The appointment of a new principal for Highlands College has been put on hold so that a review can take place into ways of enhancing options for students there and at Hautlieu.
The project will be led by Lesley Toms, the current Head of Hautlieu, who will become Interim Executive Principal of both Highlands and Hautlieu from 1st September this year. It will be a temporary post for a maximum of two years.
Ms Toms and the two management teams will work together to explore closer collaboration between Highlands and Hautlieu. The aim is to give students more opportunities to study a wider range of subjects and different courses, if possible. This is a joint project supported by the governing bodies of both Highlands and Hautlieu.
“It’s a challenging world out there for our young people and we need to be confident that we afford them every opportunity to learn and develop their skills,” said Deputy Patrick Ryan, ESC Minister.
“After Professor Sallis retired we knew it would take some time to appoint a successor. This gave us a unique opportunity to take stock. Rather than rush into an appointment, I want to ensure we have the educational balance right at Hautlieu and Highlands. If there is scope for developments, now is the perfect time to make them. In particular, I would like to give students the chance to study a vocational course alongside A-levels, something they cannot do at the moment.”
Deputy Ryan stressed it will be ‘business as usual’ for both establishments while the review is underway: “This is an interim arrangement and not a merger or takeover of one institution by the other.”
Robert Perchard, the Chair of Hautlieu Board of Governors, said: “These are two well respected institutions with their own proud traditions, heritage and ethos. The individual identity of each establishment will be maintained throughout the interim arrangement, which will be no longer than two years duration and will provide an excellent opportunity to work more closely together to enhance educational opportunities and student choice.”
Paul Harding, the Highlands Chair of Governors, added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Sallis for all his hard work over the last 15 years building the wide-ranging vocational, further and higher educational provision that Highlands College now offers to our youngsters. This closer collaboration is a very exciting development and one that I’m confident will result in even more opportunities for our students.”
The project will be overseen by a Steering Group chaired by Deputy Ryan with representatives from both boards of governors. While the review is taking place, the current Deputy Principal of Highlands, Gary Jones, will become Acting Principal responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation. Arrangements will be made for a similar appointment at Hautlieu.