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Rachel Davies has seen the number of young students and of staff almost double, invested £38m in facilities and doubled her College's income while in post as Principal - and is now stepping down.

After eight years in the role, she is leaving to take up the same position at Somerset College in Taunton. She will be handing over the reins to Vice-Principal for Curriculum and Standards, Laraine Smith.

In addition to Ms Davies' many achievements at Uxbridge College in west London, which she joined as Vice-Principal in 1996, she has been an active member of the local community, becoming the first female member of the Rotary Club of Uxbridge, and she is also Joint Vice-Chair on Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce. She is also a governor at two schools, a member of London West Learning & Skills Council and the Hillingdon Education Business Partnership, and former Chairwoman of the Uxbridge Initiative and Economic Sustainability Task Force.

Ms Davies said: "It goes without saying that I am extremely sad to be leaving the staff and students of Uxbridge College behind, and it has been a difficult move to make - however I am looking forward to my new challenge.

"Throughout my time here the support I have got from everyone has been incredible - nothing which has been achieved during my time at Uxbridge College would have been possible without all those people who care so much about what happens here.

"I feel that one of my most important achievements is to have worked alongside partners in the community, particularly in businesses to ensure Uxbridge College is responsive to local and regional employment needs.

"Above all, I am most proud of developing the trust of local people and being a part of Hillingdon's development."

The College's achievements while she has been in post include:

* Investing £38m in the College which saw the rebuild of the Hayes Community Campus and redevelopment of the Uxbridge Campus

* Doubling the College's income and expanding work to include a large apprenticeship programme and contracts to work with employers on their premises

* Almost doubling the staff team

* Introducing a bespoke Employer Services team to meet the training needs of local employers

* Doubling the number of young people taking academic and vocational courses, which resulted in the College being the largest sixth form provider in Hillingdon

* Developing a specialist engineering centre providing HE and skills based courses

* Introducing university-level Higher Education qualifications into the College

* Placing the College in the top 10% of colleges in London.


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