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College's new principal has high hopes for the future
A NEW principal appointed at Stockton Riverside College aims to make the centre an outstanding provider of education and training.
Phil Cook returnes to his native North-East to take up the reins at Stockton Riverside College after working at Barnsley College where he was Deputy Principal from May 2006.
At Barnsley Phil transformed this previously struggling college into a centre which Ofsted awarded the best Outstanding General FE College inspection grade in the country.
Originally from Sunderland, Phil Cook's career began with nine-years' service in the Royal Navy.
In 1991 he entered the education sector and quickly became Deputy Managing Director of a large private training provider in the South West of England. Phil, a father-of-two, has spent the last 20 years in educational leadership, with positions at East Devon, Kendal and Carlisle Colleges, before moving to Barnsley. Through the past two decades Phil has gained a national reputation for transforming colleges, raising standards and improving the learning experience for students and businesses. Phil said: "One of the main reasons I am so passionate about education is because I know, first-hand, how powerful it is. I know education and training can transform lives and open up endless opportunities; working in the FE sector is a privilege."
Of his new role at SRC, Phil said: "Our first priority must be, and always will be, our students. We must ensure our students have a fantastic experience and that they achieve the qualifications and skills needed to enable them to have a positive future; both personally and professionally.
"There are amazing people at Stockton Riverside College. I have already been impressed by many of the staff that I have met. They have the passion, energy and drive that will be essential for SRC to become one of the best colleges in the country. The Governors also are truly committed to the College and they bring with them a wealth of experience and skills. I am really looking forward to working with everyone connected with the College and to meeting the businesses, organisations and communities that the College serves." Of the recent Ofsted inspection, Phil Cook said: "Ofsted inspections are springboards for the future. The recent Ofsted report recognises SRC's improvements and will help us to focus and prioritise further improvements. "To be outstanding we must ensure that everything SRC does is tailored to meet the needs of our students, businesses and communities; that we deliver exceptional teaching and learning, with absolute focus on the student - there lies our challenge and I believe it is a challenge that college governors and staff are up for."
SRC's Chair of Governors, Steve Cossins, said: "We are delighted to welcome Phil to Stockton Riverside College. We are looking forward to supporting and working with him to successfully achieve the College becoming what the students, staff and people of Stockton and surrounding areas deserve; one of the best. I strongly believe that with the drive, experience and skills which Phil brings with him, we will be able to work with governors, staff and students in making SRC the best possible experience for all our current and future students."
To find out more about SRC and SRC Bede Sixth Form visit stockton.ac.uk or call 01642 865566
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