Change at the top as college head retires

Colleagues and friends say farewell
Colleagues and friends say farewell

After 14 years in charge, East Riding College principal Derek Branton retired from his post on the last day of term last Friday.

His time at the helm saw numerous positive Ofsted inspections and the building of Bridlington’s new campus in St Mary’s Walk.

Cutting the turf ceremony at the new Bridlington campus more than a decade ago

Cutting the turf ceremony at the new Bridlington campus more than a decade ago

Mr Branton said: “I have been genuinely touched by the many kind words said and tributes paid about my leadership of the college since I announced my retirement – it has been almost overwhelming at times.

“Deciding when to retire has been a difficult decision for me but after, what will be almost 14 years when I leave at Christmas, now does feel like the right time.

“During my time as principal there have been so many changes, particularly with the two new college campuses in Bridlington and Beverley which have brought about superb learning facilities which will be there for our communities to use and enjoy for many years to come.

“Perhaps what I am most proud of though is the achievements of our students and the remarkable dedication of our exceptionally talented staff.

“For over a decade now the high standards achieved and consistently excellent Ofsted ratings have been testimony to a college which has its priorities in the right place.

“By working closely with employers we have also ensured the education we offer and skills we develop are pertinent to today’s fast-changing economy.”

Mr Branton will be succeeded by Mike Welsh, who is moving to Yorkshire from a college in London.

Simon Wright, chair of governors at East Riding College, said: “We wish Derek well in his retirement and thank him for the contribution he has made to education and skills development in the East Riding during his time at the college.

“He has ensured we are in an excellent position to tackle the challenges ahead.

“Alongside the delivery of the property strategy, Derek has shown an unwavering drive for improvements in quality and enabled East Riding College to establish itself as a leader in the economic and social development of the region.”