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Bath College has appointed a new Principal and Chief Executive to take over leadership of the college in the early autumn.
 

Laurel Penrose will take up her post on the senior management team following Matt Atkinson’s departure at the end of August.
 

Mr Atkinson, who has led the college since August 2007, is leaving to set up a business offering leadership support to education providers.
 

Mrs Penrose is currently the Deputy Chief Executive and Deputy Principal at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College (NWHC) and South Leicestershire College (SLC).
 

Before this, she was Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality across the partnership, leading the development of a vocational curriculum working with employers and universities.
 

Mrs Penrose said: “It is an honour to have been appointed as Principal and Chief Executive of Bath College.
 

“I have already experienced the warmth of the college’s welcome and been delighted to hear the positive views of students concerning the support and delivery given by staff.
 

“It was a pleasure to walk around the college and experience the confidence and enthusiasm of colleagues. I am really looking forward to working with staff to further progress the college and build on current good practices.”
 

During her time at NWHC and SLC, Mrs Penrose acted as the quality nominee for five Ofsted inspections, working to improve success rates to put the college in the top 15 per cent of colleges nationally.
 

She led the creation of a rapidly expanding secondary school academies chain, of which she is now director.
 

In addition, Mrs Penrose worked to develop an enterprise zone training centre in engineering and an advanced engineering centre, receiving bids totalling £11 million from the LEP and local authority.
 

As Principal and Chief Executive for Bath College, she will oversee plans for a £3.3 million state of the art construction skills centre at the Somer Valley Campus in Radstock.
 

Mrs Penrose said: “I had the benefit of walking around the Somer Valley campus last week and the potential for this provision is evident.
 

“The securing of funds to build a new construction skills centre is a significant step towards fortifying growth in this vocational area.
 
“I am looking forward to working with the senior management team to realise this great opportunity.”
 

Carole Stott, Chair of the Board of Governors at Bath College, said: “I am looking forward to Laurel joining Bath College and working with the staff and the board to build on the excellent work of Matt Atkinson.
 

“She brings many years of experience in further education, including senior leadership in a large college group. Laurel will continue to build the college’s strong partnerships across our community.
 

“I know that all staff will want to join with me and all the governors in congratulating Laurel on her appointment and welcoming her warmly to the college on her arrival later this year.”

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