New principal makes big pledge to college students

Northumberland College Principal Marcus Clinton and Chair of Governors Jacqui Henderson outside the Ashington campus. Picture by Simon Williams.

Northumberland College Principal Marcus Clinton and Chair of Governors Jacqui Henderson outside the Ashington campus. Picture by Simon Williams.

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The new Principal and Chief Executive Officer at Northumberland College is looking forward to steering it through the ‘exciting times’ ahead.

Marcus Clinton, who had been the college’s Vice Principal – Rural Enterprise and Kirkley Hall since 2010, will aim to build on the good foundations that the college has established over the previous two years.

Work is nearing completion on the £9.5million upgrade of its Ashington and Kirkley Hall campuses that will create new and refurbished facilities for students and the community.

“These are exciting times for the college and we are blessed to have such a wonderful staff and student community, which has always been a hallmark of the college,” said Mr Clinton.

“Our priorities are very clear going forward, our focus will be resolutely on serving the communities of Northumberland and beyond.

“Delivering the right skills and training to ensure positive outcomes for our students, with high levels of employer engagement, is central to this aim.

“Northumberland is a wonderful county and we are committed to engaging with students of all ages, wherever they live.”

The vacancy arose after the former Principal and Chief Executive, Stuart Cutforth, took up the position of Principal at Chesterfield College – a large further-education college in the East Midlands.

The latest national league tables published by the Government’s Skills Funding Agency place the college as fourth best nationally for 16-18 long-course student success rates and sixth best nationally for all age long course student success rates.

Chair of Governors Jacqui Henderson said: “Marcus has 20 years of experience working in the education sector, as well as strong commercial experience, and we look forward to working with him to take the college forward.

“During his four years here, he has transformed our Kirkley Hall campus, developing the curriculum offer to ensure an outstanding student experience, and was pivotal in the development of the commercial activities – including Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens and the outdoor activity centre.”