June Jarrett and Stella Mbubaegbu are two of a kind. They are the only black women in England to be appointed college principals.
Both have been chosen to lead colleges in Hampshire, a county with one of the lowest ethnic-minority populations in the country at 2.2 per cent.
Ms Mbubaegbu set the trend when in 2001 she became principal of Highbury college, Portsmouth, and Ms Jarrett joins the rarefied ranks next week. She takes over as head of Cricklade college, replacing Dr Tom Johnson, who is moving to South Kent college, Folkestone.
Last year she was a high-flyer in in Hackney, east London, where the ethnic-minority population is above 60 per cent. But she was head-hunted for the vice-principal role at Cricklade, which she took over in August, and has now been invited to take on the top job.
She said: "It is interesting that a shire county and not an inner-city area should be leading the way in promoting black managers."