Kim Caplin bid a final farewell to students and staff on Wednesday 18 March after three years as Principal and seven years as Vice Principal at Westminster Kingsway College, and twenty-eight years in the further education sector.
With a series of successes under her belt, Kim is retiring and plans to spend her time focusing on new interests, including fundraising for the charity Myeloma UK and joining the London Symphony Orchestra Community Choir.
During her time at WestKing, Kim oversaw many pivotal moments in the college’s history, including the opening of the King’s Cross Centre in 2010, attended by alumni Ainsley Harriott, Trevor Nelson and Steve McFadden, winning the Careers and Enterprise Award and three successful Ofsted inspections, where teaching and learning was rated consistently good throughout the college.
Kim said: “Westminster Kingsway College is unique: it is creative, innovative and highly inclusive, with a culture of mutual respect and tolerance throughout staff and student communities. While I was at the college, we produced a Key Stage 4 provision which transforms lives; developed a strong career-focused ethos that won two AOC Beacon Awards for Careers and for Mental Health and become a Careers College for Health & Social Care and Digital Skills. We have developed an award-winning creative media department and a multiple award-winning global Institute of Culinary Arts.
“All of this I will dearly miss, but I feel confident that it will only go from strength to strength as it continues its mission to open minds. Thank you for all the support you have given me and the college over the last 10 years and may the spirit of WestKing continue with passion and success!”
Kim was highly esteemed by colleagues. Gary Hunter, Deputy Principal for Westminster Kingsway College said: “Kim always placed students and learning at the heart of every decision that she made as a leader of WestKing, and I know that the college’s senior managers hold this aspect dear as we take up the challenges of further education into the future. I would personally like to thank Kim for her mentorship and confidence to share her experiences with me, in her support of my development as a senior manager and leader.”
Curriculum Director, Amanda Whelan said, “Kim was a truly inspirational Principal. When she arrived as a Vice Principal, she had a very clear vision and strategy of what she felt the 14-18 provision should be. One of the most important aspects of this was her passion and interest in the type of work I do; the vulnerable low-level learners and the Special Educational Needs (SEN) work in Foundation Learning. This work is unglamorous and largely unnoticed, and I always appreciated her championing of these learners.”
CEO of Capital City College Group, Roy O’Shaughnessy said, “Kim is a consummate professional who represents the best of further education (FE) and inclusive education. Kim has worked tirelessly on behalf of her learners and staff whilst building deep relationships with external stakeholders including local authority partners, local businesses, and civic society. Kim also mentored several of the emerging leaders within the college staff and has seen those individuals progress within the college and move on to senior roles in the larger FE community.
“Since the merger to create Capital City College Group, Kim has worked with her fellow Principals and the other members of the Group Leadership Team to integrate cross-group services whilst also speaking out on behalf of her staff and students, when improvement was required. I am grateful to Kim for the expertise she has provided to me since I joined the organisation, her professional approach and, most importantly, her absolute commitment to our learners and staff.”
Respected by staff and students alike, everyone at Capital City College Group would like to thank Kim for all the hard work and energy that she has tirelessly given, to make Westminster Kingsway College one of the capital’s leading FE institutions.