The new Chief Executive and Principal of Bishop Burton College has outlined his vision to lead an “outstanding” institution where students are given the platform to follow their dreams.
Bill Meredith has been officially announced as the new permanent Chief Executive and Principal after covering both positions in an acting capacity for 10 months.
Mr Meredith, who steps up from his former position as Deputy Principal, was appointed after a robust selection process which saw a number of strong candidates from colleges across the country apply for the job.
He has worked at Bishop Burton, in East Yorkshire, for more than 30 years after initially joining as lecturer in Agriculture.
“I’m incredibly proud,” said Mr Meredith. “It’s a really important role regionally and, to an extent, nationally. I appreciate there are challenges ahead but I do feel I’ve got a really strong team here at Bishop Burton.”
Mr Meredith said his message to students at the college would be to make the most of the unique opportunity ahead of them, and stressed that staff would do all they can to help them along the way.
“I’d say to our students to make the most of their time at the college in every respect. Not only to take advantage of the expert tuition and support that we can provide, but to go that step further and engage in extra-curricular activities, sport and all the other opportunities alongside their main subject. Volunteering would be another area to help advance their CV and develop their confidence and employability skills.
“I’d ask them to just be positive and embrace that ‘can do’ attitude that we expect of all our students and staff because that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. It comes more naturally to some than others, but I think that is a good lesson for everyone.
“We want our students to aspire to be the best they can be, to follow their dreams and to achieve their full potential.”
Mr Meredith said all the staff at Bishop Burton – which includes Riseholme College, in Lincolnshire – have a crucial role in ensuring its students achieve their goals.
“My message to staff is that this is their opportunity to make a difference to these young people and support them onto higher level skills and, eventually, into the workplace. This is a place of work where you will be respected and where you will be able to achieve your own potential too.
“The message of high aspiration applies equally to individual members of staff and to students and we need to see how we can all contribute to making Bishop Burton and Riseholme an outstanding college.”
Bishop Burton was praised for being a “high achieving college” during its last Ofsted inspection in February 2017, when it received an overall grading of ‘good’.
Mr Meredith said the focus now was on achieving the much-coveted ‘outstanding’ grade.
“To strive to be Ofsted ‘outstanding’ is one of my aims,” he said. “We have been there once before as a college and I’m sure we can get there again. It is a challenging, difficult journey that we are on, but I think it is in reach. We have all the jigsaw pieces on the board, they just need fitting together.
“I think we are capable of being an outstanding institution in all respects.”
Chair of Governors Judy Richmond, who oversaw Mr Meredith’s appointment, said: “I am delighted Bill has been selected as the new Chief Executive and Principal of Bishop Burton College and Riseholme College.
“He did an excellent job in the interim role and the selection panel is confident that Bill is the right person to steer the college into the future.”