Easton and Otley College names David Henley as new principal

David Henley, the new principal of Easton and Otley College with his wife, Leigh, and daughters Geor

David Henley, the new principal of Easton and Otley College with his wife, Leigh, and daughters Georgia, left, and Maria. - Credit: Archant

Easton and Otley College, which provides training for land-based industries from twin sites in Suffolk and Norfolk, has named David Henley as its new principal.

Mr Henley, who is currently principal of Bicton College in Devon, will take up his new role from April 2015, succeeding David Lawrence who stepped down for health reasons earlier this year.

Sally Bendall, chair of governors, said: “I am very pleased to have appointed David Henley as the new principal of Easton and Otley College. His agricultural background and leadership experience made him the ideal choice to continue to position Easton and Otley College as a front runner in land-based education both locally and nationally.”

Mr Henley, who is married and has two daughters, grew up on a farm in Yorkshire and gained an agricultural engineering qualification from Harper Adams University.

He has been involved in land-based education for 30 years, including roles as a technician at Oaklands College in Hertfordshire and as a lecturer at Askham Bryan College in Yorkshire. He served as principal at Kingston Maurward College in Dorset for 10 years before moving to Bicton College in April 2009.

Outside the workplace, his interests include sailing, keeping fit, music festivals and motorbikes.

Mr Henley said: “I am privileged to succeed David Lawrence as principal. As directors of Landex – a national land-based training and education group – David Lawrence and I have worked together over many years and I have tremendous respect for the commitment he has shown over all the time he has worked in the eastern region.”

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He added: “I am passionate about land-based disciplines and a strong advocate of the specialist college. I look forward to officially joining in April and starting a new chapter of my life in East Anglia.”

“I intend to bring all my experience to bear at Easton and Otley College where I will be working with students, staff, businesses and the local community, to build upon the successful merger that has been achieved - and the recent solid Ofsted result - that gives us all a great platform for future progress and development.”

Christina Sadler, who has been in temporary charge at the college, will continue as interim principal until Mr Henley takes up his new post next year.

David Lawrence said: “I am delighted that the governors have decided to appoint David Henley to take over from me. I have known David for many years and rate him highly. I am very confident that he will continue to build on our collective vision and ethos.”

Christina Sadler, who supported the interview panel, added: “My sincere thanks to all who assisted me through this process. We believe that we have chosen an outstanding candidate and we are delighted that he has accepted this new challenge at such an exciting time in our history.”