We're delighted to welcome Neil Calvert as our new CEO and Principal. Neil starts immediately and brings with him a wealth of experience gained in roles from across the education and charitable sectors. 

Our new CEO and Principal Neil Calvert

What's Neil's background?

He has been the Vice Chair of Governing Council and Chair of the Remuneration Committee at the University of Derby since 2015, and a governor since 2010. During his tenure, the University has broken into the top 30 in national league tables and gained the Gold award in the first Teaching Excellence Framework, an accolade awarded to only a select group of higher education institutions.

As inaugural Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, Neil also led the board's work to develop student voice and representation, driving engagement and amplifying the student voice across all areas of the University.

With over 26 years experience in secondary education, Neil worked at several highly successful schools, building a reputation for innovative practice as a headteacher and system leader. He has served as expert advisor to headteacher appointment panels in secondary schools, lectured at Western Kentucky University, USA and given evidence in Parliament to an Education Select Committee inquiry into school governance.

In 2019 he was appointed as a Trustee of the DHL UK Foundation, a charity which operates and funds programmes to support the education and employability of disadvantaged young people, whilst he also chairs its Remuneration Committee.

Neil replaces John Chillcott, who was our Interim CEO, and Dr Cilla Ross, who was our Interim Principal and will stay on in an advisory capacity until the end of July to assist with handover.

Neil said:

I am honoured to have been appointed to lead the Co-operative College as CEO and Principal at such an important time in its history, and am excited by the opportunity to build on the incredible work that has come before me. 

Education has always sat at the heart of the principles of the co-operative movement. There can never have been a better or more appropriate time for the co-operative learning approach to be used to deliver real answers to the challenges facing communities in the UK and beyond.

Jon Nott, our Chair of Trustees said:

We’re excited to welcome Neil to the College. His significant leadership experience, coupled with a background in both the educational and charitable sectors, makes him a perfect fit for the role. With the support of the College team and the wider co-operative movement, we’re very confident he can build a bright future for the College.

Dr Cilla Ross, our former Interim Principal commented:

I’m delighted to have Neil take up the role of CEO and Principal. His innovative approach and phenomenal track record in secondary education, combined with his higher education experience, means he is perfectly placed to take co-operative education forward.

John Chillcott, our former Interim CEO, added:

I’m very pleased that Neil is the College’s new CEO and Principal. To have someone in post who has such a great mix of both business and education experience is a huge boost for the College.

You'll be able to keep up to date with Neil on Twitter whilst we're also encouraging all our supporters to #WelcomeNeil across social media.