New principal appointed to lead Great Yarmouth College to ‘outstanding’

PUBLISHED: 13:42 03 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2014

New principal of Great Yarmouth College, Stuart Rimmer. Picture: Chris Pugh

New principal of Great Yarmouth College, Stuart Rimmer. Picture: Chris Pugh

CHRIS PUGH 07921704096

The man appointed to lead Great Yarmouth College (GYC) to its ‘outstanding’ Ofsted goal has said he is “delighted” to take on the role.

Yarmouth college Ofsted report.
Principal Penny Wycherley. Yarmouth college Ofsted report. Principal Penny Wycherley.

Stuart Rimmer has been announced as the new principal and chief executive of the Suffolk Road college, and will be taking over from Penny Wycherley when she steps down in the summer.

The 38-year-old, currently director of quality and enterprise at Lancaster and Morecambe College, will be leading GYC as it under goes a £6.2m make over, and has been set the challenge of taking it from ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’, following its Ofsted inspection in November.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining the college. It has made great progress over recent years and has a very positive culture. I am looking forward to working with colleagues and all our stakeholders over the coming months and years to develop GYC even further.

“The college plays a critical role in skills development, supporting prosperity and local and regional economic development. I am fully committed to ensuring that outcomes for our students, employers and communities are the highest possible and achieve the maximum impact.”

Mr Rimmer believes the college should be “like the beating heart of the town” equipping youngsters with the right skills, while helping them to become good citizens, good neighbours and engaged with their community.

He is also interested in taking his “place in local, regional and civic leadership” by working with business leaders, the public and private sector to help shape the town.

Despite working in Lancashire, Mr Rimmer spends a lot of time in “beautiful” Norfolk - his partner lives between Norwich and Great Yarmouth – and said he was making a long-term commitment to the college and the community.

He started his working life as “the guy who lifted boxes” at a textile manufacturer, working his way up to running the sales team before moving into the financial services industry.

In his 20s he returned to learning and studied politics, philosophy and economics at Teesside University.

Since then he has achieved a masters in enterprise management and an MBA, as has also run his own coaching company working with managers of small and medium-sized businesses to improve performance.

Ms Wycherley is leaving the college after more than three years in her post as principal.

She joined GYC “for six months” in January 2011 but stayed on to lead it from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ and her “excellent leadership” has been praised by Ofsted inspectors.

She is now looking forward to holidays with friends and family including walking the legendary Milford Track in New Zealand with her son, John and new wife Dani, and exploring Tasmania with her middle daughter, Sarah.

Although retirement is on the agenda she admits she is always unable to resist a challenge.

Ms Wycherley said: “Working here with the staff and students at Great Yarmouth College has been a pleasure and a privilege.

“When I came here, it is was because I like a challenge and because I had met the staff and management team and believed they were committed to creating a good college at the centre of its community.

“While I have been here I have grown to love Great Yarmouth, a community with heart. I will leave with so many good memories and pride in what the team I have worked with has done.”

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