Professor Alison Shaw, one of the north east’s most respected leaders in education, has been appointed as one of two new vice chairs at the region’s largest college group.
Alison, Professor of Practice for Inclusive Education at Newcastle University, has accepted the role of vice chair at Education Partnership North East (EPNE), which incorporates Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form.
Two vice chairs have been appointed – Alison has been asked to focus on the college group north of the Tyne, while media business owner Louise Bradford, has been asked to concentrate on the group’s colleges south of the Tyne.
Alison has an impressive previous track record of educational experience, gained from two decades in senior leadership roles at schools in the north east. In addition to this, as founder of North East Futures UTC in Newcastle, she worked closely with business and industry leaders to co-design curricula in digital technology and life sciences.
Alison said: “I’ve been on the board at EPNE since it was created four years ago and I’m looking forward to making even more of a contribution to a dynamic, ambitious and successful organisation making such a difference in the lives of our students.
“Northumberland College is uniquely placed to provide the skills needed for Northumberland and the wider area north of the Tyne. We have considerable expertise in priority areas identified by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (NELEP) – areas such as green energy, engineering, advanced manufacturing, health and social sciences, technology and culture and tourism. And we’re very much part of the rapidly developing North of Tyne Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) working to provide a resilient and responsive supply of people with the skills needed to drive economic success in the region.
“We have an excellent understanding of the regional skills and training landscape, but we’re also fully in tune with the more specific local needs in Northumberland and North of the Tyne. We’re also attuned to the socio-economic disparity across our communities in the county; equally we understand both our rural and urban economies along with their demographic differences and needs.
“We know that improving skills in the north east workforce is fundamental to the region’s economic future, and at Northumberland College we’re focused on doing exactly that – working with employers and other stakeholders to identify skills needs for now and in the future, and then meeting those needs through our excellent provision.
“Working through the Covid pandemic and now the cost of living crisis, there is no doubt the area has its challenges, but as a long-standing and respected anchor institution in the county, Northumberland College has a major part to play in growing the regional skills base and the north east economy.
“Through our strategically-considered curriculum, designed with employers, we’re building on the dramatic improvements we’ve already made in our provision and in our estate. Moving forward, T-levels are becoming a vital part of our widening range of provision.
“And to ensure that provision is delivered in the very best environments, we’ll continue to develop our campuses. Since merger, huge amounts have been spent on improvements to our Kirkley Hall and Ashington sites – but working with the DfE we’ll be spending tens of millions more in our new Gen Zero campus at Ashington, the first of its kind in the UK.
“Not only will we be providing the pipeline of talent needed to fill the ‘green’ jobs being created in the county, but that provision is going to be delivered in the most sustainable environment currently possible.
“While we’re trail blazing with our provision and estate, we’ll also be working hard to ensure our reputation with external stakeholders continues to improve. Most importantly, we will continue to work closely with our internal stakeholders – our students – to refine and shape our provision to give them the best experience we can.
“EPNE is now a major player in the region’s educational infrastructure and I’m delighted to be playing a wider role in its further development.”
James Stuart, Chair of EPNE, said: “We’re fortunate to have someone of Alison’s calibre on our board and her appointment to the role of vice chair strengthens the governance of our college group. I know we’ll benefit further from her huge experience in the education sector and I look forward to her growing her contribution in her new role.”
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.
Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.
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