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City of Bristol College appoints new Principal and Chief Executive Officer

City of Bristol College is delighted to announce the appointment of Julia Gray as our new Principal and Chief Executive Officer. Julia is currently Acting Principal and CEO at Calderdale College and an Ofsted inspector, and will join City of Bristol College on 1 January 2023.

Julia has worked in the FE sector for more than twenty years and has been responsible for the writing, delivery and leadership of all the different provision types in that time, from entry-level programmes to master’s degrees. Julia began her FE career working in land-based teaching within her specialist subject of equine studies, and moved into urban general FE at leadership level, where she felt completely at home serving a diverse community on the doorstep of the College. She has had leadership responsibility for professional services teams including Human Resources, has had Designated Safeguarding Lead responsibility for the last five years, and has an excellent understanding of the broad workings of a further education college beyond the delivery of the curriculum. Julia is passionate about FE and the difference it can make to the lives of the communities it serves.

As a serving Ofsted inspector with ten years’ experience, Julia has an excellent understanding of quality in FE and how changing external measures impact the day-to-day running of a college.

Julia commented “I am thrilled to be joining City of Bristol College as Principal and CEO in January 2023. The College and the city are vibrant and dynamic places, and I am looking forward to moving to the city and getting to know the students, staff and stakeholders at the heart of the College“. 

The College’s Chair of Governors, Peter Rilett, said “I am pleased to announce that after a very robust recruitment process involving staff, students and external stakeholders, we have appointed Julia Gray to be our new Principal and CEO.  The Governing Body was impressed by Julia’s drive, vision and commitment to the highest quality of teaching and educational experience”.

Peter added, “I would like to thank Rich Harris for his hard work over the last academic year as CEO and Acting Principal. Rich will return to his Deputy CEO role with effect from 1 August 2022. Diane Dimond, a current member of the College’s Senior Leadership Team and respected former FE Principal and CEO, will take over at the helm as Interim Principal & CEO until Julia’s arrival”.

Diane commented, “I am delighted to take over the role of Interim Principal and CEO during the transition period to Julia’s arrival. I am very much looking forward to continuing to work with our dedicated staff and governors and our inspiring students, to meet the needs of the city and the communities we serve.”

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