Nationally recognised champion of the further education sector and leader at Gateshead College - Judith Doyle - has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year 2018 Honours list.

Judith Doyle, who became the first female principal and CEO of Gateshead College in 2013, received the CBE, one of the highest accolades awarded, for her outstanding contribution to education and skills in the North East.

She has committed more than 25 years of her life to the further education (FE) sector in Gateshead where she has been devoted to improving the social and economic wellbeing of the community. Her inspiring leadership, focus on technical skills and impact on the successful performance of the college has been recognised by Ofsted while her personal achievements were recognised by her peers when she was awarded FE leader of the Year 2016 in the Times Education Awards.

Under her leadership, staff have focused on one core vision – making students the most highly prized in the jobs market – have driven up standards and forged strong partnerships with industry; resulting in the college being awarded Grade 1 Outstanding by Ofsted with the best student achievement rates in the region and securing a position as one of the top performing colleges in England.

Not only an advocate of the role Gateshead College plays in developing a more prosperous North East by ensuring people have the technical skills to succeed, Judith is also an active ambassador for the region. Outside the college, she is recognised for influencing and shaping the regional and national skills agenda with seats on a number of boards and advisory panels.

On receiving news of her CBE, Judith said: “To be acknowledged in this way is a truly humbling experience and I am both delighted and feel extremely honoured; it means so much not only to me but also my daughter Christine and the rest of my family; they are absolutely elated and I simply couldn’t do the job I do without their support.

“I am known to be someone who loves the North East and everything it stands for and proudly champion our region everywhere I go. I am passionately committed to doing what I can to support our great region and to be recognised for the difference I have been able to make is wonderful.

“Whilst this is a personal recognition it very much reflects the work of my brilliant team at the college, all of the incredible people I have worked with throughout my career and all the people who have supported me to achieve the very best for Gateshead College.”

Robin Mackie, chair of the board at Gateshead College said: “On behalf of the board and all of the team at Gateshead College I want to congratulate Judith and say how thrilled we are to see her commitment, hard work and incredible achievements recognised with this national honour; it is richly deserved. She has dedicated her working life to education and has worked tirelessly to ensure that our college is performing at the highest level, serving the needs of people and businesses across the region and sharing her expertise nationwide to strengthen support for further education. She is a fantastic ambassador for the region and the further education sector and we are all very proud.”

Elsewhere, James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East England Chamber of Commerce added: “Judith Doyle is a great leader of Gateshead College. However, what makes her exceptional is her ability to influence and lead others throughout the private and public sectors.

“This is what marks out Gateshead College and why Judith is held in such high regard throughout the region. She inspires and motivates business leaders to engage their employees in ever more aspirational skills development and we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude and are delighted she is getting this national recognition.”

Association of Employment and Learning Providers chief executive Mark Dawe said: "It is fantastic to see leaders from the independent provider sector gain recognition for the passion and commitment that they show in driving forward the skills and social mobility agendas.  They share a determination in ensuring that the young people on their apprenticeship and other training programmes are getting the best possible support and AELP is absolutely delighted that they are being rewarded for it."

Additional roles that Judith Doyle performs:

  • Strategic FE Partner NECC, North East England Chamber of Commerce
  • Strategic FE Partner Entrepreneurs’ Forum
  • Board Member of Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) regional tourism and investment agency
  • Board Member Queen Elizabeth NHS Trust
  • Regional Councillor of the CBI
  • Board Member Newcastle United Foundation
  • Northern Powerhouse Partner
  • Member of North East LEP’s Business Growth Board
  • Chair Gateshead College Foundation (charity established to help students access funding to support their studies, job and life opportunities).

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