College head explains quit decision

The outgoing head of Sussex Coast College has explained her decision to leave.

Sue Middlehurst became principal in 2006 and in her four years in charge has overseen the move to the new campus in Station Plaza, the development of the new site in Ore Valley and the re-launch of the sixth form as Academy 6, which achieved a 100 per cent pass rate at A Level last year.

Speaking for the first time since the announcement, Mrs Middlehurst looked back on her tenure with pride.

She said: "I was appointed as principal at Hastings College with the goal of transforming the college and improving its reputation. With its inspirational new build, successful, an oversubscribed Academy 6, and significantly improved reputation I hope that I have gone some way to achieving that aim.

"Of course there is still a lot to do but with the hardworking and inspiring staff and students that we have at the college, I believe this will be achieved."

And she revealed it was the chance to return to the north, as principal of the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, that prompted the difficult decision to leave Hastings.

"An opportunity has arisen for me in the north of England where I have spent most of my life and I am personally delighted to be returning there," she said.

"I have learned a lot from being the principal of Sussex Coast College and the importance of being part of a community and will remember the town with very fond memories. I do, of course, wish the college continued success for the future."

Mrs Middlehurst will leave her current post in December, but the college's governors will advertise the job in September, and hope to have her successor in place by early next year.

Amber Rudd MP was among those keen to pay tribute to Mrs Middlehurst's time at the helm of the college.

She said: "I think she has been a huge asset to this town. The construction and setting up of the new college has been a great success and I am sorry to see her go."