SEVEN new members have been appointed to governing body of Northumberland College as it plans for the future.
The additions bring a wealth of experience in the public and private sector as the college looks towards shaping its future business model.
Jacqui Henderson is the newly appointed chair of governors, and she has significant experience of the post-16 learning and skills sector at a national and regional level.
Her previous roles include chief executive of UK Skills; London regional director of the Learning and Skills Council; chief executive of the TEC National Council; and director of adult education for South Tyneside.
She is currently vice-chair of the Council of Newcastle University and chair of Northumberland Care Trust.
She was awarded the CBE for services to education and training in 2001.
The other new governors are Lynn Tomkins, UK operations director for the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (Semta); Professor Kath McCourt, dean of the School of Health, Community and Education Studies at Northumbria University; Ros Smith, finance director and company secretary of Northumberland Business Services Ltd; David McPherson, managing and technical director, Aegis IT Limited; Richard Dale, executive director of finance at Newcastle University and Iain Greenshields, partner and head of public services team at Dickinson Dees law firm.
The new members join several governors already on the board including the college’s vice-chairman Robin Casson, who is director of schools, enterprise and lifelong learning at Northumberland County Council; Phil Langton, chief executive at NBSL; county councillor Lesley Rickerby; Chris Smith, managing director, ADM Automation and college staff governors Mark Rossi and Peter Down.
The governing body together with the college executive team are developing plans under a Pathfinder process outlined in the Department for Business Innovation and Skills report ‘New Challenges, New Chances’.
The report outlines changes which allow college’s to work more flexibly, removing restrictions on college corporations and allowing for governors to develop new business models working with other educational providers, local authorities and stakeholders in partnership in order to meet the training needs of their community.
Initial proposals for the new business model will go out to public consultation later this year so that the community can play a key role in developing a college that meets the needs of local people and businesses.
Ms Henderson said: “The college is considering a number of exciting developments through the pathfinder process and to further meet the needs of the Northumberland community we are opening a new centre in Hexham as well as introducing several new courses for September 2012.”
Meanwhile the college has begun a search for a new principal for the new academic year.
In the meantime, Viv Gillespie has the role of interim principal.