Eastleigh College’s Chief Executive and Principal, Dr Jan Edrich, is retiring following three decades working in Further Education.
Jan started her career in telecommunications manufacturing industry before moving into education after the birth of her son. She has witnessed much change in the sector since her first teaching role, but has always strived to make a real and meaningful difference for all learners, an ethos which has underpinned each role in her 30-year career.
With a passion to support those who may have previously missed out on educational opportunities, Jan particularly enjoyed teaching Access to HE, supporting adult learners as they discovered they could study for university and realise their dream careers.
She later moved to become Head of Quality at Sussex LSC and spent her spare time studying the relationship between the government and colleges and carrying out policy research in London for which she gained a doctorate in education. After spending four years as the Chief Executive of AOSEC - the Association of South East Colleges - Jan joined Eastleigh College as Director of Teaching and Learning in 2012.
Jan said: “I was always ready for the next challenge. My role at the AOSEC supported 59 colleges in the region, all doing amazing work, and I realised I wanted to take on the responsibility to lead a college and bring together what I had learnt from my very broad experience.
“My key aim has always been to try and ensure that every learner is highly successful in achieving not only their qualification, but also growing as a person and having confidence in their own abilities. Eastleigh College has that very special culture which is the combination of ambition and the right support for learners.”
Jan’s vision and leadership has led to it grow and thrive, utilising industry partners and local enterprise partnerships to develop Eastleigh College’s industry–standard facilities and educational and training offering, not only enriching learners’ experience but creating employment opportunities to support the local economy.
Over 85,000 learners have graduated from courses and apprenticeships during Jan’s reign at Eastleigh College, benefiting from her steadfastness to listen to students and support staff to deliver excellence in teaching and learning.
Jan said: “I have had the privilege of working with dedicated and outstanding colleagues, and the culture of Eastleigh College makes it a great place to work in. The learner feedback here is exceptionally strong and results are excellent.
“One of my biggest achievements was realising improvements to the college’s main campus that were made with the support of local growth funds through the Solent LEP. These made a significant difference to the how the college feels and its carbon footprint, propelling the college to become the first class learning facility that it is today.”
Eastleigh College’s Chair of Governors, Jon Sendell, added: “The governors and I are very grateful for the expert leadership that Jan has provided during her time as Chief Executive. Jan’s commitment to ensuring that all learners have an equal opportunity is something that has been the unwavering during her time at the college. We all wish Jan a long and enjoyable retirement.”
Jan concluded: “It’s especially sad that I’m parting at such an unusual time with the Covid-19 pandemic resulting in learners not being on campus in the summer term to celebrate their successes with us in their last few weeks together as they were being taught via virtual learning platforms.
“I will deeply miss the college which offers such a rich variety of courses, training and opportunities resulting in me meeting so many different people from such an array of industry sectors, but know I’m leaving it in safe hands.”
The Eastleigh College Board and Senior Management Team have launched an ambitious strategy for the period 2020-24 that sets out the College’s priorities to see more learners, be more successful, more often.
The College has remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic for many learners and as from September 2020 all learners (including those planning to attend at College House) have returned to a full high-quality education programme as per government guidelines.