11:40am Monday 23rd September 2013
By Emma Rigby
HE may have started life in the music industry but Mid Cheshire College’s new principal has got his sights set firmly on the future and success of his students.
Richard Hollywood was appointed principal in February after the retirement of John Reilly, who led the college for 11 years.
The 49-year-old, who has been officially ‘on the job’ for eight weeks, says he is keen to continue building on established partnerships with schools, employers, the local authority and community leaders.
“This is a really fantastic college to work for. The people that come here, the visitor, the staff, the students, they really enjoy working here,” said Richard, who lives in Plumley with his wife Jo and three children, George, 17, Anna, 15, and Emma, nine.
“We are in difficult times with austerity measures and a reduction in finances but we are working hard to continue providing vocational education as well as we do.
“We have our own identity at the college and we want to promote that.”
Richard’s early career was spent at London’s CBS recording studios as a sound engineer, where he worked with a number of high-profile recordings artists including David Essex, The Proclaimers, Phil Collins, Andrew Lloyd Weber and Mick Jagger.
Before entering education he spent several years as a freelance sound and mastering engineer and travelled to Australia, where he worked for ABC Radio in Melbourne during the Gulf War.
In 1994, he started teaching at City College Manchester, where he held a number of management roles before joining Mid Cheshire College in 2006 as assistant principal for art, design and performance studies.
He became vice principal in 2010 and set himself a personal target of becoming principal before he was 50.
“I’m very excited to be in this position,” he said.
“And I’m glad I’m principal here rather than somewhere else.”
The father-of-three believes his wealth of experience in industry and education will be invaluable.
He said: “I have still got a lot of enthusiasm. I know what is required and with having children who are going through various stages of education, I know what’s needed to steer them in the right direction for the future.
“I want to do what is best for our students.
“People think that vocational studies mean you can’t go to university but a lot of our students do.
“It’s important that students are given the right information and are aware of all of their options. Vocational studies may be right for some people, whereas A-levels may be the route for others.
“We are keen to work with other institutions to make sure their students are given that information and that choice.”
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