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Concord College’s new principal aims to retain its Ethos
30 Sep 2021
by Cathy Block

Newly appointed Concord College principal, Michael Truss

A newly appointed college principal has revealed why he was so attracted to apply – and how he hopes the school’s highly valued ethos will continue well into the future.

Michael Truss, 44, who held positions in academia before taking up teaching, is the new principal of Shropshire’s Concord College which is thriving with 600 students and over 300 staff.

The Acton Burnell-based college is now the place of learning for Michael’s and wife Suzanne’s two sons, Joseph, 13, who has joined Form 3, and Theo, 17, who has started in the Sixth Form.

“They are absolutely loving Concord College,” commented Michael who said that under the previous principal Neil Hawkins the ethos of a happy, friendly environment – and one with real academic purpose - had been reinforced alongside a growth in student numbers.

“And despite the growth, Concord still retains that unique ethos.”

He said he was ‘absolutely immediately struck’ by the friendliness and inclusiveness of the college.

“It was immediately obvious from the teachers and students to the pastoral staff who work in the boarding residences, the kitchen and ground staff, that this is a lovely place to be, a wonderful thing which I couldn’t have expected to feel so quickly.

“The personal atmosphere isn’t something you know for sure until you are well immersed in it. But at Concord the culture, friendliness and compassion have been notable from the start, which is pretty unique, as is the immense capability and intelligence of its students.

“It sits in its own niche, there isn’t anywhere quite like it. There is a campus feel to the geography of the place, which is looked after with so much care, love and attention.

“There is no uniform at Concord, so it really feels close to a university style of learning which is different and exciting. We cater for those students who want to go to a top university and absolutely give them the opportunities they are capable of grasping.

“It is brilliant to see these young people embrace the university admissions process and be prepared for it correctly as well as. The students at Concord are thoughtful and open and in a strong position to go out and lead.

“Not only are they successful, they are people capable of influencing things in the future. It is great to give them that opportunity and support them on that journey.”

He added: “People will naturally be worried about a new principal and particularly the ethos. But I am not changing the ethos which is everything here. Academic rigour, creativity and kindness will always remain.”

He added: “I will continue to advance these which are so important.”

Michael, who originates from the West Midlands, was educated at Balliol College at the University of Oxford where he met his wife Suzanne. He began his career as an astrophysicist before moving into teaching 14 years ago.

He has joined Concord College from Barnard Castle School where he spent the last six years as Deputy Head (Academic).