Vice Principal James Watt College

Salary: £80,000 per annum

Closing date: 9am Monday 27 June 2022

Interview date:  Wednesday 6 July 2022

College Logo
College Image

Introduction

Inspiring futures, realising dreams

Birmingham is the country’s second city at the heart of the West Midlands region which, outside London, tops the UK league table for exports, job creation and foreign business investment pre-pandemic.

Our vision is to make a significant contribution to regional skills development and ensure we are the college of choice for post-16 and adult learners.

To join us on this journey, we are now seeking an innovative, quality-driven leader to engage and inspire the committed staff and exceptional students at James Watt College. In addition, this role will have cross-college responsibility for leading our inclusive support and discreet foundation learning provision, as well as the strategic direction of the student experience.

We have appointed FE Associates to support us with this crucial appointment. Prior to submitting an application, interested parties are advised to arrange an initial conversation with our recruitment partner, by emailing Jo.Johnston@fea.co.uk, to discuss the role before the closing date.

About Us - Welcome

Dear Colleague,

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope it will help you in making your decision whether to apply to become the Vice Principal for BMet’s James Watt College.

I think, in making that decision, you would want to know where we are coming from, where we think we have reached, and where we hope – and plan – to get to.

Where we are coming from

BMet was formed some years back from the merger of four colleges. Three of the colleges – Sutton Coldfield College, Matthew Boulton College and James Watt College, including The Erdington Skills Centre – are all situated in Birmingham. The fourth college was Stourbridge College, situated around 20 miles from Birmingham.

Between 2015 and 2018, BMet had three consecutive Ofsted inspections assessing the College as Requiring Improvement (RI). The College was also put under financial intervention necessitating additional emergency support from the ESFA and FE Commissioners.

Where we think we have reached

Since October 2018, there have been changes in key personnel, not least a new Principal (June 2021), a new Chief Finance Officer (April 2021) and a new Chair (2019).

We have a strong, new Board, able to demonstrate a good mix of skills, knowledge and experience; our Board is committed, supportive and ambitious.
Disappointingly, BMet remained Requires Improvement (RI) at the last Inspection in December 2021. Although progress was seen particularly for 16-18 year olds, apprenticeships and access programmes, adults and high needs provision were RI. However, significant work has taken place in these two areas to get underneath the poorer performance and to ensure real changes are followed through.

There has also been a significant change in the footprint of the College. We have successfully disaggregated Stourbridge College. BMet is now solely a Birmingham City based FE college. We remain one of the largest FE colleges with 13,000 students and a budget of around £45 million.
BMet is no longer in ESFA and FEC intervention since April 2021. Since 2018, the FEC reported on a ‘transformation in teaching, learning and assessment’, with both staff and students pleased with progress.

Pre–Covid 19, the College was on track to achieve ‘Good’ financial health in FY21 which it has achieved. Relationships with our key financial stakeholders are positive and supportive.

Where we hope – and plan – to get to

Our next full Ofsted inspection is likely to take place during the academic year 2023/24 where we should achieve at least a 'Good' grade. We are currently renewing our Strategy Plan looking at 2030 but with milestones at 3 and 5 years. Within this, our ambition is to achieve an 'Outstanding' Ofsted grade.

But our vision for BMet is wider and deeper than this. Birmingham is the country’s second city at the heart of the West Midlands region which, outside London, tops the UK league table for exports, job creation and foreign business investment pre-pandemic. The West Midlands is also a Mayoral Combined Authority. Our vision involves working in close partnership with both Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. BMet is committed to being a significant contributor to skills development in Birmingham and the City Region and the challenge will be to raise quality and innovate in this post-Covid and post-Brexit world. James Watt College has a crucial role to play through, for example, the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Institute of Technology, key relationships with national and regional employers as well as meeting local needs through our Erdington Centre. (Please see the current Strategic Plan in the Supporting Documents section of the FEA job page for this role).

Birmingham is a multiracial city with communities that straddle the socio-economic spectrum. Our College supports students from some of the most deprived communities in the UK with over half of all our students in the highest band of deprivation; two-fifths of our learners are from BAME communities. Our vision is of a college that seizes the opportunity and accepts the responsibility to make a difference to all our students.

We are determined to continue our progress towards an organisational culture that challenges, supports and inspires our staff. A culture that is creative and innovative and capable of responding to a continually changing environment, and an organisational culture that is in no way complicit in tolerating racism of any kind.

So might this be a post for you?

I joined as the new Principal and CEO in June 2021. It has been an enjoyable and rewarding first year with much to do. Our Chair, alongside the previous Principal, had put into place a new SLT structure including this Vice Principal role and we are now embarking on embedding this structure alongside other changes at Director and departmental level to address Ofsted’s concerns around consistency, particularly for adults and high needs students. This cross-BMet role leading on inclusive support and our discrete foundation learning provision, as well as the strategic direction of student experience, is critical to ensuring we have a consistent, high-quality approach that really does raise the potential of all students.

With the full support of our governors, we intend to become an anti-racist college and we have started on this journey to ensure we bring our staff and students with us. This is challenging but sits well in the context of Birmingham and the communities we serve within it.

If you are ambitious for your students and staff, and quality-driven, James Watt College is a great place to build your experience and skills at a senior level with significant opportunities to contribute and collaborate across BMet in other ways, steering its direction with myself and the rest of the Senior Leadership Team.

This is an important appointment and to help us to find the right person, we have retained the support of FE Associates. Prior to submitting an application, interested parties are advised to arrange an initial conversation with our lead consultant, by emailing Jo.Johnston@fea.co.uk, to discuss the role before the closing date.

I think this is a uniquely exciting and challenging opportunity for the right person.

If you think this could be you, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Pat Carvalho
Principal and CEO of BMet

How to Apply

If you have the very special qualities and the passion to make a real a difference to the future of our students and business, then we would like to hear from you.

Please complete the registration form below to access the candidate information pack, application form and the equality and diversity form.

NB:  Please ensure you complete all fields and click on both the Terms and Conditions check box as well as the Consent check box to enable access to the documents.

We have appointed FE Associates to help us find the right person.  Prior to submitting an application, interested parties are advised to arrange an initial conversation with our FE Associates lead consultant, by emailing Jo.Johnston@fea.co.uk, to discuss the role before the closing date.

Closing date: 9am Monday 27 June 2022

Interview date: Wednesday 6 July 2022

Stage 1 of 2: Complete the form below

    How to Apply

    Thank you for registering your interest. You can now download the following information relating to the Vice Principal James Watt College role at BMet.

    Stage 2 of 2: Submitting Your Application

    Prior to submitting an application, interested parties are advised to arrange an initial conversation with our FE Associates lead consultant, by emailing Jo.Johnston@fea.co.uk, to discuss the role before the closing date.

    Once you have obtained the full information and had an informal discussion with Jo Johnston, you must email your application to recruitment@fea.co.uk by the closing date deadline. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

    Please read the 'How to Apply' Section in the Candidate Information Pack for full instructions on how to submit your application.

    Your application must include the following 2 documents:

    1. A fully completed Application Form (located above). Please do not include your CV as part of, or substitute for, the application form.
    2. The Equality and Diversity Form (located above).

    Key Dates for Submitting Your Application:

    Closing date: 9am Monday 27 June 2022

    Interview date: Wednesday 6 July 2022