From education to employment

Shipley College Announces New Principal & CEO – Diana Bird

Shipley College has appointed Diana Bird as its new Principal & CEO. Diana will take the reins from September once the incumbent Principal Nav Chohan retires in the summer. 


The College followed a rigorous recruitment and selection process and after detailed consideration the panel recommended to the Corporation that Diana be appointed from 1st September 2022. The decision was endorsed by all members of the Corporation and staff were made aware via an announcement email.


Diana will step-up from her current position as Shipley College Vice-Principal from September, once current Principal Nav Chohan retires at the end of the academic year following thirteen years in post.


Talking about Diana’s appointment, John Egan, Chair of Governors said: 

“I would like to thank all the staff and students that participated in the recruitment and selection process. The corporation would like to extend our congratulations to Diana and wish her every success in her new role!”


Diana brings a wealth of knowledge to the role having worked in the Further Education sector  in numerous roles, including many years working at Shipley College. With a Degree, and Master’s inCultural Studies to her name, Diana is a qualified teacher and ESOL subject specialist with a background in teacher education. Diana is an expert in teaching, learning and assessment having previously held roles as Head of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Head of Sector for Essential Skills before she was appointed as Vice-Principal for Curriculum in August 2020. She will take over as Principal and CEO at the start of the 2022/23 academic year.


The announcement coincides with International Women’s Day 2022 (Tuesday 8th March). Commenting on her appointment Diana said: 

“I am delighted to have been appointed as Principal and CEO of Shipley College. I have been involved with the College for many years and I couldn’t be more proud of the work that the staff do to support individuals, businesses and communities to achieve their ambitions. I look forward to working with students, staff and our many other stakeholders to ensure that Shipley College continues to provide education and training for young people and adults that transforms lives, provides a clear line of sight to employment, strengthens communities and supports economic growth.”


Nav was appointed as Principal and CEO at Shipley in 2009 where he committed over a decade to Saltaire and its local community. He will retire in the Summer to spend more time with his family after a long and successful career in education.


London-born Nav started his career teaching maths and computing in West London and Nottingham before relocating to Yorkshire where he took up a role at Leeds City College, progressing to become Director of Further and Higher Education before he joined Shipley College.


The College attracts over 3,500 students and apprentices and is rated Grade 2 “GOOD” by Ofsted. Inspectors commended the excellent behaviour of the College’s students and the friendly campus atmosphere. With strong employer partnerships the College offers high quality education and training to meet the needs of the local community.

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