Chair of governors steps down after 17 years

New chair of governors at Exmouth Community College Jill Elson, with retiring chair Elizabeth Lee.

New chair of governors at Exmouth Community College Jill Elson, with retiring chair Elizabeth Lee. - Credit: Archant

The long-serving chair of governors at Exmouth Community College has retired from the role.

Elizabeth Lee had served as chair for 17 years, after joining the board of governors in 1995.

Jill Elson, a governor for 20 years who is also a member of East Devon District Council, is the new chair.

While at the college, Mrs Lee worked with principals John Garnett and Tony Alexander, and managed the college’s move to Academy status, while seeing it rise to be Ofsted rated as ‘good, with outstanding features’.

She said her reasons for stepping down included wanting her successor to start at a good time, and wanting to leave on a high with the Ofsted success and this summer’s record examination results.

Mrs Lee said: “The college is in a stronger place academically and I feel privileged to have been part of that growth over the years and to work alongside two outstanding and distinctive headteachers, highly professional and brilliant staff, and such talented and supportive governors - past and present.

“I would like to congratulate Jill Elson. She is a very experienced governor and is totally committed to comprehensive education for all. I would like to wish her, the governing board, Mr Alexander, the staff and students all the best for the future.”

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Miss Elson said: “I am very proud and privileged to be elected chair of the governors. Elizabeth Lee will be a very hard act to follow. I wish to ensure the college continues to work with the community of Exmouth.”

Mr Alexander said that, in 24 years as principal at three schools, Mrs Lee was the best chair of governors he had worked with. He added: “Her dedication, hard work, courage, sense of humour and, above all, her humanity will be sorely missed.

“I am most grateful to her for all the support, advice and encouragement she has given me and I wish her the best of fortune for the future.

“I am delighted that Jill Elson has been voted in as chair of governors. I am really pleased about the prospect of working with Jill to establish the college as ‘outstanding’.”