After nine years at Bath College, Principal Matt Atkinson has announced he will be leaving at the end of the academic year, to go on to set up a business offering leadership support services to education providers.
Mr Atkinson, who has led the college since August 2007, joined Bath College from Andover, where he was Acting Principal for 15 months.
Under his leadership, the college has strengthened its reputation, delivered new buildings and, most recently, completed a merger with Norton Radstock College.
Mr Atkinson, who will continue to live in Bath, plans to set up a business offering leadership support services to education providers.
He said: “Leading the college over the past nine years has been the significant highlight of my long career in the college sector.
“The experiences I have had here have been career defining and over my time here I have become very attached to the college and the areas we serve.
“Having led the college into the next phase of its development, I have decided that now is a good time for to pursue new interests in the college sector.
“The college sector is undergoing a period of significant change at the moment and I intend to offer a range of leadership support services to colleges and other organisations to help them deliver strong and effective organisations.
“I am grateful to staff, governors and students for their support in making the college a better place to learn and work.”
Mr Atkinson’s highlights during his career at Bath College include opening the new multi-million pound Roper Building, on James Street West, in 2012.
A year later, the college received its highest inspection rating in six years in an overwhelmingly positive Ofsted report.
Since then, the college has maintained an Ofsted rating of good and has built up links with local businesses, increasing its number of apprenticeship programmes and making sure that students gain key employability skills.
Carole Stott, Chair of the Board of Governors at Bath College, said that the college had gone from strength to strength under Mr Atkinson’s leadership.
She said: “Following the recent successful merger with Norton Radstock College, Matt and the board have developed ambitious plans for the new Bath College. Together we remain committed to delivering on those ambitions.
“The board has discussed the process of appointing Matt’s successor and the post of Principal and Chief Executive will be advertised in April 2016.
“The board’s priorities over the coming year are to continue to embed the merger, deliver the new vision and strategy and ensure the ongoing success of Bath College.
“The board is enormously grateful for Matt’s leadership and commitment to this college. Matt has positioned the college so that it is an essential partner for business and the local communities.
“The quality and reputation that the college now enjoys owes much to his leadership.
“We wish Matt all the best in his next endeavour and are determined to secure someone of equal calibre to lead the college during its next important phase and fulfil our role supporting our local community.”