THE principal and chief executive of Newbury College, Anne Murdoch, will be stepping down from the role at the end of this year, it has been announced.
Dr Murdoch has revealed her intention to retire as of December 2017, bringing an end to her 16 years as head of the college in Monks Lane.
The college said a replacement has yet to be appointed.
Previously the deputy principal at Farnborough College of Technology, Dr Murdoch joined Newbury College in 2001, when it was located off the Oxford Road.
She oversaw the relocation of the college to its current purpose-built site in Monks Lane in 2002 – and has since developed the campus facilities to include a sports hall, construction training centre, training restaurant and, most recently, a state-of-the-art engineering solutions laboratory.
Her 16 years there make her the college’s longest-serving principal, as well as the only female principal in its 70-year history.
The college, rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in 2009, 2015 and 2017, also plans to open the recently-approved new primary school – Highwood Copse – next year.
Dr Murdoch said: “It has been an honour and privilege to have spent most of my career within the education sector and my greatest joy to have served as principal and CEO of Newbury College for over 16 years.
“The staff, students and partners have been an inspiration to me and I will miss them greatly.
“Now that the college has had another ‘good’ Ofsted inspection and is in a strong financial position, it’s a good time to hand over the leadership.
“The college is moving into an exciting new phase of development, with a new primary school planned and excellent facilities for science, technology, engineering and maths in place.
“I have no doubt it will go from strength to strength.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues for their support over the years.”
Dr Murdoch, who graduated from the University of East Anglia with a doctorate in applied education in 1983, was appointed an OBE in 2012.
The college’s newly-appointed corporation chairman Geoff Knappett said: “The governors express their sincere appreciation and gratitude for the way Anne has managed the college.
“Her drive and inspirational leadership have made a significant contribution to the college’s success over the years.
“She will be greatly missed by governors, staff, students and stakeholders alike and she will leave with our very best wishes.”
It is anticipated that a successor will be in post from January 1.
Dr Murdoch will continue to work on a part-time basis to see the development of the primary school through to its opening, along with other projects.
She will also help the college celebrate its 70th birthday next year.