New Chair of Corporation at Black Country College

Dudley College today announced a new Chair of the Corporation. John Woodall, previously Deputy Chair, will take over from John Freeman CBE, who is retiring from the role of Chair. 

Principal Lowell Williams said: "During his time as a member of the Corporation and more recently as Chair, John Freeman has had a hugely positive impact on the college. He played a central role in helping us create the Dudley Learning Quarter, which Ofsted inspectors recently recognised as 'outstanding’.  He also helped us develop some really excellent partnerships with local schools. On behalf of all the staff, students and governors of the college I would like to thank John for all his exceptional work."Lowell Williams, Principal (left) and John Woodall, new Chair (right) with students from the college's Performing Arts course.

New Chair, John Woodall, has a substantial knowledge of the Dudley area having spent much of his home and working life in the borough. His relationship with Dudley College started many years ago when he was a newly qualified Chartered Accountant and worked for a short while as an accounting lecturer.

John spent 15 years in the manufacturing sector, before moving onto new challenges at the Dudley Training and Enterprise Council and Business Link. Other key roles which made him an ideal candidate for the position are his time as Chair of the Chamber of Commerce and his role at Dudley Borough Council as Assistant Director of Regeneration.

New Chair John Woodall said: "I've always been passionate about education and training and know that it can change people's lives. Since my time as a lecturer I was inspired by the role the college played across the borough, and how important it was to the community and commercial success of the area. As a Governor, and in my new role as Chair, I'm now able to make a direct contribution to the strategic direction and leadership of the college as it faces new and exciting challenges and changes."

"Dudley College's tremendous vision, commitment and passion, shared by its Corporation, staff and students, guarantees the college will continue to succeed. The development of the Learning Quarter and the recent Ofsted outcome have shown the college to be a strategic, bold and ambitious institution with an extremely solid foundation to continue building on."

Principal Lowell Williams said: "John Woodall has been a really valuable member of Dudley College's Corporation for four years now and has helped to realise the vision which Ofsted praised so fully recently. John's local knowledge of the area has helped develop the college into a major player in the borough and with the local community and employers. There are some demanding times ahead which will require the Corporation to make complex decisions. I know that John will lead the Corporation confidently through these times."

The college plans further major development of the Dudley Learning Quarter with the construction of Dudley Advance, the college's new flagship advanced manufacturing and engineering centre due to open in autumn 2014.

"Dudley Sixth and Dudley Evolve are magnificent assets for the college and its learners," John Woodall explained. "However, Dudley Advance will deliver a unique and essential resource to help re-establish the engineering and manufacturing skills much needed in the area and further afield. It's a very exciting project and one I'm proud to be involved with."