Our principal, Gill Alton, joined us in September 2010. We put a few questions to her…
Where did you work before you came here?
I was vice-principal (curriculum and quality) at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education. I’ve spent 25 years in further education; before Grimsby I was at Leicester and Doncaster colleges.
What did you study at college?
I did a degree in hotel management followed by a teaching certificate and a master’s degree in leadership and management. I’ve studied on both full and part time courses so I know how demanding it can be but also how worthwhile.
Did you start out working in hotels?
Yes, I worked in hotels for two years, specialising in personnel and training. The training element gave me great job satisfaction and I decided to explore teaching in FE. The rest is history.. I taught hospitality management at Leicester College for 2 years, and really got into further education.
So your career has taken several different directions!
Yes, I think it’s important to go where your interests and skills take you, and to always be open to new opportunities. I even took a career break for a year and went backpacking around the world.
What changes have happened since you came to Rotherham?
Of course, the big change has been the government’s funding cuts. We’ve restructured as a result, with a view to being more streamlined, flexible and responsive. The new Wentworth Building at our Town Centre Campus is a really exciting development for the college and illustrates our ambitions for the future.
What’s your vision for the college?
I want us to provide the best possible learning experience for students so that they can achieve their aspirations. I also want to encourage people in and around Rotherham to see that we’re not just about government-funded courses; we also run higher education programmes, work closely with businesses and invite anyone to come and use our facilities.
What are you most proud of about the college?
The commitment by staff and students to achieve the best It’s why we come into education; to make a difference.