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New MidKent College principal to make waves

A former cruise ship worker has been appointed as the new principal of MidKent College. Sue McLeod, who joined the college as a travel and tourism lecturer in 1993 before rising to the position of deputy principal, will start her new job on 1 September. She will be the first female principal in the college's 100-year history. Prior to joining the college, Ms McLeod worked across the Caribbean, US and Europe in the travel industry, including a stint aboard cruise liners. She said she was keen to "continue the improvements made in teaching and learning over the past few years" at the college. Current principal Stephen Grix will continue as chief executive on a part-time basis until 2015.

Apprenticeship service is absorbed

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), the body responsible for supporting, funding and coordinating the delivery of apprenticeships in England, has been absorbed into the Skills Funding Agency (SFA). The NAS was previously a separate organisation but on Monday it formally became a department of the SFA. Kim Thorneywork, SFA chief executive, will assume responsibility for both organisations. David Way, formerly the NAS chief executive, has now taken up the role of executive director at the service.

Inadequate rating for Bristol college

The City of Bristol College has been rated inadequate by Ofsted. It had been classed as good in its previous inspection in 2010. A team of inspectors visited the college, which has 30,000 students, last month. They found that students were underachieving and the quality of teaching was inconsistent. Vice-principal Louise McMillan said action was being taken to ensure the college secured a better rating of "requires improvement" in its next inspection, expected within 12 to 18 months. Ofsted chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has repeatedly criticised the quality of provision in colleges in recent weeks. Last month, Walsall College became the first college to be rated outstanding under the new inspection framework.

Cash for 'have a go' events

Colleges, learning providers and schools can apply for funding to stage "have a go" events and encourage their students to consider different careers. The Edge Foundation, which champions technical and vocational education, is offering up to #163;500 towards organising taster events to mark VQ (vocational qualification) Day on 5 June. Jan Hodges, chief executive of the Edge Foundation, said: "VQ Day is about celebrating learning by doing and there is no better way to see this in practice than within the colleges, schools and learning providers that champion it. Staging a 'have a go' activity will help people take part in a day that celebrates individual achievements, and the wider benefits they bring to society and business."

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