Sara Brown | NCFE

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Sara Brown

Sara Brown

Tell us a bit about you

I'm a proud Scottish person, although I’ve been south of border longer than I care to mention. I live in Whitley Bay with my children. I spend a lot of my spare time on the beach – walking the dog and occasionally dabbling in sea swimming. I’m a big fan of music and cinema and I love travelling.

Tell us a bit about your career

I went to Art College when I left school (I’ve always had a real interest in photography, art and design). My first couple of jobs were with Advertising and Design studios – great social life, but not the career for me long term, so I went to college in the evening to get some A Levels and then studied Law at University. After training as a solicitor, I decided that a legal career wasn’t for me either and I joined Sage, which gave me broad experience across a range of commercial, sales and operational roles. I then spent several years with an HR outsourcing organisation before joining NCFE in 2018.


I joined NCFE on an interim basis to support with the set up and build of the new EPA business. I was immediately struck by the commitment, passion and integrity of the people I worked with at NCFE – and it was the people and the purpose which persuaded me to stay. I can honestly say that I’ve never worked for an organisation with such focus on values and support – support for the sector, the learner and between colleagues. I spent much of my career searching for something which would provide the right balance between ambition and purpose and I feel fortunate to have found NCFE.

I spent much of my career searching for something which would provide the right balance between ambition and purpose and I feel fortunate to have found NCFE.

Sara Brown
Senior leaders in the Business Development and Product Commercialisation team 


As NCFE’s Commercial Director, I oversee product and service lifecycles and lead the marketing and commercial teams to deliver growth through increased revenue and profitability. My role enables me to have an extensive impact consistent with NCFE’s core purpose, which is hugely rewarding. The ambition, drive and appetite for change not only within NCFE, but also within the wider sector, is something I’m proud to be part of and contribute to. 

My passion for education, teaching and learning, and more specifically, apprenticeships, grew after joining the North East Chamber of Commerce commercial and funded training division in 2008. I then made the transition into the FE sector, working for Middlesbrough College and Gateshead College as an Assistant Principal, where I ran study programmes, HE, AEB and apprenticeship provision across several curriculum areas, as well as having strategic responsibility for apprenticeships.  

I live in the North East with my family, and we love being outdoors in the beautiful countryside around us – be it walking, hiking, running, or sailing. I also volunteer as a governor at a local FE college, which provides me with fantastic insight into the successes and challenges FE is facing. 


I joined NCFE in 2021 as Head of Customer Service, responsible for the delivery of world-class service through our Customer Support Team. We handle customer contact through several channels, using feedback and insight to drive business and process improvements to enhance the overall experience.  

Before joining NCFE, I worked for npower for almost 20 years in a variety of different customer service roles, before leading large contact centre teams there. I’m passionate about the power of great customer service and how this can be delivered through people engagement, coaching and development. I enjoy helping people to be the best that they can be, and we have a great opportunity at NCFE to influence this, both through our people and through society.  

I’m originally from Darlington, and now live in Washington with my wife. I have two girls, and we have quite a large, blended family. I am a fan of all kinds of music and have built up a decent record collection over the last few years. I enjoy cycling and we love to travel.