MidKent College has appointed a female principal for the first time in its more than 100-year history.

Sue McLeod will take over as principal from 1 September

Sue McLeod, who joined the College as a Travel & Tourism lecturer in 1993 before climbing the ranks to her current position of deputy principal, will start her new job on 1 September.

The Scottish-born Medway resident said she was proud to make history as the first woman to reach the top job.

She said: “It means a great deal to me and I hope it demonstrates to all our students that gender is no barrier to them achieving their goals in life.

“I studied at a further education college as a teenager and if it wasn’t for the expertise and encouragement of the teachers there I would never have thought that going to university was even a possibility.

“That’s why I’m so thrilled to have been given this opportunity to be principal of MidKent College and help transform the life chances of people throughout Medway, Maidstone and the surrounding areas.

“I’m a great believer that further education drives social mobility and that’s something I’m very keen to promote.”

Prior to joining the College, Ms McLeod worked across the Caribbean, United States and Europe during her time in the travel industry, including a stint aboard cruise liners.

She previously achieved a degree in Business Studies at the Dorset Institute of Higher Education – now Bournemouth University – where she returned to study Travel & Tourism prior to embarking on her teaching career with MidKent College.

The 51-year-old mother-of-one says her priorities as principal will include improving the employment prospects of students, and strengthening the College’s position at the heart of the community.

Ms McLeod added: “I also want to continue the improvements made in teaching and learning over the last few years.

“Thanks to advances in technology, learning resources are now widely available and opportunities for learning are abundant. It is important our teaching reflects this and the different ways in which people learn.

“The role of the teacher is increasingly about adding meaning and value to help students prepare for their future lives and careers.”

Ms McLeod will succeed the College’s current principal Stephen Grix, who will continue as chief executive on a part-time basis until 2015.

Chairman of governors Sheila Potipher said: “The governing body is delighted with the outcome of the selection process.

“It was very clear Sue was by far and away the best candidate and we are confident she will do a fantastic job as principal.

“We had a very strong field of applicants for the position who were all extremely impressed with the College, the quality of teaching and the facilities we have to offer at each of our campuses.”

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