After two decades of dedicated service at Coleg Gwent and having spent the last eight years as Principal and Chief Executive, Guy Lacey has announced his intention to retire at the end of the academic year 2023/24.
The announcement signifies a new chapter for the college as it prepares to embark on the search for a new Principal to lead and continue his legacy.
As a visionary leader, Guy has presided over a period of remarkable growth and transformation during his tenure. Under his care, Coleg Gwent has ascended to prominence as one of the top-performing colleges in Wales, offering an extensive and inspiring range of educational opportunities to the communities of South-East Wales.
During his tenure, Guy successfully navigated the college through pivotal negotiations with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Torfaen County Borough Council, culminating in the establishment of two modern learning zones in Ebbw Vale and Cwmbran.
More recently, he has spearheaded the college's involvement with Newport City Council in the development of the exciting Newport Knowledge Quarter – a major regeneration project for the city.
He has also helped in recently securing the cutting-edge engineering campus known as "Hive" for Ebbw Vale, contributing to the region's educational and economic advancement.
Guy's impact also extends beyond Coleg Gwent. In his role as Chair of ColegauCymru – the voice for Further Education in Wales – he has played a pivotal role in shaping the future of the Further Education sector. His contribution has ensured that the interests of colleges across Wales are always represented, including most recently, with the establishment of the new Commission for Tertiary Education & Research.
He has also been a long-standing member of the influential Cardiff Capital Region Skills Partnership, as well as sitting on the CCR Economic Growth Partnership, ensuring a strong voice for further education in the region.
Guy Lacey's journey to leadership included several years with Lloyds Bank on an in-house management development program, after which he pursued higher education, earning a degree in History and Politics at Oxford Brookes University. His commitment to education led him to complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Bath, which served as a foundation for a successful teaching career. Over the years, his passion for education and the development of young minds saw him serve as a GCSE examiner for the University of Cambridge Examinations Syndicate and later as a peer Inspector with Estyn. Most recently he was a member of the steering group which produced the Review of Vocational Qualifications in Wales for the Welsh Government.
Upon hearing the news of Guy's retirement, the Chair of the Board of Governors, Mark Langshaw MBE, expressed his sentiments, stating,
"It was a bittersweet moment to learn of Guy's plans to retire. Guy should be very pleased with all of his accomplishments over a long and distinguished career, and he leaves the College in a stronger position than which he found, well positioned for the future. The Board is very grateful for Guy's strong leadership and dedication to Coleg Gwent and the wider FE sector in Wales.”
“We will now begin the search for his successor with experience of the Welsh FE sector, who shares similar values and vision for the future to build upon the stronger foundations that Guy has built. We wish him a long and well-deserved retirement.”
ColegauCymru Chief Executive, David Hagendyk, further added,
“Guy’s vision and dedication to the FE sector in Wales has ensured a brighter future for countless learners.
His dynamic approach has brought not just expertise, but passion to his roles, both at Coleg Gwent and as ColegauCymru Chair. He has tirelessly worked to support learners, staff and the wider sector, and always with a keen eye to ensure that FE is recognised as vital contributor to our communities and the Welsh economy.
We wish Guy all the best on his retirement later this year and warmly thank him for his commitment, hard work and the indelible mark he leaves on education in Wales.”
As Coleg Gwent prepares to transition to new leadership, the organisation will undoubtedly celebrate Guy's dedication and leadership and continue to build upon the strong foundation he has laid.
The search for a new Principal will start in the coming year - the College remains committed to delivering the highest quality education to the students of South-East Wales.