New principal appointed at Sussex Coast College

Clive Cooke
Clive Cooke

A NEW principal has been appointed at Sussex Coast College to help turn it around following a damning Ofsted report.

Clive Cooke has been given the task of ridding the college of its ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating and transforming its performance.

The Station Plaza complex has been through a turbulent few months after former principal Janak Patel resigned in December in the wake of an Ofsted report criticising leadership and management.

Mr Cooke, who will also act as chief executive officer, will start in his new role on April 1.

He was previously principal at Guildford College in Surrey, a role he was appointed to in May 2004.

Before that he was principal at South Kent College in Tonbridge where he was instrumental in making significant improvements.

He has also worked as a head of learning for the Business Division at Bournemouth and Poole College. Mr Cooke takes over from Bill Grady who has been acting as interim principal since Mr Patel’s departure.

Mr Grady said: “As expected, there were some extremely strong candidates for this high profile role.

“But Clive stood out because of his clear approach to leadership and his understanding of the college and the local community.” Chairman of the College Corporation, Pat Farmer, said: “I am confident that, in selecting Clive, Sussex Coast College has gained an experienced and motivating leader.

“The college intends to transform its performance over the next three years and Clive has demonstrated that he has the ability to lead the team of nearly 500 staff and around 5,000 students throughout this process.”

Mr Cooke said: “Working with the very talented staff at Sussex Coast College, my role is to enable quality learning and teaching so the needs of students are consistently met.

“Each student will be given the opportunity and support to raise their aspirations and fulfil their potential.

“I will build on the college’s many strengths to develop a culture of high standards, where performance and achievement flourish.

“This college has the capacity to grow and to become everything Hastings deserves.”