Further Education leader to be honoured by university

Trevor Clay is to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Derby
Trevor Clay is to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Derby

A Hucknall education leader is to be honoured by a top university for his work on boosting life chances for generations of young learners.

Former Chesterfield College principal Trevor Clay is to receive an honorary Doctorate of Education from the University of Derby at a ceremony on Saturday, November 12.

Born in Nottingham, Trevor was schooled in Hucknall before going to work for Ashfield District, Derby City and Nottinghamshire County Councils, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Polytechnic and several local colleges.

But it is his passion for giving people a second chance to change their lives which has earned him recognition.

Trevor, 60, said: “In further education, is often the second, third or even fourth chance for people who have perhaps not done so well in early life.

“It’s often seen as a Cinderella service of education and that’s perhaps because politicians and decision-makers have never encountered FE themselves.”

Following criticism by Ofsted that Chesterfield College was not doing enough to engage with employers, Trevor spent six years creating partnerships with small to medium enterprises, through which the number of apprentices grew from 359 to 5,200, most 16- to 18-years-old.

The college’s practice was turned into a commercial venture, Learning Unlimited, which has since launched training centres in Manchester, Nottingham, Matlock and Derby.

“That’s the real success story,” said Trevor.