March 29, 2020

Sad News - Alan Jenkins

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of former College Principal, Alan Jenkins, on Tuesday 18 March 2020 after a short illness.

Alan was Principal of Varndean College for 18 years from 1988 – 2006, joining when it had just 500 students and managed its expansion to accommodate more than 1200. Alan was a man of great integrity and compassion and was instrumental in making Varndean College the great institution it is today.

In 2006 he had the opportunity to take early retirement and said then that: "Varndean is held in pretty high regard for the breadth of its approach and the range of students with whom it engages. We achieve high exam results and our value-added score has put the college consistently in the top five nationally. For all those reasons and so many outstanding staff and students I have come across in my time, I have really enjoyed working here.”

Alan was a keen rugby player, joining the Henley Rugby Club in 1974 having previously gained an Oxford Blue in 1971 and playing for London Welsh. He played throughout the 70's and early 80's before moving to Rutland and then later to Brighton. On the field he was a very talented, ball playing hooker and off it he was instrumental in helping to organise the Jubilee tour to America in 1980. He loved touring and the social events and always retained a keen interest in the club, following its progress from a distance, arranging a bi-annual gathering from players of the 70's, and watching whenever possible.

Amongst his travels, Alan worked as an education consultant with a particular focus on 16-19 ‘value added’ as a tool for quality improvement in schools and colleges. A former chairman of Haywards Heath Ruby Football Club, Alan was a committee member of the Sussex Wooden Spoon charity supporting projects in schools and organisations working with disadvantaged children and young people. Alan had also been a Trustee and Director of the Friends Centre since January 2000.

Alan will be greatly missed by all who knew him and we offer his wife Elaine and his family our deepest condolences.