ABDO College celebrated the retirement of its founding principal, Jo Underwood, on September 14 after she stepped down from the association after 21 years.

Underwood said she was grateful for the opportunity to start ABDO College in 2000 and lead it to where it is today, adding that it was a privilege.

‘Not many people, particularly in education, get to start with a clean slate, no-one to live up to, no set processes to have to follow, no staff team already in place. It certainly produces headaches at times but the journey has been one that I have loved,’ she said.

Underwood thanked all ABDO College staff past and present, and tributes were made by Clive Marchant, chair of ABDO College board of trustees, and Sir Anthony Garrett, ABDO general secretary.

‘Her leadership, dedication and enthusiasm are legendary and she has created a first-class team at Godmersham which is rightly seen as a world class and innovative centre of excellence,’ Garrett said.