Former College Principal awarded OBE in New Year’s Honours list

Governors and Trustees are delighted that David Walrond, recently retired Principal of Truro and Penwith College and current Chair of Trustees at Callywith College, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year 2021 Honours List. David will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to Further Education (FE) in Cornwall.

David said of the award: “It is wonderful to be honoured in this way. What is being recognised of course is the vital work for Cornwall of two remarkable institutions and the many outstanding colleagues who have made them what they are.”

David Walrond has been instrumental in the development of successful Further Education in Cornwall. He became Principal of the Ofsted Outstanding Truro and Penwith College in 2010, having joined the College in 2003 as Director of Curriculum and Quality. During his ten years as Principal, the College has seen major growth in its 16-19 learners and apprenticeships, completed the redevelopment of the new Penwith campus, and in 2017 created a major new campus at Callywith, Bodmin, to serve the whole of north and east Cornwall.

In 2013, David was designated as NLE (National Leader in Education), one of only two FE College principals in that role. In 2016 Truro and Penwith College achieved both Ofsted Outstanding status and the TEF Gold Award (Teaching Excellence Framework) for Higher Education. David is a founder member of the pre-16 Truro and Penwith Academy Trust (TPAT) which the College established.

Other accolades during this period include winning the National Beacon Awards for Leadership and Governance in 2016, and for Support for Mental Health and Wellbeing, in 2017. That year Truro and Penwith was also awarded the AoC’s (Association of Colleges) highest “Leading Light” Award. Under his leadership the College also led in establishing the cross-phase Cornwall Teaching School and Maths Hub as part of a growing remit for improving education across the county.

In its most recent Inspection in 2016, Ofsted praised Truro and Penwith College’s leadership and management saying: “Governors and senior leaders have successfully created a culture where learning and achievement flourish as a result of excellent teaching”.

David was instrumental in the opening of Callywith College in Bodmin, one of the few purpose-built new colleges to open in the UK in recent times. He continues to serve as Chair of Trustees at the College, which in 2020 also received Ofsted Outstanding status in its first inspection. Inspectors praised leadership’s “clear and ambitious vision for the college which raises the aspirations and achievements of its students and improves the life chances of young people living in one of the poorest regions in the UK.” Demand for places there has seen it grow to over 1,200 learners in just three years of operation. 

As well as his continuing role with Callywith College, David also serves as a Director on the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership and sits on the Truro Town Board. 

Living in rural Cornwall, David enjoys a busy family life and, in what he describes as ‘semi-retirement’, has more time for walking, music and travel.