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Janet Smith leads one of the UK’s largest colleges, which after decades of storms is now moving into calmer waters. Jessica Hill meets the new chief executive and principal of Nottingham College

Janet Smith admits she has a “very low boredom threshold”. But rather than being a curse, it has propelled her to teach courses through her 35-year career in education at almost every level, from entry to Masters, as well as taking on tricky leadership roles including steering through the merger of New College Stamford and Peterborough Regional College. 

What makes this remarkable is that when the chief executive and principal of Nottingham College left school at 16, a careers adviser pointed her towards a career as a secretary.

Nottingham College, one of the UK’s largest, has gone through challenging times in recent years. But Smith, who joined in July, is adamant “we have well and truly put the past behind us”.

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