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Neala Whybrow


As Principal of EKC Folkestone College, Neala brings a wealth of educational knowledge from a variety of settings.

Having trained and worked professionally as a Musical Theatre performer, Neala (somewhat reluctantly) fell into teaching as a Performing Arts teacher at her old secondary school in 2008. However, what Neala quickly realised was that inspiring young people to be ambitious and that moment when “the penny drops” was infectious, particularly with learners that others had “written off”.

After eight years of working in various leadership roles in secondary environments, Neala wanted to explore leadership outside of secondary education; feeling her curriculum design and stakeholder engagement was somewhat restricted by the progress measures set in schools. Neala took the leap of moving into Further Education as Head of Creative at Broadstairs College in 2016.

In 2017, Neala was appointed as Deputy Principal Inclusion and School for Broadstairs College, taking on the senior responsibility of our flagship Junior College. Neala was fundamental in redesigning the Junior College and, since doing so, took a secondment role as group Director of Pre 16 Development and was integral in establishing Junior College provision at both Folkestone and Spring Lane.

As a result of the group success in pre-16 and inclusion, in 2020, Neala moved into the role of Group Director of Inclusion and Alternate Provision with the role evolving in 2021 to Director of Education Improvement. It was during this time that Neala established a strong approach to Quality Assurance across the group as well as launching and embedding the group’s Inclusion Strategy. Since then, Neala has completed her National Professional Qualification of Headship and hopes to one day bring her knowledge for secondary education and FE together and would love nothing more than to do that in a way which benefits our local communities.

Neala is hugely passionate about inclusion, believing that we hold the power and ability to make education accessible to all learners, no matter the barrier. As a result, Neala ensured that the student is front and centre of everything she does and challenges colleagues and stakeholders to do the same.

Neala is married with two children. As a family, they are actively involved in charity work, specifically for Diabetes UK, a charity very close to their hearts. Neala is also a Governor at Bysing Wood Primary School, within the EKC Schools Trust, and plans on undertaking her MA in Inclusion (SEMH) next year.

We’re part of six community-based colleges

Our mission is to play a leading role for East Kent in developing the economic and social prosperity of the diverse communities we serve.