Nelson link for Paston College, North Walsham’s, new principal, Kevin Grieve

Paston College's new principal Kevin Grieve will move to the town where Lord Nelson was educated from the city which is home to the naval hero's Battle of Trafalgar flagship, HMS Victory.

Mr Grieve, 48, currently deputy principal at Portsmouth Sixth-Form College, in Hampshire, will take over at the end of August from Peter Mayne who is retiring after 16 years in charge of the North Walsham sixth-form college.

South Yorkshireman Mr Grieve was back in north Norfolk on Friday for the first time since he impressed the panel at his interview for the job, held in Paston's historic Nelson Room, where the schoolboy Horatio studied between 1768-1771.

He will inherit a sixth-form college which is ranked 13th nationally, according to league tables published last week, and where student numbers, now over 800, have risen by around 60 per cent under Mr Mayne, drawn from an area of about 500 square miles.

Mr Grieve, a geography and economics graduate, said he would build on Paston's success and intended working with students and partner institutions to develop employability and enterprise skills, to help young people find rewarding jobs at the end of their education.

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He is married to Maria and they have two teenage children: son Kieran who is completing A-levels and planning to go to university, and daughter Taryn, who will be starting her AS/A levels at Paston in 2013.

Mr Mayne, 61, holds and has held many prominent roles in the world of sixth-form education, both regionally and nationally, and has lectured and written on the subject.

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He has also been involved with community roles ranging from economic regeneration groups to church-bell ringing. He is a Rotarian and squire of Norwich's Kemps Men morris dancers.

He said he was keeping an 'open mind' about what to do in retirement and was considering a number of options. He and his wife, who have two grown-up children, live near Wroxham.

Mr Mayne said at the start of his Paston career the number of students from north Norfolk who went on to university had been well below the national average. Last autumn 200 students had taken up places at 70 universities, including Oxford and Cambridge.

'Ambition is now written upon the gates,' he said. 'When I first came I told north Norfolk's young people that they were as good as any in the UK and I don't think I was believed. I think they do believe it now - and that is the legacy I want to leave.'

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