Wednesday, October 17, 2018

News: College chief exec steps down

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John Connolly, the principal and chief executive of the RNN Group, has decided to take a step down from his day to day activities with immediate effect.

Deputy principal, Phil Sayles left earlier this year.

The organisation has completed two mergers in recent years and now incorporates Rotherham College, North Notts College and Dearne Valley College. Last month RNN Group opened its new the £10.5m HE campus in Rotherham town centre.

Connolly was previously the principal of North Notts College and became the first chief executive of the RNN Group in 2016. At the time, the principal and chief executive of Rotherham College, Gill Alton OBE, moved back to become chief executive of the Grimsby Institute, where she previously held the position of vice principal.

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In a statement, the RNN Group said: "John Connolly has considered for some time whether he is the right person to take the RNN Group on to the next stage of the group's journey. After discussion with the Board and by mutual agreement, John will take a step down from his day to day activities with immediate effect.

"John will continue to work with the Board during this transitional period, which will allow the Board to identify the right individual with the skills and attributes to lead the Group forward to achieve its strategic ambition of becoming one of the UK's leading Further Education Colleges.

"The Board and members of the senior leadership team would like to publicly acknowledge and thank John for his contribution, commitment, professionalism and achievement in bringing the RNN Group together, and creating an organisation with a solid platform on which it can continue to develop and build.

"The RNN Group and its colleges remain focused on its students, their education and ensuring they receive an inspirational experience."

The group added that it had "successfully navigated a period of significant growth and change, all against a backdrop of a very difficult and challenging political and funding landscape."

Minutes from March's board meeting of the RNN Group revealed that an initial draft budget for 2018/19 indicated a loss of £1.3m. Income had declined mainly due to a reduction in 16-18 numbers, a shortfall in Apprenticeships, and lower than expected HE enrolments.

A three year plan for the group is being developed. HE and Apprenticeships had been identified as key areas for growth.

Having played a key role in Rotherham College attaining its best ever Ofsted grade in 2013, last month, Phil Sayles was announced as the new principal and chief executive of Selby College.

RNN Group website

Images: RNN Group

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