Principal and Chief Executive - Blackburn College

AoC Create Executive Recruitment
Competitive salary
14 Apr 2018
18 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Blackburn College is one of the UK’s largest and most successful colleges, and sector-leading in its curriculum development, delivery and relevance to employer needs. It is in the process of implementing a performance improvement action plan as part of its journey to bring its Ofsted rating for its FE provision back to good and ultimately outstanding. We have c13,000 students across Further and Higher Education and Work Based Learning, upwards of 1000 staff and a turnover of c£43m. We provide a broad range of programmes, from Study Programmes through to Higher Education, delivered in a large newly built, world-class environment. While 50% of our revenue is from Further Education, 39% is contributed by Higher Education programmes.

Blackburn College is seeking to appoint a visionary strategic leader as Principal and Chief Executive. The ideal candidate will have the focus, motivation and capability to define the shape, size and direction of the College in relation to the development and delivery of its curriculum, whilst maintaining financial sustainability and being true to its vision, mission and values and its service to its communities.

The post holder will be a passionate advocate of education and skills and will be committed to ensuring the delivery of outstanding teaching and learning throughout all aspects of the College’s provision.

The post holder will continue to develop our relationships with Universities of international standing, including our validating partners. We consider our approach to be sector-leading. At the same time, we have interfaces with national and international business, and our community focus means that we are committed to developing further our presence around Blackburn and Darwen and in conjunction with key stakeholders including the local authority. A requirement will be to ensure the College continues to meet the demands of stakeholders and, above all, students and continue to transform the lives of individuals, heightening our impact on business and communities, whilst delivering high-quality provision.

The Post

The new Principal and Chief Executive will have overall responsibility for the College and its strategic direction with both an internal and external facing role. The post holder will be required to manage at scale in such a way as to sustain financial performance amid increased competition whilst overseeing the delivery, of excellent performance across the whole portfolio of the College’s activities.

Promoting excellence in teaching, learning and assessment and maintaining and creating key strategic partnerships which bring new opportunities for learners and our stakeholders will be an essential part of the role.

The Person

Applications are invited from experienced professionals from across the full spectrum of FE and HE institutions and agencies and must have relevant experience and perspective. The ideal person will need to be a strong inspirational leader, an advocate of high-quality teaching and learning and have high credibility within the College and amongst the College’s validating partners. Above all, they must have a successful track record gained as a leader of a large Further Education College, Higher Education Institution, a training provider or any other commercial organisation which shares similar values to Blackburn College.

For an informal discussion please contact Bernie Cullen, at or 020 7034 2631.

About the Area

Blackburn with Darwen is set within miles of magnificent countryside with vibrant landscapes, rugged moorland, ancient woodlands and tranquil reservoirs. The great outdoors surrounding Blackburn with Darwen offer a full range of outdoor activities including walking and cycle routes, heritage and nature trails, and outdoor attractions including parkland, the West Pennine Moors, canal-side walks and the nearby 250-acre Brockholes nature reserve. Blackburn with Darwen is within 30 minutes’ drive of significant visitor attractions including the Forest of Bowland, a recognised Area of Outstanding Beauty. The Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks and Arnside and Silverdale Area of Natural Beauty can be accessed in around 60 minutes driving time.

The closing date for applications is 9 am on Friday 11 May 2018

Scheduled Dates for Assessment Centre: Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 June 2018 and applicants must be available for both days.

As an individual, you will be committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Blackburn College values diversity and is committed to creating a diverse workforce

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