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Business Profile: Marie Gilluley - Kirklees College Principal
Laura Batchelor, Features Writer
Marie Gilluley
Marie Gilluley joined Kirklees College as Principal in January 2017, having worked in further education (FE) for over 30 years. She has been a driving force in the run-up to the opening of the new Springfield Sixth Form Centre, opening in Dewsbury in September this year. Marie is passionate about education and providing opportunities for all.

What is your business motto?

My business is Further Education. Kirklees College’s Mission Statement is “Creating Opportunity, Changing Lives”. I think that this sums up why I do what I do.

What makes your business different from others?

It sounds like a cliché, but we are all about people. Education has the power to transform lives for the better. We work with companies to provide the training and skills to make their people and businesses more productive, which can be transformational. And we work with individuals to help them progress in their careers. Many of our learners did not have a great experience in school, but we can change that and ensure their future chances are improved.

What do you always have with you?

A notebook and a pen. Partly to write down things that inspire me, whenever I come across them, and partly because my memory is not so good!

Which person has inspired you most in your business life and in what way?

I’ve known a number of principals from other colleges who have inspirational leadership skills and an ability to develop high performing teams. But I think I get the most inspiration from our students – they are from hugely diverse backgrounds and have such great talent. Their achievements are often inspirational.

What’s your proudest achievement in business?

When I worked at a college in Manchester and Ofsted graded us as Outstanding I was immensely proud. Not so much for the grade, but of the recognition of how far the team of staff had developed and travelled together to get to that point. It was glorious to share that achievement with everyone involved – faculty and students.

What do you believe is your company’s greatest asset?

Our staff are our most significant resource, and their skills and expertise allow us to do our business – delivering education and training. But it is their dedication to the job – to our students - that makes the difference and makes the college great.

Do you use social media for business and if so, with how much success?

I view social media but am not skilled at creating it. I know that I need to improve!

If you hadn’t gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing?

I trained and worked professionally as an engineer before I came into Further Education. I think that if I hadn't been bitten by the FE bug, I'd still be doing that. I did enjoy it.

Give us one tip for a successful business

You need to know and understand your target market and identify your strengths to deliver into that market so that you can be recognised.

How do you like to relax away from work?

Spending time with my family, travelling to new places and walking coastal paths.

More articles in this series...
Business Profile: Jonathan Le Page Of Microform Imaging Ltd
Business Profile: Paula Chamberlain, Managing Director - The Crescent
Business Profile: Natasha McCreesh - Founder Of Pip To Grow Strong
Business Profile: Charles Brook of Poppleton & Appleby
Business Profile: Marie Gilluley - Kirklees College Principal, 18th July 2018, 9:22 AM