Principal - Northumberland College

Job Summary
Contract Type:
Working Pattern:
Full time
Advert Start Date:
Advert End Date:
Closed for applications on 16/01/2019 23:59
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Vacancy ID:
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Post Number:
Closing date:
16 Jan
Further Information

Having successfully merged with Hartlepool Sixth-Form College, Sunderland College has further exciting plans for community-based growth and has been selected by Northumberland College, subject to process, as its merger partner. The merger will deliver a dynamic and sustainable high performing regional Further and Higher Education College, responsive to the needs of students and integrated into the educational, social and economic needs of the communities each College serves.

This is an exciting opportunity for you to join one of the sectors largest colleges in a beautiful part of the country as their new Principal.

The College is seeking to appoint an authentic leader and exemplar for the best of our ethos and culture. As a strategic thinker with excellent and transparent communication skills you will be able to lead by example, embodying the College’s vision “Excellence at the heart of everything we do” and our professional values.

The successful appointee will be passionate about quality and high standards in all aspects of provision, and be resolutely determined to transform Northumberland College as part of the wider Group into one of the top 10 Colleges nationally.

Being able to demonstrate a track record in strategic transformation is essential. As Principal of Northumberland College you will be expected to lead and transform quality improvements across the various Northumberland College campuses with pace and to ensure positive improvements are sustainable.

High quality and meaningful partnerships are a key priority. You will be expected to demonstrate a successful track record of building and maintaining excellent and meaningful partnerships with external stakeholders (such as with local and/or combined authorities, LEPs, employers, schools and Universities and community groups etc). Fostering positive partnerships and collaborating with the other senior leaders and staff will be key.

The appointee will be able to demonstrate a range of knowledge and understanding of the main educational challenges facing post 16 professional, technical and academic further education colleges. Experience in strategically leading curriculum planning in accordance with local, regional and national priorities, strong financial acumen and an ability to manage strategies for good levels of efficiency and quality is a priority.

The Principal of Northumberland College is a senior appointment and will report into the Chief Executive of Sunderland College.

Northumberland College

The College provides full-time and part-time courses, apprenticeships, employability and higher education from entry to degree level. In addition, Northumberland College supports training for employers across the region helping to recruit and develop their workforces. The College has 5,871 learners and is a key function within the community.

Northumberland College has been recently inspected by OFSTED and the inspection report will be available soon.

The merger with Sunderland College is a ‘type B’ merger which is on track for the dissolution of Northumberland College by March 1st 2019. After merger the brand of Northumberland College will continue as will the College’s important role across the county of Northumberland.

Northumberland College investments over the past three years amount to over £13 million in developing high quality learning environments. These include a state-of-the-art £2.5 million STEM Centre providing a base for our science, engineering and digital courses, Zoological Gardens supporting our animal management programmes, industry-standard commercial restaurants, accredited hair and beauty salons and the Kielder Building, which includes a resource centre and contemporary classroom facilities. However, following merger, there is much to be done to drive sustained improvements across the College’s estate.

The College is working towards the Gatsby Good Career Benchmarks and is involved in a working group of FE colleges to develop these standards. The College is part of the North East Careers Hub which gives excellent opportunities for sharing good practice and accessing resources and supporting the full achievement of the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Degree level provision meets all UK expectations of The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) June 2018 and our HE achieved Silver in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Sunderland College

Sunderland College offers one of the region’s largest range of school leaver, adult, apprenticeship, sixth form and higher education provision. The college has strong links with businesses, both regionally and nationally, and offers a range of employer-focused courses, including apprenticeships and bespoke training programmes. In 2017 the College was awarded a prestigious Beacon Award for ‘Engagement with Employers’ and is currently shortlisted for a Beacon Award in ‘Careers Education’.

The College has just completed a £90 million capital redevelopment programme and now has four main campuses, including three in the city and one in Washington with over 13,500 students studying across its campuses each year. Bede Campus is home to Sunderland Sixth Form, a hub of academic excellence, offering over 30 A-level subjects. It is also home to an impressive Arts Academy delivering visual and performing arts alongside exclusive digital and computing science courses, and a 194-seat theatre, dance, drama studios and recording studios. The neighbouring Sports Academy offers high quality sports science labs and a multi-purpose sports facility, fully-equipped fitness suite, elite sport development centres including for cricket and men’s and women’s football.

The college opened its city campus, a flagship £29m technical campus, in 2016 which delivers programmes of study in engineering, manufacturing and automotive, construction trades, travel and tourism, hair, beauty and barbering, and catering and hospitality. The campus is home to an 80 cover restaurant, a luxury spa, salon and barbers, bakery, garage, aircraft fuselage and significant industry specialist engineering facilities.

The college has held a 99 per cent pass rate for the past eight years. It has been awarded the matrix Standard, the national quality mark for advice and guidance, five times in a row and is now a lead College for the North East cornerstone Careers Hub. The college recently achieved a silver award in the newly-launched Teaching and Excellence Framework (TEF) in recognition of the quality teaching experience given to higher education students, putting it alongside the likes of Durham, York and University College of London. Sunderland College has an excellent track-record in apprenticeships and is in the top quartile nationally of all colleges delivering apprenticeships for quality. Ninety five per cent of their apprentices remain in employment at the end of their apprenticeship, and the college currently supports over 600 businesses and more than 1,300 apprentices.

Application process

To find out further information or for an informal discussion about the role and College, please contact Naomi Robson Director of People and Organisational Development on 0191 511 6000 ext 05669 or

To apply for this fantastic opportunity, please forward your completed application and CV to

The application form is available in the download section of this page. Alternatively, please email or call 0191 511 6046 to request an application pack. Please note Christmas closure dates are between Monday 24 December 2018 and Wednesday 02 January 2019, therefore any queries during this time will be responded to on our return.

All applications must be received by Wednesday 16 January 2019

The selection process will take place during the week commencing 28 January 2019 and it is anticipated that this will be across two days

We are working towards equal opportunities and welcome applications from all sections of the community. We are committed to PREVENT and safeguarding the welfare of children and vulnerable adults.

Please note
This job is closed for applications.