Colin Greenhalgh CBE

Colin Greenhalgh

Areas of Interest

Business, Health Care

Honorary Award

DL Honorary Fellow, 2002


From 2002 to 2010 Colin Greenhalgh was Vice-Chairman and Senior Independent Director of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He was a Governor of The Grammar School at Leeds (2005-14) and is an Honorary Senior Member and former Observer on the Governing Body of Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is currently President of the Johnian Society, St John's College, Cambridge; a Trustee of the Comberton Academy Trust; a Governor of Comberton Village College; and a Governor of Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge.

It was as Principal of Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge from 1984-2002 that Colin established his reputation, both as a forward thinking educator and as an astute and inspirational leader. During his time there he succeeded in creating a highly stimulating learning environment, one that encouraged participation not solely in academic fields but also in the performing arts and sports. In 1997 his efforts were recognised when he was awarded an OBE for services to education. Since leaving Hills Road Sixth Form College Colin has been in great demand as an educational consultant, working with the Department for Education, Cambridge University, the Centre for Excellence in Leadership, the Association of Colleges, the Ogden Trust and with numerous individual schools and colleges. For a number of years Colin was an Ofsted inspector for leadership and management. In 2003 he received a CBE for services to further education. Colin was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire in 1998.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Fellowship of the University to Colin Ayton Greenhalgh, OBE, DL, MA who has recently retired from Hills Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, where he served as Principal from 1984 until this year, 2002.

This award is made in recognition of Colin's longstanding, ten year, association with the University, during which time he has guided Hills Road Sixth Form College into becoming an active member of the Regional University Partnership, his robust support of a range of joint initiatives with APU to prepare students for higher education including, of course, this University, his commitment to cultural enrichment of the educational experience, beyond academic excellence, of both his young and mature students and his numerous public-spirited endeavours within the community and beyond.

Although Colin was born in Sunderland, his parents soon moved south to Leicester, to escape the dangers of the Second World War bombing of the Wearside shipyards in the North East of England. However, he has retained his northern roots and perhaps uniquely, supports both Sunderland and Newcastle United Football Clubs. He attended The Gateway School in Leicester, becoming School Captain and where he excelled both academically and in football and cricket (up to County Standard) before moving on to St John's College, Cambridge. Here, he read History and rose to be Captain of Soccer, before completing a teaching qualification at Nottingham University.

Colin took up his first professional teaching post in 1964 as a teacher of History and General Studies at Bradford Grammar School. Two years later he married Vivienne (who by happy coincidence is now Senior Student Counsellor at APU's Cambridge Campus) on the day that England won the World Cup! In 1970 he moved on to the Bulmershe School in Reading as Head of History, subsequently becoming Head of Upper School and thence to Newbury, as Deputy Head of St Bartholomew's School, where he learned much about leadership and was greatly encouraged by the Headmaster to seek a headship himself.

It was in 1984 that Colin became Principal of Hills Road Sixth Form College and found 600 sixth form students housed in lamentable accommodation. However, the quality of these students and their teachers was, he believed, outstanding. Through his magnificent leadership over many years, there are today more than 1,500 sixth form students, 3,000 adult enrolments a year and over 1,000 members of the local community using the Sports and Tennis Centre, created in 1996. Colin enjoys both a national and an international reputation as Principal and the College regularly heads the government's A-level league table for sixth form colleges. In 1997, Colin was awarded an OBE for "services to education" and became a Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire the following year.

Meanwhile, Hills Road Sixth Form College was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize for creating "a state of the art campus for teaching and learning" and subsequent to an outstanding OFSTED Inspection in 2001, earlier this year the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education awarded the College: Learning and Skills Beacon status.

Colin is a most able leader and a cultured and caring educationalist who never tires of seeking to enrich the lives of his students that they may play a meaningful role in today's society, nor to use his exceptional gifts to benefit the community of which he is part.

It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Vice-Chancellor, to confer on Colin Ayton Greenhalgh, OBE, DL, MA an Honorary Fellowship of this University."