Neville Ransley RIP
Former Principal and Governor of St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College - 1996 to 2021
It is with great regret that we announce the death of Mr Neville Ransley former Principal of St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College.
Neville was a towering figure, physically and professionally. He was a member of staff at St. Dominic’s from the early 1990s and was promoted to Vice Principal and eventually to the position of Principal in 1998 which he held for 6 years. He was a passionate teacher and educator and made a valuable contribution during his Principalship to further expanding the College and moving it forward into the 21st century and steering it through a challenging period of expansion and financial uncertainty. As one of his former colleagues said to me at the weekend, he had a great sense of humour and was able to steer the College successfully through some difficult times.
Following his retirement from headship, he became a governor and continued to make a valuable contribution to the life of our College, serving on various committees and helping with the appointment of various senior posts. He also continued to serve elsewhere on other Governing Boards, notably St John Fisher in North Harrow where he was the Chair.
Neville had, for many years, been Chair of the Quality and Standards committee and had asked the difficult questions and interrogated its members to ensure that the required standards of education continued to be the very best that they could be which meant that the students had the best provision possible to be successful whilst studying at. St Dominic’s. This was always at the forefront of his mind and continued to be his focus in every meeting he Chaired.
Most recently, Neville helped us to steer a course through the Centre Assessed Grades issue last August, a job that was difficult and challenging and one that he did extremely well.
Without doubt, Neville was at his very best when conversing with members of the student body and always included them fully in the Q and S meetings, asking them their views and wanting to know how we could best support them. He loved those interactions and it was through those encounters that we saw Neville the teacher and educator shine through.
Neville was a consummate leader and a wise counsellor – ambitious but cautious, pragmatic but always clear that second best was not good enough. Kind, supportive and caring were his watchwords but underpinned with a steely edge and his guiding principle was what was best for our students in a Catholic context and that legacy will continue to live on in years to come.
He also enjoyed the social side of being a Governor and a retired member of staff of the College and particularly loved the 'Non-Doms' Christmas lunches that we host each year in December. He loved seeing his retired colleagues, catching up with them each year over lunch and a glass or two of wine. He would have a glint in his eye and that lovely broad smile beamed when he saw his former colleagues.
In these final days we were in touch only by email – his voice having diminished as a result of the surgery.
He wrote to me last week to say that time was now short and to ask that we continue to pray for him. What came through most powerfully in all of our recent conversations was the depth of his faith and his love for our Lord. Such strength of faith, unquestioning and unwavering will be one of the things that many of us will remember about Neville. He was a man of tremendous faith, Catholic to his core and with his passing we lose a colleague and a friend as well as someone for whom this place, St. Dominic’s Sixth Form College was central to his professional life and whose legacy and impact will continue to be felt for many years to come.
May the souls of the faithful and faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace - Amen.
Andrew Parkin, Principal