In the news

June 2, 2000

Change is afoot in the post-16 inspection regime - always a worrying time for those involved.

But Stephen Grix, 43, the man responsible, recently appointed head of Ofsted's post-compulsory education division, has tried to be reassuring. At a meeting of college employers and employees last week, he promised inspection of the college sector would be balanced.

At least his promises are based on experience. Not only has he worked at every level in post-16 education for more than 20 years, he has also spent 14 years as a part-time student.

Once described as "one of the best examples of lifelong learning", he left school at 15 and started work as an apprentice bricklayer. He studied on day-release for his City and Guilds and took an advanced craft certificate before being made a foreman aged 20.

His company supported him through a higher national certificate, which led him into an academic career and a job as a lecturer in brickwork at Bexley College, Kent.

Other teaching posts followed in Barking and Basingstoke Colleges of Technology until in 1990, he became an inspector of post-16 education in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Three years later, he was back at Barking College as deputy principal after a spell as director of curriculum planning and quality assurance.

In 1996, he became principal of Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College in Waltham Forest, northeast London.

Throughout his career, and in spite of involvement in committees including the Further Education Funding Council regional committee for Greater London, the London Sixth Form College Principals' Group and Advisory Panel to the National Audit Office, he has continued with part-time study, acquiring a BEd (Hons) and MSc in management.

He has been a non-executive director of Thameslink Health Trust and a governor of one of his three children's primary schools.

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