Richard Atkins CBE appointed as new FE Commissioner.

‘Richard Atkins has been confirmed as the new further education commissioner.

The former principal of Exeter and Yeovil colleges, past Association of Colleges (AoC) president and current chair of AoC Sport will take over from Sir David Collins when he retires in November, the Department for Education has announced. Under his leadership, Exeter College was named college of the year in the TES FE Awards 2012. He is also a former judge for the awards.

The government has also appointed Steve Hutchinson, Cindy Rampersaud and Andrew Tyley as deputy FE commissioners, joining John Hogg and David Williams. According to the DfE, Marilyn Hawkins has confirmed that she will step down as deputy commissioner after leading the completion of the area review process in London.

The FE commissioner not only heads the area review programme, but also leads the commissioner intervention process to drive improvement in colleges. This includes cases where colleges fail an Ofsted inspection, or are found to be financially inadequate.’ - TES

‘Mr Atkins said he was “delighted and honoured” to be appointed the new FE Commissioner.

“I am keen to build on the work that Sir David Collins and his team have begun over the past 2 years, and to work with colleagues in colleges to develop a high-quality and financially sustainable network of colleges across England which provide the very best technical and professional education for learners, employers and local communities,” he said.

Sir David congratulated Mr Atkins’ on his appointment, and said: “Richard will bring extensive experience of further education and skills training to the role and I am confident this will prove invaluable in continuing the work of the commissioner. I welcome him to the role.”

Apprenticeships minister Robert Halfon joined Sir David in congratulating Mr Atkins.
He said: “High-quality further education colleges are engines of social mobility, creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds to get the skills they need to succeed.

“In Exeter and Yeovil, Richard has demonstrated that he is an exceptional leader.

“I am confident that he will use his skills to improve delivery and unlock opportunities for learners across the country to go further in learning and their careers.” ‘ - FE Week

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