THE start of the new year marked the end of an era at the College of West Anglia’s Isle Campus with the retirement of long serving staff member Jill Francis.
Jill, Executive Director Partnerships based at the Wisbech campus, retired from the post after 23 years of service in the further education sector.
Jill began her further education (FE) career as a lecturer in economics and marketing in the former Isle college.
She was the course leader for the first higher education course at the campus which allowed young people to further their careers locally.
It was not long before she was promoted to lead the department and subsequently to take on a cross college role as Assistant Principal with student services and marketing responsibility.
Prior to the merger with the College of West Anglia she was the Deputy at Isle and took her current title in the merged college as part of the senior management team.
Jill is the senior lead at the Isle Campus and as such has worked with colleagues at Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Children’s Services and the Heads at the Fenland and other Cambridgeshire and Norfolk schools.
In addition, she has over-seen marketing, student services, child protection and school link programmes for all campuses.
Jill has served as a governor in the newly formed Thomas Clarkson Community College and at King’s Lynn Academy and seen both schools turn the corner in terms of their student achievement.
Jill is a local girl, who lives in Wimblington with her husband Martin. She moved to the Fens when she was 14 and attended the Wisbech High School before qualifying to become a research and product manager at Hotpoint in Peterborough and then at Geest Foods, Spalding.
It is that local understanding and industry experience that has underpinned her enthusiasm and commitment to making a difference for the Fenland, wider Cambridge and West Norfolk areas.
Jill said: “Everyday since I started at the college has been different. It has not been without challenges but it has been a great pleasure to work with an excellent team committed to raising aspirations and creating opportunities for the young and more mature to maximise their potential. I will miss the people and wish the college well as I start a new chapter in my life”.
David Pomfret, Principal of the college said: “Jill has made a fantastic contribution to the college’s many successes and we wish her the very best in retirement”.