From education to employment

New principal for Barking & Dagenham College

Barking & Dagenham College is pleased to announce the appointment of Natalie Davison as the new Principal and CEO, effective January 2024.

Natalie is currently Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Auckland College in the north east, where she has worked for 15 years, 11 of which as Principal.

Born in County Durham, Natalie studied chemical engineering at Swansea University, starting her career in manufacturing at consumer goods giant Procter and Gamble in Grays, Essex. However, her passion for education led her to transition into teaching at the former Thurrock College, and then subsequently college management positions in the subject areas of engineering, computing and construction.

She holds an MBA from Henley Business School and an MA in Local and Regional Development from Newcastle University. 

This won’t be the first time Natalie has worked in London, having previously headed up the technology faculty at Newham College, east London.

With her specialist science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge, Natalie is well-placed to drive forward the College to help meet local and regional skills needs. In 2021, the College opened one of the first Institutes of Technology in the country. The East London Institute of Technology is purpose-built for advanced technologies and has been designed to deliver advanced and higher-level specialist training in emerging occupations.

On her new role Natalie says: 

“I know what an incredible college this is, with a fantastic track record of realising the potential of thousands of young people and adults every year. There are tremendous opportunities within the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham – and the education the college provides is absolutely essential in catalysing positive change for the individuals, communities and businesses around us. I feel privileged to join Barking &Dagenham College because with every experience I’ve had there so far, I have felt the warmth, care and absolute dedication that staff have for students and their futures.”

Barking & Dagenham College’s Chair of Governors Andy Forbes commented on the appointment, saying: 

“Natalie brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having dedicated 27 years of her career to further education. 

“With her strong foundation in STEM disciplines, she is ideally positioned to spearhead Barking & Dagenham College’s efforts to address the skills needs of the local community and region. We are looking forward to welcoming her toBarking & Dagenham College.”

Experienced college principal Stephen Dowbiggin OBE remains as Interim Principal until Natalie takes up her position. 

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