A tribute to Jim Grant

By Ian Mean

Business West Gloucestershire director and Vice Chair

Further Education and business need to be inextricably linked if we are to provide the best opportunities and futures for our young people.

That’s why the sudden death of Cirencester College’s Principal, Jim Grant, is so very sad.

Jim, in my view, was a trailblazer in Further Education for Gloucestershire and Wiltshire with  many students travelling from the Swindon area to attend the college.

Indeed, his reputation was nationally recognised with Bill Watkin, Chief

Executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association paying this tribute:

“He will be greatly missed by many, many people across the country who have benefited from his advice, guidance and support over the years”.

I got to know Jim as a fellow board member of GFirstLEP.

He showed real leadership in the FE sector and was a pioneer in educational reform, often “rewriting the book” according to colleagues and encouraging others passionate about change.

He convinced me of the value of T-Levels, and Jim was the regional lead for this new technical provision which is now very much welcomed by business.

The love of apprenticeships was in Jim’s DNA, and in 2021 he launched the first Archaeology apprenticeship in the UK.

Jim’s student trips to Ireland and Italy were legendary-led by his desire to create the best development and affordable experience.

He was a true leader, and particularly astute at curating effective teams.

This was important with the college having a large proportion of long-standing staff and even a number of

students who returned to become lecturers.

Jim Grant made a great contribution to Further Education in this region and to the lives of so many of our young people.

That will be his legacy.

By Ian Mean

Business West Gloucestershire director and Vice Chair

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