End of an era at Forth Valley College as Professor Ken will call it a day after a decade as principal

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Students of Forth Valley College (FVC) will soon be saying farewell to the man who has been in charge of their further education for the last 10 years.

Professor Ken Thomson OBE will be retiring from his roles as principal and chief executive at the college at the end of the current 2022/23 academic year.

After taking over from Linda McKay as principal in 2013 and, under his leadership, helped FVC become sector leading and one of Scotland’s most influential further

educational establishments.

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Professor Ken Thomson is retiring after a decade as principal at Forth Valley CollegeProfessor Ken Thomson is retiring after a decade as principal at Forth Valley College
Professor Ken Thomson is retiring after a decade as principal at Forth Valley College

Professor Thomson said: “The time has come for me to announce my retirement as principal and chief executive of Forth Valley College. A decision like this is never an

easy one to make, and, while I will be sad to go, I do feel I am leaving with the college in a good place for a bright and exciting future.

"I had originally intended to retire at the age of 60 in 2020, but then came COVID-19 and the time was not right. I am so very proud of the tremendous resilience Forth

Valley College staff and students have shown during this period.

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"We also threw open our doors to the communities of Alloa, Falkirk and Stirling as vaccination centres and moved to an online delivery for all our learning – both of

which also fills me with immense pride.

“I will be standing down as Principal of Forth Valley College at the end of July 2023, giving the college an appropriate time for the recruitment of my successor.

“With the completion of our ambitious three new campus estates plan equipping us with arguably the best further education facilities in Scotland, we have developed a

great foundation for the future.

“With that strong foundation and a national, and a developing international, reputation in place it’s now time to hand over the reins to a new leader, to take the college to the next level.

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“I want to pay tribute to my board and senior management team, my leadership management team and the great staff and students at Forth Valley College, without whom, all of this would not have been possible.

“I wish you all the very best for the future and I thank you all for your incredible support over the years and contributing to Making Learning Work for the people of

Forth Valley and beyond.”

Graduating from the University of Nottingham with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology 1982, Professor Thomson completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1986 and

completed his teacher qualification FE from Strathclyde University in 1997, becoming an HMI Associate Assessor for Science from 1999 to 2006.

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He joined Falkirk College of Further and Higher Education in 1994 following eight years in environmental education and held the posts of head of science, director of learning and depute principal before taking on the top job in 2013.

Ross Martin, outgoing chairman of FVC board of management, said: “Ken is an outstanding leader of people and a brilliant creator of place – his legacy is

anchored at the heart of the Forth Valley economy, and the communities it serves.

“The great admiration in which FVC is held is a reflection of the respect which Ken has gained throughout his decade as principal, and far back into his many years’

service beforehand.”

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