James Staniforth, the newly appointed CEO and Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, will officially take up his post this month and has spoken of his plans to make the College ‘outstanding’. 

Mr Staniforth joins the Group on 16 April from Strode College in Street, Somerset, which he joined as Principal and Chief Executive in August 2010 and which he led to being graded Outstanding by Ofsted in 2014. 

Previous to that, he was Vice Principal at Richard Huish College in Taunton from June 2006 to August 2010, which was also graded outstanding in 2007. He therefore has experience of leading both sixth form and tertiary colleges and extensive experience of A Level, general further education and higher education provision. 

Interim Principal and CEO, Lyn Surgeon, who has been at the College since August last year, stepped down just before Easter. 

Speaking as he prepared to take up his position at the helm of the newly merged Shrewsbury Colleges Group (Shrewsbury College and Shrewsbury Sixth Form College), James Staniforth said: “I am committed to ensuring that Shrewsbury Colleges Group provides an outstanding education and training for all students, regardless of the route which they take. I want to ensure we are offering the right courses for each individual, with the very best quality to match their skills to take them where they want to go.  

“This College needs to become an outstanding provider of education for academic, vocational, Higher Education, Apprenticeships and part-time courses. 

“The College is here to serve its community. The largest, most visible group of people using the College and its services are 16-18 year olds, but the College also makes a real difference to a range of other groups through the breadth of education and training we offer and through our local and national strategic partnerships. 

“I will be building on the great work that Lyn Surgeon has been doing both inside the college and externally through strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ones to ensure that the College is responsive to what the community wants. I have a vision of an outstanding community college with first-class academic and vocational excellence. There should be nothing we can’t achieve. What should underpin everything is being the very best we can be and regional and national leaders in education.” 

Lyn Surgeon, said: “I am very proud to have been the Interim Principal of The Shrewsbury Colleges Group and am confident that under James's excellent leadership the College will go from strength to strength and be truly outstanding in every respect.”