MORE pupils, better exam results and a multi-million pound makeover - the retiring principal of a Hampshire college has overseen it all.

This week is Godfrey Glyn's last at Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh where he has been at the helm since 1996.

During his time at the top, the father-of-two from Bishopstoke has seen student numbers rise by 510 to 2,260. Evening and community courses currently attract a further 2,000 adults every year.

A-level results have improved with the college in Chestnut Avenue last year scoring an overall pass rate of 98.7 per cent.

Mr Glyn, who trained as a biology teacher, also oversaw the £11.5m transformation of the college's buildings in 2002. In the same year Barton Peveril achieved "beacon status" allowing it to set an example to other colleges nationwide and apply for extra government money for innovative projects.

The 61-year-old said the biggest plus point to working at the college, which he joined in 1990, was "the buzz."

"There is a huge buzz being in a community of 16 to 19-year-olds. That is the thing I am going to miss.

"There is a huge excitement all around the college - as well as the academic side there are drama presentations, fashion shows and all sorts of social events.

"It's a privilege to be here and to work with a group of young people who you can really see develop between the ages of 16 to 19.

"I did my A-levels at a small country grammar school in Somerset. This is like a rocket to the moon in comparison. There are so many opportunities here."

Mr Glyn believes that AS and A-levels are more rigorous than ever testing students on a range of different skills and denies they are getting easier.

He added that continuous assessment of students during their courses, that he described as "feeling like a treadmill", made the exams different to those taken by the parents of today's students.

As well as the happy memories Mr Glyn said he would always remember those more difficult times, in particular when the college was united in grief for a student who died through an accident, illness or other tragedy.

Now Mr Glyn, who is married to Claudia and has two daughters, Alex, 24, and Charlotte, 20, is looking forward to spending more time on photography, woodwork, restoring a 1972 Beetle and gardening. He will be replaced by Jonathan Prest - the current principal at Taunton's College, Southampton.