DIRECTOR OF QUALIFICATIONS AND INVESTMENT
Tell us a bit about you
I’m an adopted North Easterner, having decided to stay after I finished my politics degree at Newcastle University – and I haven’t regretted it for a second. I have a daughter who’s nine years old, and regularly find myself involved in games with soft toys, dolls or potions that I can’t remember signing up to! I enjoy reading fiction and watching films and TV – the grittier the better. I also love cooking, although I’ve become a coffee geek in the last couple of years and have less room to cook now that my coffee station takes up half the kitchen.
Tell us a bit about your career
My career has been spent in further education. I have a background in quality and through experience, gained a background in curriculum – more specifically, vocational curriculum. I was at Gateshead College for nearly 10 years, working my way up to Assistant Principal, before taking a role as Vice Principal at Derwentside College prior to joining NCFE. The direct contact I had with learners in those roles informed much of my approach to work and I used that experience to support staff to focus their work on directly benefiting learners. I’ve led transformational programmes, including laying the foundations for a culture of trust and autonomy in teaching practice that allowed practitioners to take risks in the classroom and peer support to flourish, as well as crisis managing curriculum areas leading to financial stability and outstanding quality. Recently, I became a member of the UCAS Council as one of two employer representatives, advising the UCAS board of trustees on higher education policy.
I was a customer of NCFE for many years before I started to work here, and it was a long-held ambition of mine to be part of an organisation that places culture and values at the heart of what we do – and to constantly look at how to enhance that approach. It's a turbulent but fascinating time for education. NCFE is at the forefront of this activity, playing a huge part in leading learners, educators and providers to improve our system for the benefit of all our customers – that’s extremely exciting. To be part of a leadership team with values at its heart, and with the opportunity to transform lives, is one I don’t take for granted. The care and dedication that colleagues show in their work on a daily basis is a privilege to observe and I count myself as extremely fortunate to play a role in striving to improve that service.