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Robert Clegg OBE closes 16 years of service at Hopwood Hall College


After spending almost two decades serving on Hopwood Hall College's Corporation, Robert Clegg OBE officially stepped down as Chair of the Board at the July 2018 board meeting. Board members and staff marked his final meeting with a surprise leaving party held at the College.

The Conservative Councillor first joined the College in 2002 as Deputy Chair, before stepping up as Chair in 2007. Hopwood Hall College's Principal, Derek O'Toole, led the surprise leaving party for Robert Clegg, catered for by the College's Hospitality & Catering students who study at the College’s Riverside Restaurant.

Under Robert Clegg's guidance, the College has developed to become one of the top further education providers in the North West.

Pictured: Hopwood Hall College Pricipal, Derek O'Toole and Robert Clegg OBE during the leaving party

Among a number of accolades earned by Hopwood Hall College during Robert Clegg's tenure:

  • Ofsted awarded its second highest rating to the College in 2011 and again in 2017 with a 'Good' rating
  • Received the same Bronze TEF rating as many of Manchester’s universities
  • Recorded one of the smallest gender pay gaps in the FE education sector

Speaking at the surprise leaving party, Hopwood Hall College’s Principal, Derek O’Toole said to attending guests:

“We’ve had over ten years of great leadership under Robert, in that time we have gone from strength to strength and become one of the highest performing colleges in the country.

“On a personal level, Robert has been dedicated to this institution every hour of his life. He has embodied the principles of this College, full of selflessness, integrity, openness and honesty.

“As we now look forward to a new era under Nazir Afzal, I’d like to thank you, Robert, on behalf of all the learners and staff. I wish you a fond farewell.”

Pictured: Hopwood Hall College Principal, Derek O'Toole presents Robert Clegg OBE with a commemorative award

Following on from the Principal’s speech, Robert Clegg gave a final goodbye to the College;

“I’m overwhelmed with this surprise, the staff under Derek’s leadership have been brilliant and I am really grateful for their efforts across the entire organisation.

“All we have done has been about the learner’s path, it’s been important to me that the kids in this borough get the high standards they deserve. I’ll be watching the College’s progress with great interest.

“Although, if I am remembered for anything, it will probably be getting rid of that horrible green and yellow building…”

Pictured: Robert Clegg OBE speaks at his final board meeting