Northumberland College has announced a new board of governors to drive forward an ambitious new vision, which will benefit students, stakeholders and the local economy.

Including prominent, senior and well-respected figures from the North East business community and covering a range of diverse industries, the combined expertise of the new board will play a significant role in delivering an ambitious strategic vision including a multi-million-pound investment programme across all College campuses, improved learning provision and enhanced facilities for students and the local community.

With a strong focus on industry and employer partnerships, commercial offering and maximising the College’s £2.5 million, custom-built STEM Centre at its Ashington campus, head of HR, Kerry Patterson from Blyth-based advanced machine and robotics manufacturer, Tharsus, has been appointed to the board.

With nearly 20 years’ experience in the HR sector, Kerry’s expertise has been instrumental to developing strategies to drive business growth since joining Tharsus in 2014. In her role on the senior management team, Kerry has been responsible for a number of key transformational HR projects which share similar values to those which Northumberland College is keen to drive forward in its new iteration as part of Education Partnership North East.

Likewise, Andrew Ferguson, commercial and real estate manager and chartered surveyor at Virgin Money has joined the board to help support the College with the management of its key assets at its campuses across the county. With a wealth of experience in investment, corporate real estate and business operations, Andrew has taken part in a leadership programme with Virgin Money, providing him with the opportunity to spend time with both Bath Rugby and Team GB to better understand high performance environments and the behaviours required to succeed within them.

Furthermore, energy and renewables business leader, Ian Brown of MKM Technology is also one of ten appointed, alongside Jeff Hope, head of manufacturing unit at AkzoNobel Ashington, John Holmes, chairman of Bernicia, finance expert Dawn Chadwick of Dawn L Chadwick Insolvency Ltd, chartered secretary, Neil Salvesen, legal advisor and county councillor, David Towns, visiting Professor of Innovation and Enterprise at Newcastle University Business School, Alison Shaw, Holly Thompson of Future Skills Vision and Louise Doyle, founder and director of Mesma.

Nigel Harrett, Principal of Northumberland College commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Northumberland College as we drive forward significant improvements and investment across all campuses, and embark upon a new chapter, providing new opportunities for students, staff, employers and the local community.

“The governing body will play a highly instrumental role in successfully delivering this period of change following our merger with Sunderland College earlier in the year and their experience across all areas of business will help consolidate Northumberland College as the county’s premium provider of further and higher education. We’re delighted to welcome them on board.”

Northumberland College is part of regional college group, Educational Partnership North East, which also includes Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form. The College, which has sites in Ashington, Berwick and Kirkley, Ponteland, provides a range of further and higher education courses and employer-focused apprenticeship programmes. For course information and enrolment enquiries, call 01670 841200 or visit

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page