New chairman at Harrogate’s Army Foundation College

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THE NEW chairman of the Independent Advisory Panel at Harrogate’s Army Foundation College is Kevin McAleese.

Mr McAleese, 64, succeeds Della Canning, the former Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.

He was head of Harrogate Grammar School for ten years until 2002 when he went into educational consultancy and joined the NHS as a non-executive director. Mr McAleese, who lives in Burn Bridge is currently the chairman of NHS North Yorkshire and York, which commissions healthcare services from hospitals, GPs and dentists for some 800,000 patients in the county from a budget of £1.2 billion.

Mr McAleese said: “I am delighted to be invited to chair the IAP at Harrogate College. The role of the IAP is a key one in providing on-going reassurance to parents and the junior soldiers themselves, as well as to the permanent staff, that their welfare is of prime importance.

“It’s also great to have a group of such committed IAP members giving freely of their time and interest in the work of the college and the well-being of the young people there ”.

This is a return to local military connections for Mr McAleese who was Chairman of the RAF Menwith Hill British-American Committee from 2003 to 2009.

The Army Foundation College on Pennypot Lane outside Harrogate provides military training and vocational education programmes for around 1,400 16 and 17-year-olds.

Following the Deepcut Enquiry into the deaths of some young soldiers during training, every Army Foundation College is now required to have an Independent Advisory Panel. IAP members are drawn from the local community and are attached to each of the five companies at Harrogate, where they undertake both announced and unannounced visits to college activities and military exercises followed by writing reports which identify strengths and any areas of concern.