Former Sparsholt Principal, Tim Jackson

Former Sparsholt Principal (@Sparsholt_Coll), Tim Jackson has been honoured with a prestigious TES Lifetime Achievement Award at the online TES FE Awards 2021 surrounded by industry experts and peers.  

The staff at Sparsholt College, Andover College and University Centre Sparsholt are exceptionally proud of Tim’s achievement and delighted that his contribution to Education is recognised and respected at a National Level.   

Tim Jackson was the Principal at Sparsholt College since 1998 having been Vice Principal, Head of Faculty and Course Tutor/Manager prior to that. He is a graduate Applied Biologist who worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before training to teach in Further Education. Tim worked for 34 years at the College with 22 of those years as Principal.  Tim is one of only three Principals in FE who have been a Principal for over 22 years. He ensured that in that time, the college remained a strong and vibrant Further Education and Higher Education College with the Further Education provision consistently being rated as Good or Outstanding by Ofsted and the Higher Education provision earning University Centre status and the recognition of Teaching Excellence Framework Gold Standard, providing specialist land-based degrees.

He oversaw the take-over of a general further education college in Andover in 2007, making possible the retention of a much-needed community asset. Student numbers under his management doubled at Andover with success rates dramatically improving with a 10% sustained improvement since merger and the college coming into the top 10% of A Level providers in the sector.  Under his leadership Andover College has been one of the few existing successful college takeovers where viability and quality have been re-established.  

His vision ensured reinvestment in the college in a tight financial climate. Through his leadership, Sparsholt’s campus has seen the expansion of state-of-the-art facilities, including building the Aquatic Research and Conservation Centre, the Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre, the Motor Vehicle Engineering Centre, the Sir Mark Todd Rider Performance Studio with Racewood Simulator, the Indoor Rifle Range in addition to a 100m Full Bore Outdoor Rifle Range and the Game and Wildlife Centre plus the extensive and modern Sports facilities. Whilst on the Andover campus his leadership saw the development and establishment of the multimillion-pound Technology and Skills Centre.

Tim’s influence has been nationwide through his services to LANDEX, DEFRA and the DFE. He has served as Chair of the Landex Quality Development Committee, membership of the Independent Advisory Panel for the Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration, former directorship of a Company supporting ex-offenders and the long term unemployed into work, Trusteeship of Vitacress Conservation Trust and Board membership of Winchester Action on Climate Change (to pursue his passion for the advancement and utilisation of renewable energy). Since leaving the college Tim has gone on to support his colleagues at the college and extend his commitments as a College Board member in the City of Portsmouth and as an FE Adviser working on behalf of the Dept for Education in order to support all FE colleges.  

Julie Milburn, Sparsholt College Group Principal and CEO commented:

“Tim’s success has been founded on his value system which provides for a strong work ethic, a keen sense of duty, a positive approach and an absolute respect for his fellow human beings whom he wills to succeed. 

“To me Tim was and continues to be a great inspiration and mentor. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to observe first hand his outstanding approach to leading such a diverse and successful organisation. On behalf of all staff and students, both past and present, we would like to wish Tim a huge congratulations on this award and an even bigger thank for the role he has played in shaping all of our futures.”  

Tim Jackson commented:

“I am totally flattered, humbled and honoured to receive this award. So many others in further education deserve this but I am delighted to receive it of course. I have worked with inspirational staff in my 38-year career in FE, particularly at Sparsholt College and Andover College. However, I am also deeply grateful to the enormous support given to further education by employers and businesses, local authorities (district, borough and county) and of course the EM3 LEP. These supporters really understand the central role of FE Colleges in launching new careers and the role of constant re-skilling which has never been more important than in out post pandemic economy.”  

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