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24th January 2024

Principal Establishes Legacy of Educational Excellence


Principal Establishes Legacy of Educational Excellence

John Evans concludes his highly successful tenure as Principal and Chief Executive of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) this summer, leaving behind a legacy of transformative initiatives and academic achievements.

Under his dynamic leadership, TCCG has re-established itself as a leading educational institution, characterised by unprecedented growth and positive change across the Group.

Patrick Newberry, Chair of Governors at TCCG, acknowledged John’s contributions, stating “Under John’s leadership, the Group has reached new heights.”

“His visionary approach, commitment to excellence and unwavering passion for education have left an indelible mark on our institution. We thank him for his transformative leadership,” Patrick continued.

“TCCG remains committed to building upon the legacy John leaves behind, with a continued dedication to providing exceptional education and addressing the evolving needs of the community.”


During his tenure, John established a number of ground-breaking initiatives across TCCG’s ten campuses, which include Cornwall College Camborne and St Austell, Duchy College Rosewarne and Stoke Climsland, Falmouth Marine School, Bicton College, Plymouth Engineering Skills Centre, Tournament Golf College and University Centres in Newquay and at the Eden Project.

From establishing innovative 14-16 vocational academies, introducing the UK’s first ecological postgraduate degree through Eden Project University Centre, to driving the development of Electric Vehicle (EV) labs, addressing the evolving landscape of the automotive sector. His commitment to fostering collaboration and networking has led to strategic partnerships across Cornwall and Devon, bridging the gap between education and industry needs.


Having started his career as an apprentice motor vehicle mechanic, apprenticeships were a special focus for John, leading to TCCG being recognised as the top-performing college for apprenticeships in the South West, surpassing the National Average by an impressive 11.8%.

Additionally, John’s has been the driving force behind TCCG’s ascent as a leading institution for higher education in the region. Cornwall College’s attainment of University Centre status, with Foundation Degree Awarding Powers (FDAP), represents a significant milestone, further underscoring its dedication to providing diverse and meaningful higher education opportunities to students in Cornwall and beyond.

Further to that, Cornwall College achieved the prestigious Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver rating, an accolade affirming the consistently high-quality student experience and outcomes provided by the college. The TEF report commended the College for integrating industry into higher education pedagogy, engaging employers in course design and teaching students to tackle real-world problems.


As an Ofsted inspector himself, a personal highlight of John’s time in post undoubtedly rests on the College’s triumph in its recent Ofsted inspection, securing an overall ‘Good’ Grade 2 rating, with ‘Good’ in each of the eight areas of inspection.

Evans expressed his pride in the Ofsted achievement, stating: “Receiving the ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff, students and our entire college community. It reflects our commitment to providing top-notch vocational skills development and creating an environment that empowers students to succeed in their chosen fields.”

Amanda Spielman, former Chief Inspector of Ofsted, personally commended TCCG’s transformation during a visit to Cornwall College St Austell following the successful inspection. Spielman acknowledged the College’s dedication to changing lives and contributing positively to the wider community.


John also leaves his mark through transformative multi-million-pound redevelopment projects at Cornwall College Camborne and Cornwall College St Austell. Spearheading these initiatives, he has laid the groundwork to shape both campuses into modern, sustainable and inspiring learning environments for the future.

Securing funding from the Department for Education’s FE Capital Transformation Fund, John initiated a transformative project at Cornwall College Camborne to upgrade facilities and enhance the overall learner experience. Similarly, the St Austell campus secured a share of the same fund, designated to rebuild the campus into a modern, carbon-neutral hub, meeting the needs of students and the community.


Chair of Governors Patrick Newberry remarked how he will remember John as “a visionary leader who tackled challenges on multiple fronts.”

“From achieving the coveted Ofsted ‘Good’ rating and leading multi-million-pound campus redevelopments to actively lobbying the government in Westminster for increased funding, John’s achievements were many,” Patrick explained.

“On behalf of the TCCG Board of Governors, I extend our sincere appreciation for his dedicated service. We wish him continued success in all his future endeavours.”

The Cornwall College Group

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