Former Cardonald College Glasgow Principal
It was in a classroom of a local ‘night school,’ in the 1950s, where an ambitious Glaswegian-born former RAF radar technician opened the first chapter of an illustrious educational career which would later herald a visionary revolution of further education in Scotland.
In August 1960 he returned to the classroom – but this time he stood at the front as a lecturer in the department of electrical engineering at Stow College, where his double gift of teaching and a passion to learn shone.
A firm believer in second-chance learning, he himself achieved his Chartered Engineer qualification in 1966 through part-time study, and was later recognised nationally as an elected honorary member of the City and Guilds of London Institute.
It was in March 1970 when Cardonald College Glasgow felt the wave of his vigorous ambition which chronicled his progress from Senior Lecturer to Head of Engineering in 1981. His influence gathered momentum as it swept through the Scottish education sector, and three years later he was appointed development officer (for electrical engineering) for the government’s action plan.
The result was the introduction of SCOTVEC National Certificate Modules, signalling a historical landmark that would change the face of non-advanced further education in Scotland.
He was appointed Deputy Principal of the College in 1984, and became the distinguished successor to the late Gavin Barr in 1986. The Principal’s efforts to widen access and opportunities in education engaged many minds, and no surprise came when inspectors commissioned by the regional council to review its department of education were directed to Mosspark Drive to witness what was hailed as an example of an efficient and effective educational establishment.
Cardonald’s continued prosperity as it flowed through the transition to corporate colleges is a testament to Ray’s long-standing commitment which Gavin Barr had seen in the eyes of his successor. Ray orchestrated the expansive development of the curriculum, forging links with surrounding schools and higher education establishments to create a constantly growing offering for students.
His belief in challenging limits and pushing boundaries led him to become a founder member of the Glasgow Community Colleges Group where he played a fundamental role in cementing its partnership with the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. These valuable links have paved the way for the future of the College whose reputation he has helped to carve out as one of the city’s most forward-thinking learning institutions.
Up until his retirement in June 1997, Ray spread his time across the development of initiatives both near and far, supporting the Govan Initiative and developing partnerships with Colleges across Europe and America. He still made time to coach youngsters at rugby.
The four decades of Ray Bailey’s remarkable history highlight how he himself achieved the highest of qualifications through the further education colleges that he went on to lead.
Sadly Ray Bailey passed away earlier this year at the age of 74. Ray leaves behind wife Marie, to whom he was married for 48 years, sons Mark, Gerard and Brian, daughter-in-law Carol and grandchildren Lauren and Liam.