HE IS the man charged with turning around the fortunes of a beleaguered Hampshire college that has ambitions to become a centre of excellence.

Derek Headrige has today been unveiled as the new principal of Totton College.

He will be joining the revamped Vocational Training and Further Education College next month.

Mr Headrige is currently Group Academy Dean at BMW and has an extensive background in further education training.

He takes over at a time of turbulence at the college as a consultation is currently underway over a restructure which could effect 39 jobs.

Social justice charity Nacro merged with Totton College in December after it was revealed the college was in significant debt and since then college bosses have been reviewing how the organisation operates.

The consultation has been extended and a decision is due next week. Mr Headrige is due to take the helm on April 18.

Formerly the Head of Faculty for Automative Engineering & Building Services at Highbury FE College in Portsmouth, Mr Headridge led the creation and delivery of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) training programmes. During his first 18 months, he was creditted with taking the department from ‘Unsatisfactory’ to a Grade 1 ‘Outstanding’.

Speaking on his appointment Mr Headrige said: “I am delighted to be joining Totton College. Its renewed focus on the extensive opportunities that quality vocational education brings to students, business and the local area are ground breaking. I am absolutely committed to supporting staff and students to drive this mission forward."

and make sure that Totton College is the destination of choice for students, local people and business, now and into the future.”

Josh Coleman, Nacro’s Director of Education said: “With a myriad of public and private sector teaching experience, Derek brings to the College, a wealth of knowledge from an education and commercial point of view. Derek has the business acumen necessary to enable the College to succeed in the current climate, recognising vital links between training and industry for the FE Sector and maintaining a competitive edge.”

“Having achieved an OFSTED Grade 1, Outstanding at a FE College followed by the EDF National Training Academy and the BMW Group Academy, Derek’s quality standards speak for themselves, bringing the future of Totton College as a Centre of Excellence, ever closer.”