Kirklees College deputy principal set to retire

Deputy Principal June Durrant will be bidding farewell to Kirklees College when she retires this week.

June – who has worked in the further education sector for the last 31 years – spent 18 years at Bradford College before joining Kirklees College (then Huddersfield Technical College) in 2004.

Joining as Head of School for Caring, which included Animal Care, Childcare, Health and Social Care and Hair and Beauty, June became a Director in 2008 when Kirklees College was formed after its merger with Dewsbury College. She later became Deputy Principal.

Following the retirement of Principal Peter McCann in 2016, June stepped up to the role of Acting Principal until the appointment of Principal Marie Gilluley in January this year.

Speaking about her time with the College, June said: “The best thing about my work has always been the people, and all the staff and students whom I have worked with along the way in both Bradford and Kirklees.

“I feel very privileged to have been able to work in a sector that I know has the power it has to change lives. Certainly, studying at Huddersfield Technical College started me off on a path that changed my life.

“I always tell people that Kirklees College is a very special place, and whilst there are always frustrations and challenges in any working environment, I truly believe that there is something that makes this place very special – that being the people here who put their students and colleagues first.”

June was part of the team that developed the Bradford Foyer homeless accommodation and was also instrumental in discussions with local and national employers to bring about the Kirklees College’s Process Manufacturing Centre (PMC) and see the plans through to fruition.

The PMC, which opened last year, is now working with a large number of firms, including major brands such as Nestle, Coca-Cola and Hovis.

“We’ve been able to develop our relationships with employers and adapt our offer to fit in with exactly what they want. It’s just gone from strength to strength,” added June.

“I am incredibly proud that we are winning national contracts with big blue chip companies, which should play a strong part in the college’s stability and reputation going forward.

“The Apprenticeships we are offering provide an amazing opportunity for young people too. They are learning specialist skills to meet the needs of an ageing workforce within the industry and going into really well-paid jobs at the end of it.”

June is looking forward to spending more time with her family and her hobbies of crafting, knitting and watercolour painting.

“I’m really going to miss everyone at Kirklees College but would like to thank everyone for the support they have given me,” she added.