Troubleshooter tells of college challenges

Big challenges lie ahead for Wolverhampton College if standards are to be raised, according to the man who has taken the helm.

JOHNHOGG3AE20

John Hogg has been brought in as temporary principal to help turn the college’s fortunes around.

His appointment comes after it was rated inadequate by Ofsted. He will be in charge until at least July 2013 and today said he aims to bring “stability” and “optimism” to the college. The interim principal added the future was bright for staff and students if the basics are done right.

Mr Hogg replaced previous principal Ian Milliard who retired in July. In March Ofsted released a damning report judging the college as inadequate and it was given a year to improve.

Mr Hogg said: “I realise there are big challenges that lie ahead.

“My plan is to create a situation where the college can face the future with confidence.”

Ofsted inspectors criticised the college, which has about 15,000 students, for the number of youngsters that were dropping out.

Mr Hogg said staff had been “vigorous” this year to ensure that students join the most suitable courses.

And he added that one of his main tasks was to “consolidate the financial future of the college”.

He said: “I want the college to become the first choice provider of education.

“We know it won’t be instant but if students can experience the support that staff are giving, then their futures will be bright.”

Before Wolverhampton, Mr Hogg worked at Handsworth College in Birmingham and Middlesbrough College where he helped turn things around financially.

Earlier this month the college decided to scrap some of its GCSE courses.

Mr Hogg denied it was a “knee jerk” decision, instead claiming the courses had no place at the college any more and were not preparing students properly for getting jobs when they finish.