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Croll calls time on his days as principal

Derby College principal David Croll has announced his retirement this summer. The 59-year-old is stepping down after 17 years as principal, during which time he oversaw the merger of three colleges in 2002 and a further merger in 2010 to form today's Derby College. He counts among his achievements the redevelopment of several campuses and the creation of its #163;48 million flagship campus The Roundhouse. Mr Croll began his career as a lecturer in liberal studies before becoming a local authority adviser and a college manager. "David has taken a lead role within the education sector to bridge the gap between employers, education and training - listening to and engaging with local businesses in planning educational provision, which has recognised and addressed the skills gaps that many of them had experienced," said Janet Morgan, the college's chair of governors.

Springing up: a commission into adult education

A government commission into adult education and vocational pedagogy will be chaired by Frank McLoughlin, principal of City and Islington College. The commission will take evidence from industry, teacher training colleges, professional associations and practitioners, and draw up recommendations to improve the teaching and training of adults. "It is great news that Frank McLoughlin has agreed to chair this commission," skills minister John Hayes said. "His wealth of experience in delivering further education and skills in a challenging inner-city environment gives him the right credentials to lead work that will shape the future of teaching and learning for adults in England." The commission will start work in the spring.

Why it could pay to be crafty

The creation of a new set of Craft Skills Awards was announced by FE minister John Hayes last week. Speaking at the Prince's Foundation Apprenticeship Awards, Mr Hayes said that the new endeavour had been inspired by the Prince of Wales' "unwavering advocacy of crafts and those who teach and learn them". "Rather than simply rewarding excellence in craft practice, the awards will reward excellence in teaching, maintaining and developing both one's own and others' craft skills. They will seek to reward individuals and groups large and small and celebrate the myriad examples of excellence across the sector," he added. Creative and Cultural Skills, the sector skills council for crafts, has been commissioned to develop the awards in the coming months.

Alice steps into an educational wonderland

The new chief executive of an entrepreneurship education charity set up by Dragons' Den star Peter Jones has been named as Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance. She will take over the Peter Jones Foundation, responsible for the entrepreneurship academies run in partnership with many colleges. "Alice has had a track record of not only being an entrepreneur and running her own business but being the driving force behind a national campaign," Mr Jones said. "This is an exciting new chapter for the foundation and, with record levels of youth unemployment, I believe the time is now to equip young people with the skills, confidence and experience they need to unleash the entrepreneur in them." Mr Jones' enterprise academies came under fire last year when former chief executive Tom Bewick resigned, saying public money was being wasted. But Mr Jones said he was cleared by an official inquiry.

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