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New CEO for The Bedford College Group from January 2024

Bedford College Tower Block River View

The new CEO who will take over from Ian Pryce CBE, long-standing leader of The Bedford College Group, has been announced.

Ian is due to retire officially on January 2nd 2024 after 25 years as CEO, but such is the size and significance of his role that work has already begun for the hand-over to Yiannis Koursis OBE.

Yiannis is currently the Principal and Chief Executive of Barnsley College, a large tertiary college judged Outstanding by Ofsted. He has worked at the college for seven years.

Said Ian:

“I am fortunate to have got to know Yiannis over the last couple of years as members of the FE Commissioner’s Principals Reference Group. He has an excellent reputation in the sector and I know he will be great to work with and will take our college group to the next level.”

Yiannis Koursis, New CEO The Bedford College Group.
The next step of the journey

Yiannis has been appointed to continue to build on the Group’s strong reputation following the thorough and vigorous recruitment process by a panel led by the Chair of Governors, Allan Schofield.

Said Allan:

“Both I and the Corporation are excited to appoint Yiannis as our new CEO. We are committed to making The Bedford College Group a truly excellent institution leading the region’s training and skills agenda, and we are confident that Yiannis will help us achieve this in building on our already sound foundations. We are delighted to be welcoming him as he joins us to help take us forward in the next step of our journey.”

The Bedford College Group is the seventh largest group in the country by funding. It recently merged with Central Bedfordshire College and has a structure which is led by the CEO, supported by two deputies and three Principals for Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.

Yiannis has been helping transform the lives of students for more than 17 years, during which time he has held senior Further Education roles in colleges across the UK. He has also spent close to a decade working with voluntary and charitable services.  He was awarded an OBE in 2022, and a fellowship by the Royal Society of Arts in 2020 for his outstanding achievements in social progress and development, championing the power of Further Education to transform lives.

More recently, Yiannis worked with the Gatsby Foundation to help enhance UK education and was invited to consult on the Government’s white paper for FE reform. In January 2022 he was appointed to the Further Education Principals Reference Group to support the FE Commissioner in improving performance in FE colleges.

He is a dedicated national advocate for the sector and works tirelessly to reinforce it as a force for opportunity and growth.  He also serves as part of the CBI Yorkshire and Humber Regional Council alongside his work as Barnsley 2030 Board Vice Chair, leading the town’s vision and ambitions for the decade.

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