30th December 2017

The Principal of South Devon College, Stephen Criddle, has been awarded an OBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List. The New Year’s Honours List recognises the achievements and services of extraordinary people across the UK.

Stephen said “I am delighted and very privileged to accept this Honour. I am extremely proud to receive the recognition not just for myself, but on behalf of all the committed, passionate and inspirational people it is my privilege to work with at South Devon College, who make the College the incredible place it is”.

Stephen Criddle has worked dedicatedly in education for over 25 years, from leadership and management roles in the South West of England and consultancy work across the country to latterly leading South Devon College as Principal and CEO for nearly 10 years, serving the communities of Torbay and South Devon.

Since 2002, Stephen has contributed to and steered South Devon College’s expansion to a leading Further & Higher Education College, widely recognised for its highly inclusive approach and ambition for the area and its students. In his 15 years at the College, it has expanded its work with local communities to develop a vibrant University Centre provision, a Newton Abbot campus of 3 local centres and a dedicated Marine education facility at Kingswear, as well as actively supporting a very large range of local partnerships and voluntary project work through student and staff activity.

Stephen is passionate about the importance of further education in social mobility and raising life chances, being the first person in his family to benefit from a university education. He is a champion for the importance of high quality careers information, advice and guidance and education business partnership working to inspire young people and help encourage prosperity for all.

Stephen has contributed more widely as a board member of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership and recently joined the TEDC in Torbay, working to support economic regeneration and community benefit. He is also active as a board member and trustee of a number of other local and national educational institutions and charities.

South Devon College continues to move ahead with two major awards in 2017 for Higher Education (a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award), and an Investors in People Platinum Award for leadership practice and culture. In March 2018, building work will commence on the College’s new £17m Hi-Tech & Digital Skills Centre, which will have world class resources to support the jobs of the future and future generations of students. It is also progressing well on the journey towards gaining degree awarding powers for its University Centre South Devon.

Quote from Chair of Governing Body Dr Karen Stockham:
“The Governing Body of South Devon College is very proud to acknowledge the award of OBE to its Principal, Stephen Criddle. The award recognises the unrelenting passion and drive Stephen has for serving the education and skills needs of the communities of Torbay and South Devon. His dedicated and high-level leadership has successfully steered the College to its current position as a vibrant and locally-relevant provider of education, employment and skills. We warmly congratulate him. “

For more information about this story, please contact Karen Rudkin – Marketing, PR and Communications Manager, at karenrudkin@southdevon.ac.uk, from Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

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