A new boss has been appointed to oversee the turnaround of Wolverhampton College after it was criticised by education watchdog Ofsted, it can be revealed today.
Mark Robertson will take over from current interim principal John Hogg on May 1.
Mr Robertson was previously deputy principal at South Staffordshire College for four years and before that he was vice principal for curriculum and quality at Cannock Chase Technical College.
The 53-year-old was picked from a shortlist of six candidates.
He said: “I am very much looking forward to working in Wolverhampton. Colleges are all about their learners and my focus is to ensure everyone who chooses to learn at City of Wolverhampton College has a great experience and gains the skills they need to progress.
“City of Wolverhampton College has a very important role to play in developing a prosperous future for the city and I am looking forward to working with staff and local stakeholders to ensure that the college is best placed to meet the challenges and opportunities which lie ahead.”
Ofsted branded the college inadequate in a report published last March. Eight months later, inspectors said it was making insufficient progress in certain areas. The appointment of Mr Robertson can be revealed after it emerged the college shaved £4.5 million off its staff costs through voluntary redundancies for around 40 staff in a year.
The number of directors has been cut from 13 to nine, and there are now two vice principles instead of the previous four, while the number of GCSE courses were also cut.
The current vice-principals are Sara Nicholson and Paul Polowyj after John Stretton retired and Bhanu Dhir resigned. The changes were led by Mr Hogg, who has been at the college since August last year on an interim basis until the appointment of a new principal. Mr Hogg will leave the organisation after a month-long handover period to Mr Robertson.
Mr Hogg said: “I am delighted Mark is taking over the baton at the beginning of May. The college has, of necessity, been somewhat inward-looking over the past year as it seeks to recover its financial position.” The college has around 15,000 students spread across campuses in Paget Road, Compton, and Wellington Road in Bilston as well as Metro One in the city centre, Newhampton Arts Centre in Whitmore Reans, a campus in Telford and a hair training academy in Worcester.