£15m Coleg Cambria Deeside Unveils New Leadership Team

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Miriam Riddell and Rob Hughes are the new heads at Coleg Cambria’s £15million Deeside Sixth Form Centre.

They will work alongside Alex Thomas, who held the role from the centre’s opening in 2016 before being named Assistant Principal and Director of General Education.

Miriam, a former psychology teacher and assistant head of sixth form at Mold Alun School, and Rob, who was geography lecturer at Deeside Sixth and previously head of humanities at Connah’s Quay High School, are looking forward to the challenge and continuing the “incredible work” of Alex and the team.

“We have only been here a matter of days but the welcome we have had from staff and students has been amazing,”

said Miriam, who lives in Chester with husband Andrew and children Josephine, Ernie and Walter.

“Coleg Cambria is a pioneer of further education and growing at a rapid rate, so being given the opportunity to develop that is fantastic.

“This is a very inspiring place and Alex has laid strong foundations, so it’s up to us to continue his incredible work and build for the future.”

Miriam will be responsible for STEM subjects, the creative arts and the Seren Network, while Rob oversees the Welsh Baccalaureate programme and humanities.

“We work well together and are looking forward to welcoming the next intake in September, as student interest continues to grow and young people are making D6th their first choice for the next step before university or employment,”

said Rob, who has children Jac, Moli and Iwan with wife Susan.

“It’s an exciting time for us to get started in these new roles as we can make the transition in the run up to the summer ahead of the next academic year.”

Both Miriam and Rob, from Ruthin, are keen to continue and further strengthen partnerships with secondary schools in the region, with the pastoral care and support available one of the centre’s key priorities.

“I applied for the role here as I was so impressed by the academic results and on arrival was blown away by the student centred-approach,”

said Miriam.

“There is a strong relationships between the lecturers and learners; the focus on pastoral care is evident in the happy faces that greeted me and the relaxed atmosphere at a time when students are right in the centre of their examinations.”

Rob added:

“I know from experience that the team here go the extra mile and the transition from school to Coleg Cambria is made as smooth as possible.

“You only have to look around to see that this building is unlike any other in North Wales, the technology they have at their fingertips, the equipment and facilities are at the cutting edge and give them a platform to succeed.”

Alex oversaw the site’s first ever A level results in 2018 – a staggering 98% overall pass rate (A*-E) – and is confident that Miriam and Rob have the skills, knowledge and experience to take the centre to the next level.

“Miriam and Rob will bring an even greater level of support to the centre and are keen to continue the ethos of working closely with parents and young people to ensure high levels of guidance and support for all of our learners,”

he said.

“Coleg Cambria is a supported step into employment and we point students towards degree apprenticeships as well as university, providing them with options and opportunities.

“We are delighted with the high number of students gaining jobs with sector leading companies such as IBM, KPMG, PWC and Unilever this summer.

“This comes on the back of our continuing success at supporting learners into programmes at Oxford and Cambridge as well as into prestigious medical and legal routes.

“With Miriam and Rob at the helm I can only see Deeside Sixth Form Centre continuing these high levels of success in years to come. I wish them the best of luck in their new roles.”