New Estates Manager

Concord’s new Estates Manager, Miss Sarah Darrall started in March, taking over from Mr Trevor Clay who retired after 30 plus years in the role.

Sarah may be new to this role, but she has been part of the Concord team for over 18 years and is excited to be picking up the reins in the Estates Team. Sarah joined Concord as Maintenance Administrator with particular responsibility for managing health and safety – something that she was experienced with, having been Health and Safety Manager for Dairy Crest’s technical development centre.

Over the years, Concord grew and Sarah’s role evolved. She has managed the maintenance team, health and safety, and the team’s important contributions to inspections. When she joined Concord, it was the role that attracted her, but she soon came to enjoy being part of the College and knowing the vital support her role provided for students and staff. She also became a boarding parent and looked after boarders for 13 years, something that she never expected to do, but has loved. Sarah is someone Concords students know they can always turn to.

In her new role, leading the whole estates team and all of its activities, Sarah is managing a team of 12 highly skilled and talented staff including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, a general builder, decorator and fire alarm tester as well as a pool-plant operator and administrators. All of the site and the systems that keep things like heating and water hygiene running for everyone who lives, works or studies here are under her care. The variety within the role here was a big attraction, being both a home and a school, running Concord’s site is something akin to managing a small town so no two days are ever the same and, with such a capable team, there is very little they can’t solve. For Sarah, the biggest part of the attraction of the new role is “the people”, she explains “what a talented team I have”.

Liaising with other key leaders such as heads of Teaching, IT, Domestic Services, Pastoral, Catering and Grounds is also an important and exciting part of the role and one that brings even more variety.

Sarah is excited about what the role promises for the future, with the opportunity to guide some exciting new projects. Whilst she couldn’t give too much away, she was able to explain that sustainability and improving the Colleges environmental footprint will be key parts of all future developments. She has already implemented remote building management system to allow heat settings to be tweaked to save fuel, 30% of the street lighting has been converted to LED and plans are in place to improve boarding house insulation. Sarah is also enjoying the opportunity to work with the Principal, Bursar and architects on plans for maintaining and improving Concord’s site.