Sussex Downs College boss to leave in August

Melanie Hunt Principal and Chief Executive of Sussex Downs College. August 15th 2013 E33179P ENGSUS00120130816094323
Melanie Hunt Principal and Chief Executive of Sussex Downs College. August 15th 2013 E33179P ENGSUS00120130816094323

Sussex Downs College boss Melanie Hunt is to step down after five years at the helm.

She will leave as chief executive and principal at the end of August next year.

Mrs Hunt said this week, “I absolutely love Sussex Downs College, and have been incredibly proud and privileged to lead a college where I have been – at various points in my life – a student, a parent and a member of staff. I shall miss it.”

An Oxford graduate, Mrs Hunt said it was a difficult decision to leave the college, which she said in her five years there, had “achieved a great deal”.

“The college has also addressed a number of challenges.

“Looking ahead I can see the college will require stable leadership for at least the next five years in order to work through the major changes that continue to affect further education.

“I have decided to retire and hand over the reins to a new principal.

“I have advised the governors I would like to leave at the end of August 2015.

“This certainly does not mean that things will stand still for the next nine months.

“We have much to do and are very proud of our progress in delivering high quality vocational programmes, gaining national recognition for skills training, maintaining the highest standards of apprenticeships for young people and offering outstanding re-engagement programmes for those who have not had a great start in their learning.

“I will continue to expect the absolute best from everyone, and will maintain my commitment and hard work to protect the interests of our students, to secure the future of the college, and to prepare everyone to move into a new era, making the most of opportunities to provide education and skills training to the communities of East Sussex and beyond.”

Mrs Hunt joined the college in December 2010.

Prior to her appointment, she was director for Learning and Skills at Ofsted and held responsibility for leading inspection work across the Learning and Skills system.

Originally from Sussex, she held a variety of jobs in the locality; senior positions in two FE colleges in Hastings and Eastbourne, has worked for East Sussex County Council as an education officer and taught in a 14 -19 school in Leicestershire.

She was educated at Lewes Priory School and an assistant principal at Eastbourne College of Arts and Technology (ECAT) from 1995 to 1999.

Her son was a student at Lewes Sixth Form College, also part of Sussex Downs College.