Ex-lecturer to head troubled college

June 2, 1995

Derby College Wilmorton has appointed a former lecturer as principal. David Croll left the college in 1983, before it was re-organised as a tertiary college and before the high-profile inquiry which resulted in most of the governors being sacked by Education Secretary Gillian Shephard.

Mr Croll, 42, currently an executive director at Barnsley College, has the immediate challenge of a 9 per cent funding cut mainly due to student recruitment targets being missed by more than 25 per cent.

His appointment comes a year after the Further Education Funding Council called in Warwick University registrar Michael Shattock to investigate claims of irregular management and governance.

"Whatever the difficulties have been in the past, the college has an excellent record for providing first-class education," said Mr Croll. He replaces acting principal Olivia Dean, who will revert to assistant principal, curriculum.

Mr Croll added: "The staff are really high calibre and I see it as a wonderful opportunity. What is important is that all the recommendations of the Shattock report are fully implemented."

The college is to query its cash allocation for next year at a meeting with the FEFC this month. Mr Croll's first task is to carry out an immediate audit of the college's finances. He cannot yet say whether redundancies will be necessary.

His vision for rebuilding student numbers by close co-operation with neighbouring schools and the University of Derby is one he shares with chairman of governors Brian Coxon.

Mr Coxon is another post-Shattock recruit. He has no previous connection with the college and admits he has never read the inquiry report.

"I am very clear as to my role as chairman of governors," said Mr Coxon. We are trying to look forwards. I think it will be a lot better when we get rid of the past from our meetings."

Governors have decided not to rejoin the Colleges' Employers' Forum, which was conspicuous in its support for previous principal Andrew Stromberg when he was under attack for controversial staff restructuring.

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