Edinburgh College principal Annette Bruton is to step down from her post at the end of August, the college has annouced.
Ms Bruton, a former teacher and chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, took up post at the UK's eighth largest college in May 2015 – less than three years after the institution was formed through the merger of three colleges in the capital. The college now has a an income of over £60 million, and over 1,000 staff.
In her time, the college, along with much of the Scottish FE sector, faced industrial action from staff as well as significant financial challenges. In 2015-16, a £7 million deficit reported in its accounts in 2015-16. However, speaking in front of a Scottish parliament committee last year, she stressed the college's financial recovery was on track. According to current projections, it is due to break even for the beginning of the next academic year. Tes also reported last year on the changes the FE college had made to student recruitment processes in a bid to more accurately match students to appropriate courses. And in October, Edinburgh College became the third Scottish college to join the Collab Group of colleges, joining North East Scotland College and West College Scotland.
Challenges and recovery
Ms Bruton said: “This is a great college and it’s come a long way since I took up the post in 2015. It has dedicated and inspiring staff and wonderful students, and it has been my privilege to serve alongside them and help move the college on to the next chapter in its story. However, Edinburgh College is a busy and aspiring college and it’s business as usual as we ensure the success of this year’s students and recruit new students for next year.”
Edinburgh College chair Ian McKay said: “Annette has been a true professional over her long and distinguished career and I have had the great privilege to work with her over the last three years at the college. She has shown tireless leadership, resolve and unwavering determination to turn around our college and set it firmly on the road to recovery. She has worked enthusiastically and with great skill to give us a thriving college where there is financial stability and a relevant and enhanced offering for students in the communities we serve."
Having started her career as a georgaphy teacher and in learning support, Ms Bruton joined HM Inspectorate of Education in 2001 and was one of six chief inspectors of education. In 2009, she took up the role of director of education, culture and sport at Aberdeen City Council, before becoming chief executive of the Care Inspectorate in 2012.