10 May 2019
Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Weston College has won the FE leader of the year at the annual Tes FE Awards 2019.
In his 18 years at the helm of Weston College, Dr Paul Phillips has directed a dramatic turnaround in its fortunes. The judges commended Phillips for the proven impact of his leadership which has been sustained over time.
Turnover at the College has increased from £9 million when he joined in 2001 to more than £63 million in 2016-17 – making it one of the 10 biggest colleges in England.
He has personally championed social mobility for all, including raising standards across prison education in the South West.
Last year, the college was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its inclusive practice for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). The college was also the first to open a specialist autism residential training facility.
Under Phillips’ leadership, the College has had a major impact on the seaside town it serves, including restoring the 1920s Winter Gardens Pavilion and its ballroom for community use, while building a new Law and Professional Services Academy. In 2016, the University Centre Weston opened; a year later it was awarded a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) gold award.
Phillips has also committed to sharing best practice across the sector and has helped other colleges with everything from strategic planning to recovery plans and health and safety reviews. In 2017, he was made one of the first National Leaders in Further Education.
The judges said: “Dr Phillips gets results and has been truly transformative in the area.”
Winners attended a black-tie event at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, hosted by the stand-up comedian, writer and presenter Dave Gorman. More than 700 attendees celebrated and showcased the most exciting ideas, the best practice and the most inspiring teaching and leadership to be found in the FE sector.