News & Press

IMG 0313Dr Darrell DeSouza has been appointed as new Group Principal and CEO to the merged college group Harrow College Uxbridge College (HCUC) starting in September.

Darrell will take up the reins from Laraine Smith OBE when she retires from the role, stepping up from his position as Vice-Principal of HCUC, which he has occupied since the merger in August 2017. Prior to the merger, Darrell had served as Vice-Principal Curriculum and Standards at Uxbridge College since August 2007. He was the successful candidate in the Governor-led selection and recruitment process, which was a nationally advertised and competitive process.

Nick Davies, Chair of HCUC Governing Body, said: “HCUC Governors would like to congratulate Darrell on his appointment following what was a rigorous and highly competitive selection and recruitment process. We have every confidence that Darrell will lead HCUC successfully in its ambitious plans for the future as we approach the 2020s. Darrell has a substantial track record of success at HCUC, and his commitment, expertise and passion really shone through throughout the appointments process.”

Darrell said: “I am extremely pleased to have been chosen to lead HCUC into its next phase of development. Thanks to the collective efforts of everyone at Harrow College and Uxbridge College, we have been able to build on the excellent progress made in the first year of merger which has already seen HCUC establishing a strong track record in west London and the wider London region. I am determined to ensure this strength of provision in serving our learners and the local and regional economy, continues.”

Darrell’s work with both organisations has included:

● Steering development of new projects including the pilot T Levels (Technology Levels) establishing HCUC as the only London GFE provider due to launch in 2020

● Leading the Uxbridge College Ofsted Inspection as nominee which resulted in an Outstanding outcome (2008)

● Leading curriculum and quality developments to ensure the College has stayed at the forefront among London GFE providers

● Sustaining high learner success for more than a decade - presided over sustained 16-18 years growth resulting in the largest 16-18 provision in west London (Uxbridge College and now HCUC)

● Leading London Beacon project work

● Chair of the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Quality Forum

Prior to joining Uxbridge College as a Director, Darrell worked in various roles at Coulsdon College, East Berkshire College, at Maidenhead, Windsor and Langley colleges, the latter where he began his lecturing career in Sciences and Psychology.

In his spare time Darrell enjoys sports, photography and music - and has been known to pull on a pair of football boots or brandish a guitar on the premises!

Laraine Smith has been Principal and CEO of HCUC since the merger, before which she had been Principal of Uxbridge College since 2007, having joined as Vice Principal in 2003.

Meeting Room 07Art & Design students transformed two blank walls into a vibrant, lively workspace at Rocket Software’s UK headquarters.

The students worked with the global company on two space-themed mural paintings to brighten up the offices in Stockley Park, Uxbridge.

Caroline Seaward, Senior Order Management Specialist at Rocket Software said: “The students displayed great teamwork and commitment in following our brief, submitting draft designs and delivering a final product to the set deadline. We are very happy with the end result and after sharing photos on our intranet site, the walls in the Uxbridge office have been a real talking point across Rocket worldwide! We would certainly consider doing something like this again in the future. Thanks also to Clara Clark for her support throughout the project.”

The project involving the group of eight first year students from UAL Level 3 Art and Design Diploma ran for two months, with the painting itself taking three days. Rocket provided a brief which the students interpreted and developed, collecting imagery, sketching designs, researching how to paint murals and drawing up a budget and materials list. After the initial design process they developed mock-up paintings and Rocket chose their favourite versions to be painted on the walls.

Clara Clark, Art & Design Lecturer, said: “The students worked on the project pretty much entirely independently, outside of lesson time as part of their work experience, making excellent use of their creative and technical skills and being prepared to use research to produce the best possible result. It was a fantastic opportunity for our artists to be collaborating with a global organisation such as Rocket Software in creating a large mural in a real environment, particularly to have so much positive feedback and support. A very big thank you to Rocket!”

Paul Hannaford IMG 0208Award-winning mentor and speaker Paul Hannaford gave a hard-hitting talk to students as part of Uxbridge College’s commitment to helping young people stay safe.

Paul’s presentation to around 2,000 students, organised in line with the Government’s Modern Crime Prevention Strategy and the Mayor of London’s Knife Crime Strategy, is part of the college’s ongoing programme of talks and activities to support young people’s employability and life skills and to maintain their safety.

Paul tours schools and colleges with his presentation, which cautions young people against the risks associated with carrying weapons and drug use. He explained the consequences of carrying knives, including unplanned usage, tragic, unavoidable deaths, and long jail sentences. Students also learn more about the relevant laws around knife carrying in compulsory college tutorial sessions.

Liam Plumridge, Course Team Leader for Employability, Progress and Review, who organised the visit, said: “Paul gave an inspiring talk which really made students think. Tragically, and as we all know, knife crime is on the increase, with a shocking number of young people continuing to lose their lives because of it. We pride ourselves on having a safe college and are committed to doing all we can to support this going forward and to equip our students to feel as safe as possible both inside and outside college.”

Paul Hannaford has given his talk to around 400,000 young people and won a number of awards for his campaigning work.

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