The college is very pleased to announce that Simon Wright, the former Chair of our Governing Body and current Vice-Chair of the Better Futures Multi-Academy Trust (BFMAT), collected the award for Governance at the Sixth Form Colleges Association’s (SFCA) recent summer conference.
Simon’s chairmanship (2008-2017) started at a particularly challenging time as plans to rebuild the College and co-locate with a local FE provider had fallen through. Parts of the College estate date back to 1880 and the co-location had offered additional space to accommodate increasing student numbers and the provision of 21st century teaching facilities.
It is a testament to Simon’s Chairmanship that he was able to lead the Corporation to develop a new strategy to meet the College’s vision. This direction included successful bids under the Condition Improvement Fund which in turn had a significant impact in supporting the quality improvement agenda. The College has, for example, been able to offer more young people the opportunity to study such subjects as Art & Design, Music and Photography in fit for purpose buildings. Arts is a consistently high performing faculty and receives positive feedback from stakeholders.
The quality improvement agenda remained at the forefront of governance under Simon’s chairmanship. The College had been graded as Satisfactory/Requires Improvement over successive inspections. Drawing on his professional expertise in organisational and culture change, Simon successfully led the Corporation in supporting and challenging the executive leadership teams to improve standards and in 2015 (and again in 2017) the College was graded Good.
Simon led the Corporation, constructively engaging across the sector and within the College, to achieve a positive and exciting outcome from the Area Based Review.
On 1 January 2019, the College became an academy and joined the BFMAT, the first University sponsored MAT with an absolute focus on Sixth Form Education and Sixth Form Colleges in particular. The MAT’s vision is to become a national hub for excellence in 16-19 education, transforming the futures of young people through excellence, innovation and opportunity.
As Vice-Chair of the BFMAT, Simon is now helping to shape the structure and future direction of the BFMAT to strengthen provision to all colleges within the Trust to improve student outcomes and enable them to contribute to each local community. Bilborough College in Nottingham, a high performing sixth form college, will be joining BFMAT by the start of the new academic year.