This college principal’s surprise performance dressed as Dolly Parton will make you smile.

A college principal stunned other college principals and education VIPs when he dramatically broke into song, dressed as Dolly Parton mid-way through a drinks reception. 

Ian Pryce the principal at Bedford College performed his own version of Parton's song Jolene, altering the lyrics to Justine, and aiming the song at the government’s education secretary Justine Greening.

One line pleads: "Justine, Justine, Justine, Justine, please don't hurt us just because you can."

Ian Pryce as Dolly Parton sings his version of Dolly Parton's Jolene.

Mr Pryce performed his version of the Country classic at FE Week's drinks reception to draw attention to the level of funding for the further education sector.

Not only did Pryce suitably sing his heart out in character, he also encouraged his surprised audience including Olympic double gold medalist Max Whitlock MBE to join in the chorus.

Another one of song's lines says: "We work so hard we hardly sleep, there's nothing we can do to keep our staff, they're leaving every week, Justine”

Mr Pryce, who was awarded a CBE for his work in education, recorded the song ahead of Association of Colleges' annual conference and posted it to Soundcloud – the story has since gone viral.

Mr Pryce said: "We thought making a serious point in a humorous way might get it noticed.

“The Association of Colleges has made an unanswerable case for a fairer deal for our students. We are key to post-Brexit Britain yet our funding is much lower than that of schools and universities.

Ian Pryce.jpg

Ian Pryce 

in his day clothes...

“We're hoping our Secretary of State will be persuaded. Maybe she could respond positively to colleges in a similar vein with another Dolly standard: “I will always love you".

Footage of Pryce’s guest performance was posted on FE Week’s website and YouTube accounts afterwards, resulting in hundreds of views.

The Department for Education has not yet commented on the song.

Web editor