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Easton and Otley College appoints Mark Pendlington as new chair of governors

PUBLISHED: 12:46 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:39 11 August 2017

Mark Pendlington, group director, Anglian Water. Picture: TIM GEORGE/ANGLIAN WATER

Mark Pendlington, group director, Anglian Water. Picture: TIM GEORGE/ANGLIAN WATER

Tim George/Anglian Water

Outgoing chair of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Mark Pendlington is set to become the new chair of governors at Easton and Otley College.

Sally Bendall of Hollow Trees Farm. Picture: SHAN BENDALL Sally Bendall of Hollow Trees Farm. Picture: SHAN BENDALL

He will succeed Sally Bendall, who is co-owner of Hollow Trees Farm at Semer, near Hadleigh, as the new academic year begins.

Mrs Bendall has been a governor at the college for seven years and has worked as chair of governors for almost half a decade, overseeing a successful merger of the college which began in August 2012.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Mark has decided to take on the role,” she said.

“He is the perfect person to help the college through the next phase of its history.

“Mark will inevitably make his own mark on the role and I will support him and the college in any way I can. If I was to offer any advice it would be to focus on making sure the student experience is as good as it possibly can be – after all, that is the reason why the college exists.”

The role had been “a true privilege”, but she had decided to step down because of other time commitments, she said.

“I have a full time job and we have some major building developments happening in the coming year. So purely for personal reasons I need to concentrate on this.”

The college has vowed to improve its performance after Ofsted inspectors gave it an “inadequate” rating this year following an inspection. It was previously rated as “good”.

Mr Pendlington, who is Anglian Water group director and whose term of office as chairman of the New Anglia LEP ends in September, said: “Easton and Otley college is at the heart of our rural economy, and is a leader in driving new skills and opportunities across a wide range of jobs and careers. I look forward to helping the college to grow and to being part of the team that will secure its long-term future.

“I would like to pay tribute to Sally and thank her on behalf of the college for her tremendous leadership. She has given up thousands of hours to support the college voluntarily which has done so much to help Easton and Otley re-connect with the agricultural community since the merger five years ago. What a powerful and lasting legacy to leave.”

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