Principal to quit role in 'planned change' just days after Birmingham Metropolitan College forced into U-turn over Muslim veil ban

Dame Christine Braddock is set to leave her post at the end of the current academic year

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The Independent Online

The principal of a college which reversed a move to ban female Muslim students from wearing the veil after an out-cry is to step down.

Dame Christine Braddock is set to leave her post at the end of the current academic year as part of what college chiefs said was a long-term "planned change".

A spokesman for Birmingham Metropolitan College said the move is nothing to do with the recent controversy sparked when it announced a ban on the wearing of anything which prevented students from being "easily identifiable", including hoodies, caps, hats and also the veil, as part of a change to its safeguarding policy.

The ending of Dame Christine's tenure as both principal and chief executive is part of a broader transition at the top, according to incoming chairman of the college corporation Steve Hollis.

He said: "The board has had a phased approach to succession planning.

"With my own appointment phase one is complete and now we will begin the search for a successor to Christine.

"She will continue in her role until the end of the academic year, to enable her to support her successor so a smooth, orderly transition can take place."

The college ban on veils sparked a backlash from students and student groups with a 9,000-signature petition collected by the NUS Black Students' Campaign calling on Dame Christine to think again on the policy, As a result of the backlash she was forced into a U-turn on the policy.

At the time, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stating he was "uneasy" about the decision adding the bar had to be set "very high" in justifying a ban on veils.

The Prime Minister David Cameron said it was up to each school to set policy on uniform.

Following the out-cry earlier this month, the college later announced it would allow students to wear specific items reflecting "cultural values".

Dame Christine has been principal of the city centre college, formerly known as Mathew Boulton College, since 1998.