Message from Philip Parkinson, Chair of Governors

I am delighted and honoured to be taking up the position of Chair of Governors for the next two academic years (2022-2024), following the outstanding leadership of Stuart Dawkins, who completed his second term as Chair at the end of last academic year. You can see Stuart’s retrospective on his time as Chair here, and it is has been a pleasure to serve as a Governor, Vice Chair and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee under Stuart’s leadership.

I am also delighted that Joyce Black has been appointed for a further academic year as Vice Chair of Governors and I look forward to continue working with her in my new role as Chair.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both Joyce and Stuart for their joint award this summer from the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) for their contribution to outstanding College governance.

WQE has a committed and passionate board of Governors serving the College and you can see the breadth of skills and experience the Governors bring to the governance of the College here.  I will try to be inclusive and encouraging of new and existing Governors and to add further expertise to our governing body when required or when offered.

We hope that now that the worst of Covid appears to be behind us, current students will have a more settled and rewarding experience.  To those who endured the incredible restrictions and difficulties during the pandemic we extend our congratulations on the splendid results and wish them all well on whatever path they choose.

We must not forget those who remain!!  The staff, academic and support, faced the same restrictions and difficulties.  To all of them the Governors extend their very grateful thanks.

The College faces some daunting challenges as the political and educational landscape evolves.  Financial pressures will continue to dominate.  We must face and rise to those challenges and continue to work to improve every aspect of the student experience.  We, as Governors, are determined to do our part in making WQE “the place to go” with the finest facilities and opportunities.

Our vision for the estate is to have a campus where each “faculty” has its own identity and location., where students feel safe and secure, where they can work, play and grow.  The work continues this summer and we, as Governors, will play our part in delivering the whole project as quickly as resources allow.

My association, and that of my family, with the College and its predecessors goes back to the very dawn of the 20th Century and it is a huge privilege to continue to serve the College in the 21st.

I am always interested in the views of the many stakeholders in the future success of the College. If you would like to get in touch with me for any reason, then please do so via Rachel Middleton, Clerk to the Corporation, at rachel.middleton@wqe.ac.uk I look forward to bringing you more reflections on our work and priorities via our website and social media channels throughout my tenure as Chair. Thank you for your support.

Philip Parkinson

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