Leading figures from Brighton & Hove’s civic and business world paid tribute to City College Brighton and Hove Principal Phil Frier recently at a farewell lunch hosted at the Amex Stadium’s East Central Brasserie to mark his forthcoming retirement. Since Mr. Frier became Principal in 2007, the College has gone from a ‘satisfactory’ Ofsted rating to ‘Good with Outstanding Features’ while success rates have steadily improved to the extent that the College is now one of top ten highest performing Further Education Colleges in the country. During his time as Principal, Mr. Frier also became Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s City Employment & Skills Steering Group which includes key personnel from the Council’s main strategic partners in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors.
At the event, Mr Frier thanked family, friends and supporters across Brighton and Hove and praised the strong spirit of partnership working across the city. He also praised the governors, staff and students who had helped the College achieve its success. Special praise, however, was reserved for his wife, Cath. 'Cath has followed my career and supported me wherever I’ve gone and at the same time held down a full-time job of her own and also raised our family of four fantastic kids that we’re very proud of', said Mr. Frier. 'Without her support, I simply wouldn’t have been able to do the job.'
Phil & Cath Frier
'Phil Frier has been an inspirational Principal', said Mayor of Brighton & Hove, Bill Randall. 'The College itself has done exceptionally well under Phil’s stewardship and the quality of what’s on offer for students is terrific. He’s a great networker and partnership worker and I think he’s really brought the College much more into the life of the city and it makes a much bigger contribution than it did before he was Principal.'
Brighton and Hove Albion director Martin Perry, who was Chair of the College’s Board of Governors when Mr. Frier was originally appointed Principal, thanked Mr Frier for his contribution not just to the College but to the wider community: 'Phil has transformed the College and created so many opportunities for young people there and throughout the city. Alongside his role as Principal, he identified his role in the community and has made a tremendous contribution though his ability in working in partnership. In particular, he embraced what we were trying to do at the football club and as a result we were able to support him. The training restaurant at the stadium’s East Central Brasserie is an example of that. It’s been a massive success and that’s all because of Phil Frier and the way in which he’s worked.'
'I think Phil’s contribution has been unmatched by any public servant in the city recently in terms of what he’s achieved during his time at City College', said Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove City Council, John Barradell. 'He’s helped make it one of the outstanding Colleges in Britain and brought the city and its people along with him.'
Broadcaster and former Chair of the Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership Simon Fanshawe said: 'Phil has a way of dealing with people that makes them feel special and I think that’s a remarkable and powerful quality that’s the true sign of a great educator.'
'If you mention Phil Frier’s name to people in Brighton, the inevitable response is ‘he’s a really good guy isn’t he?'', said Michael Beard, Editor of The Argus. 'The manner in which Phil’s worked, not just for the College but for Brighton on the whole, is well known in the city and beyond. What Phil and his team at the College have achieved is nothing short of outstanding.'
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About City College Brighton and Hove: Situated in the heart of Brighton and graded ‘Outstanding’ in key areas by Ofsted in its June 2011 report, City College Brighton and Hove is an international centre of vocational excellence and one of the top performing Further Education Colleges in the country. Every year, 2,000 full-time, 7,000 part time, 400 Higher Education and 400 14-16 year old students as well as many international and European students choose City College as their place of further and higher education training. In addition, the College provides training to over 2,000 businesses via its ‘City Business Skills’ department which focuses on employer training needs. Offering over 700 courses from basic level right through to business and postgraduate training, City College is working with its partners to develop the workforce of the future.