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Ipswich sixth form to get new principal after retirement plans announced

PUBLISHED: 15:56 05 October 2018

One Sixth Form College will get a new principal in September 2019, after Alan Whittaker announced his retirement PIcture: GREGG BROWN

One Sixth Form College will get a new principal in September 2019, after Alan Whittaker announced his retirement PIcture: GREGG BROWN

A dedicated principal at one of Ipswich’s top sixth forms has announced his plans to retire next year.

One Sixth Form College principal Alan Whittaker, who is retiring at the end of the 2018/19 academic year Picture: ONE SIXTH FORM COLLEGEOne Sixth Form College principal Alan Whittaker, who is retiring at the end of the 2018/19 academic year Picture: ONE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE

Alan Whittaker began working on setting up One Sixth Form and College in Ipswich back in 2003 alongside other Ipswich heads, with the town’s largest sixth form opening its doors in the summer of 2010.

Now, after more than eight years at the helm and having guided it to an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating, Mr Whittaker has announced he will step down in the summer.

“It has been – and will continue to be – a pleasure to work at One Sixth Form College and it’s an honour to be principal,” the 55-year-old said.

“We have a fantastic team with a strong set of shared values who will continue to build on the vision that we had when we first opened our doors.

“Even today – thanks to One and my amazing staff and our fantastic students – I can look anyone in the eye and say if you send you son or daughter here and if they are prepared to work hard they will do well.

“Those strong foundations that have been created will never change and I am confident that we will continue to thrive and I look forward to celebrating One Sixth Form College’s ongoing success in the future.”

Mr Whittaker had previously served as headteacher at Stoke High School.

He confirmed that he would step down as principal in the summer at the end of the 2018/19 academic year.

He said: “I’ve always had it in my mind to retire at this age. I will be leaving with a heavy heart but I’ve always made a point to my staff that you need to strike the right balance between work life and family life – and when I retire next summer, I will be looking to spend much more time with my family.”

He added that he took pride in the sixth form’s students being able to study in a good environment that allowed them to fulfil their potential, recalling the “wow factor” of its opening in 2010.

Suffolk Academies Trust, which runs the sixth form college, is now in the process of preparing job adverts that will go out shortly, with interviews expected to take place in December.

Once the new principal has been confirmed, they will take up their role from August or September 2019.

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