One of the largest college groups in the UK has today announced their CEO, Shelagh Legrave, who has worked at the college since 2010, will become the new FE Commissioner. The government made the announcement on the 1st April here.

Replacing Sir Richard Atkins on a permanent basis from October, Legrave said it was a “great privilege” to be appointed the Commissioner, at a time where ‘skills will be vital to rebuilding our economy.’

Sir Richard Atkins, the current FE Commissioner, stepped down as planned on 31 March. Frances Wadsworth has been appointed as interim FE Commissioner until Shelagh starts in post. Frances is currently a Deputy Further Education Commissioner, having previously served as Principal and CEO of Croydon College and East Surrey College.

She continued that the FE Whitepaper made reference to the important part colleges will play in the education and training that will enable social mobility and needs of the employers.

Legrave’s current employer, Chichester College is also in the process of agreeing on a merger with Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, the college hopes to join the Chichester College Group in August 2022, following a selection process overseen by the FE Commissioner’s team.

Commenting on the merger, Legrave said the merge will “create a dynamic organisation to serve the education and training needs of Brighton & Hove, West Sussex and the wider region.”

She continued: “We are committed to maintaining and enhancing the local identities of Brighton MET and Northbrook MET and ensuring local leadership of the campuses, we will work with local stakeholders from the public, private and third sectors to ensure that we meet the needs of the local communities.”

The consultation will take place later in 2021, with the merger creating one of the largest FE groups in England, including colleges in Brighton, Shoreham, Brinsbury, Crawley, Chichester, Haywards Heath and Worthing – with 36,000 students and 2,200 staff members across the sites.

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