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New Principal for city’s premier Sixth Form College

The City of Stoke-on-Trent College has today announced the appointment of a new Principal.

Mark Kent beat off tough national competition and will take the helm of the highly respected College, based at Leek Road, Stoke, in January following a handover from interim Principal Mike Hill.

Mark’s experience and knowledge of education is vast. He has spent his entire 30 year teaching career in sixth form colleges in Oxford, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Solihull, and most recently at King Edward VI College in Stourbridge where he has served as deputy principal since September 2010.

Mark has also spent 15 years as an examiner and is a member of the national charity Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI), which helps shape the national mathematics curriculum and aims to raise levels of achievement in maths.

Said Mark: “I am so proud to be given this opportunity to build on the strength of the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College.

“When I came to Stoke I was bowled over by the friendliness of the staff and students, and I will do everything I can to help move the Sixth Form College forward.

“It is my core belief that people matter, individuals matter – we’re not so much interested in where you come from, but in where you want to go in life and how we can help you get there.

“Sixth Form Colleges are the jewel in the state education crown, and the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College is a shining example. We offer a broad range of subjects and qualifications with excellent results, but we’re not an exam factory, we offer a holistic education which develops the whole person.

“We interview every student to find the best course to fit each young person’s ambitions and needs, then build a timetable around them, working with them as individuals throughout their time at the College in order to help them succeed.

“We focus on developing their independent learning skills so they are able to organise their own time, prioritise tasks, deal with setbacks and develop their own opinions about what is happening in society.

“Our students have opportunities to develop a wide range of new interests and skills and to enjoy a rich variety of cultural and scientific experiences.

“It’s this kind of social capital that students in the independent sector get in spades, so when our students leave for work or university they already have those soft skills which universities and employers say they want.”

Chair of the Sixth Form College’s governing body, Dr Charles Freeman, said he was looking forward to working with Mark, and was confident he would continue to build on the friendly and supportive environment of the college.

He said: “With so many challenges within the sector of post 16 education, we are confident that with his strong background and experience Mark is the right person to lead the college through this period of change.

“Our sixth form has gone from strength to strength, with students achieving a 98 per cent pass rate and Ofsted inspectors praising our staff for creating a culture of high expectations and continuous improvement. These are wonderful accomplishments, which we know Mark will continue to build upon.”

Potential students are invited to come and find out more about the college and enjoy a tour of the campus in Leek Road at a series of Open Events being held on February 3rd and April 20th between 5pm and 8pm.

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