new management team.

6 new senior staff have been appointed and will form the Group’s Senior Management Team, along with CEO, Clive Cooke. The new management structure will take the newly formed Group forward and be responsible for ensuring that the quality and standards of all its provision will meet or exceed the South East and national averages.

A national selection process, which was led and managed by FE Associates, helped the Group to fill the six roles across the organisation.

James Sharpe, Rebecca Conroy, and Fred Carter have been appointed as Principals of the Hastings, Eastbourne, and Lewes campuses respectively. Tim Hulme has been appointed as Executive Director of Resources, Biram Desai has been appointed as Chief Finance Officer, and Dan Shelley has been appointed as Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships and Engagement.

Henry Ball, Chair of East Sussex College Group, said: “We are delighted to have appointed our new Senior Management Team following a rigorous external recruitment process. We believe we have found the right blend of expertise and experience in order to take the new college group forward. This also shows our commitment to improving outcomes for our learners, serving our communities, and providing work-ready candidates for employers across the county.”

Clive Cooke, CEO of East Sussex College Group added: “I am pleased that the national recruitment exercise has resulted in the appointment of a really strong leadership team and I look forward to building a strong college that will meet its ambitions to be the skills engine room for East Sussex.”

James, Biram, and Dan began their roles on 29th March 2018, Fred started on 16th April 2018, while Tim is due to start on 1st May, and Rebecca will join on 8th May 2018.

Last week, East Sussex College Group announced the completion of the merger and outlined its intentions to significantly contribute to the economic and social regeneration of East Sussex and the wider region. It plans to do this by enhancing and deepening strategic partnerships with Local Authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), schools, employers, universities and other local providers.

Profile of new Senior Team:
Biram Desai – Chief Finance Officer

Biram is a current Vice Principal at Sussex Coast College and is a qualified chartered accountant, who is on the national College Finance Directors Group. He has been in the sector since 2005, and previously worked in a wide range of sectors including aviation, travel, defence and computer games, having started his career as an engineering apprentice.

Tim Hulme – Executive Director Resources and Organisational Development

Tim brings extensive experience of implementing transformational change and reform in complex organisations gained from both the public, private and charity sectors. He has worked in a number of FE colleges over the years and as a qualified building surveyor he comes with excellent knowledge and experience in estates and asset strategies.

Jim Sharpe – Principal, Sussex Coast College and University Centre

Jim has been teaching and managing in schools and colleges for over 20 years, starting his career as a science teacher. After working in both the private and state sector, he joined Sussex Coast College eight years ago and has worked successfully across the College’s provision. He was most recently the nominee for the College’s successful Ofsted inspection.

Fred Carter – Principal, Lewes & Eastbourne Sixth Form College

Fred comes with over 20 years of experience in the FE sector, most recently gained at North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) where he has held the position of Vice Principal since 2012. In addition he has invaluable experience as an Ofsted Inspector. Fred started his career as a Physics teacher and comes with a wealth of A Levels and Academic excellence.

Rebecca Conroy – Principal, Eastbourne and Lewes Professional and Technical College

Rebecca joins from Greater Brighton Metropolitan College where she has been the Vice Principal with a wide range of responsibilities including, but not limited to, safeguarding, work experience, Additional Learning Support and Student Services. She has been the strategic lead for the whole student journey from recruitment through to final destination. Rebecca has worked in education since 1997.

Dan Shelley – Executive Director Strategic Partnerships & Engagement

Dan is a current Vice Principal at Sussex Coast College and has successfully led on significantly growing Ofsted graded Good Apprenticeship delivery, establishing the University Centre Hastings and successfully led external partnerships and relationships, marketing and International business for the college since joining from City College Brighton & Hove in August 2012. Dan has worked in education, social and economic regeneration in the Sussex area for over 15 years.

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