Principal's First 100 Days At EDC

The new boss of high-achieving East Durham College has spoken to the Hartlepool Mail about his first 100 days at the helm.

Stuart Wesselby took over at the College in April from Mr Ian Prescott.

Mr Wesselby has looked back over his first 100 days in the post and says although there are testing times ahead in education, given the economic climate, he is looking forward to the challenge.

The married father-of-three said:”There are a lot of things still ongoing. But my main aim is to make this college an outstanding college.”

“We are looking at all quality systems and the way we can raise learner achievement and success rates at the College.”

Mr Wesselby, who is originally from Grantham, in Lincolnshire, put together a 100-day plan of objectives he hoped to achieve within his first three months, which he showed to the College governors.

These included an initiative to improve communication between staff, which involves the Principal’s Blog, a new staff newsletter (called In-The-Loop) and a conference for the 500 staff which will take place on 16th July.

Another was effective ways to engage with stakeholders, including schools, universities, other colleges and the Young People’s Learning and Skills Funding Agency and Mr Wesselby has managed to visit the majority of people with an interest.

Mr Wesselby has also introduced a new college reporting system, which tracks the progress of learners and staff.

He has also been ensuring the College is delivering value for money. Mr Wesselby said: “It’s a fantastic college with a fantastic new building and great facilities.

“I come from a sporting background and the College’s sports facilities were a really strong pull as it is one of the strongest for sport in the North East and one of the first to develop the sports academy concept.

“I feel very excited about the future. Mr Prescott did a fantastic job in the past 15 years. Just getting a new building was an achievement in itself.

“The big challenge will be the funding shortage and all the colleges in the region face an uncertain future. We have to start planning now to face these challenges and make the College future-proof to what lies ahead.”

Mr Wesselby has also attended the Houses of Parliament, when he took part in a reception for the Association of Colleges.

Mr Wesselby’s previous roles include Deputy Principal at Tresham College, in Northamptonshire, and Vice Principal at Huntington College, in Cambridgeshire.