Interim principal of Lowestoft College is focussed on students

Jo Pretty the temporary principal of Lowestoft College

Jo Pretty the temporary principal of Lowestoft College - Credit: Archant

The new interim principal of Lowestoft College has said she hopes she will be seen as a good leader as she focuses on producing well rounded students.

Jo Pretty was named as interim principal after it was announced last month that principal Simon Summers would be standing down from his role.

Mrs Pretty had been the college's assistant principal and she has long links to the site having studying A-levels there as a teenager.

She said: 'Becoming interim principal is not something I sought.

'But, when asked, I believed in Lowestoft College, which I have known and respected all my life; not just for its role in education but in the local community, and providing the future workforce for our employers.

'I am proud of the college, there are so many opportunities ahead which we are excited about.

'My ambition is that our students should understand from my own background that the college is not just there to deliver high quality learning but to develop them as people and to provide opportunities for their futures.

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'I am intent on establishing a well-balanced and diverse team to lead the college. I hope to be a good leader and colleague, keeping everyone focused on our goals and ensuring the college's main attention is on the education, welfare and aspirations of its students.'

After studying for A-levels in art and science at the college, her first job was with the then Eastern Coach Works in Lowestoft and she then went on to work for a recruitment agency and the NHS before completing her teacher training for adult, higher and secondary education, which included a stint teaching at the former Denes High School

Her college career began at City College Norwich in 2006, where she was responsible for engineering, construction, creative arts, business, enterprise and retail provision. In January 2013, she joined Lowestoft College as assistant principal.

Mrs Pretty was also managing director of a successful fabrication and design company for seven years and she says she understands the importance of industry/ education partnerships.

Mr Summers decided to stand down as principal after it was announced that he and his two vice-principals, Philip Belden and Teresa Miller, had agreed to take leave of absences to allow a confidential internal process to be carried out.

Last Thursday Ms Miller announced she was to take early retirement after ten years as vice principal responsible for corporate resources.

The original announcement about the three leaves of absence followed an external consultant's report, which said the college was not implementing improvements fast enough following an Ofsted inspection last June, which said the college should improve its leadership and management as well as other changes to improve its grading.