THE life of a former Hampshire college principal has been celebrated in a new book.

A Lifetime in English Education tells the story of Philip Vennis’s journey from a scholarship at the prestigious Dulwich College in London to his time as the head of Southampton’s Itchen College, where he was principal for nearly 20 years.

The book, written by his widow Diana Vennis, herself a former further education lecturer and Ofsted inspector, charts his crusading efforts to ensure state education is available to everyone as a way of helping transform lives.

Mrs Vennis, from Fareham, said: “Philip was an inspirational and exceptional teacher whose life touched many different people, students and teachers alike. My hope is this book will help to keep his ideas alive so that they can add to the continuous debate around the central ideas of education in today’s society.”