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Regional Board Members (Governors – 1 x HE Quality and 1 x Strategic Leadership) | Education Partnership North East

Education Partnership North East was created following the merger between Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form College. With high aspirations and innovative curriculum plans to help transform the North East, they seek to appoint two Regional Board Members – one with strategic leadership experience and regional knowledge, and one Higher Education professional with experience of quality – to join their Regional Board and support them to become one of the largest and best providers of education and training in the UK.

  • Location: North East Region (Sunderland, Hartlepool, Ponteland, Ashington, Berwick-upon-Tweed)
  • Salary: Unremunerated with reasonable expenses paid

About the role

As a Governor on the Regional Board (legally known as the Corporation) you will be a full member of EPNE’s Governing Body and a charity trustee. There are currently twelve members on the Regional Board, with eight independent members with a range of sector-based expertise from across the North East, representing finance, manufacturing, media, business, Local Authorities and education.

Regional Board Members are collectively responsible for ensuring the fulfilment of the College’s legal obligations. The main purpose of the Governing Body is to decide the overall strategic direction and educational character of the College, as well as to ensure its overall well-being and financial solvency. You will be expected to act as a critical friend to the Executive Team and as an ambassador for EPNE. It is essential that as a Governor you act fairly, impartially and in the interests of the Board and College at all times.

The Regional Board is supported by six sub-committees, including Audit; Finance, Resources & Projects; Governance; Northumberland Local Governing Board; Sunderland Local Governing Board and a newly formed Quality Improvement Committee, some of which you may also be asked to join.

The Regional Board meets six times a year and you will be expected to be present and contribute to meetings and committees as required, applying your specialist knowledge and expertise in contributing to the decision-making processes. You will receive an initial induction and must be available to take part in at least two additional training events per year. We expect the time commitment to be around 7-10 hours per month, fluctuating depending on requirements and time of the year.

As the Regional Board Member with extensive experience as a strategic leader within the North East, you will be required to work with and support the Chair, CEO & Principal, and Board to understand the wider strategic challenges and opportunities for EPNE in the context of the socio-economic and political landscape of the North East region.

As the Regional Board Member with extensive experience and knowledge of the HE sector, especially in the area of HE curriculum quality and standards, you will also provide strategic support in your area of expertise to the Board and to the Associate Principal – Adult & Academic, who is responsible for the provision and quality of the higher education curriculum at EPNE.

Who we're looking for

Recognising our ambitious strategy to anchor ourselves as a leading education and training provider in the North East and become one of the largest further education colleges in the UK, we are seeking to appoint a Regional Board Member with a high-level of strategic leadership experience to support our ambition and develop our knowledge of and influence within the North East. When considering our strategic focus on higher education and skills, we also aim to appoint a Regional Board Member who is a HE Quality expert. Both Members will join our Regional Board (legally known as the Corporation).

For the Regional Board Member (Strategic Leadership), we are eager to engage someone who is well connected in the North East, either politically or through industry or business, who can leverage their influence in support of the College’s aims to align with regional growth strategies, invest in purposed areas such as manufacturing, and support local communities to thrive. With a broad understanding of the region’s socio-economic landscape and the issues impacting the North East, you will have extensive senior level experience of the ‘powerhouse’ industries and offer your expertise to support the Regional Board to make connections between developments in industry, with the education and skills needs both locally and regionally, and become an influential ambassador for the College.

For the Regional Board Member (HE Quality), we are seeking an expert in Higher Education curriculum or quality who can offer an experienced level of support and challenge to the College around the HE curriculum strategy and quality performance and provide strategic support and challenge to the Associate Principal – Adult & Academic. You will have a broad knowledge and experience of QAA and the implementation and review of Office for Students (OfS) guidance and regulations to support the Regional Board to better understand this area of the College’s provision and provide insight into future developments in the sector.

These roles offer a fantastic opportunity to join an ambitious and dynamic Governing Body. You will support the development and influence the direction of EPNE at a time of great momentum for the College as we seek to grow the organisation and continue to align our strategy with that of the wider region, to provide outstanding education and training opportunities for young people and adults across the North East.

Further information

To arrange a confidential chat, please contact our lead consultants at Peridot Partners:

Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Closing date: 12pm, Monday 3rd August 2020

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Dr Sophie Carney

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Welcome from the Chair

Dear Candidate,

In the past three years, Sunderland College has merged with Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northumberland College to create Education Partnership North East, one of the largest college groups in the North of England. We are looking for two exceptional people to join our growing and developing college group as Governors on our Board of the Corporation (also known as the Regional Board).

We aim to be the college of choice in the region for further education, higher education and adult learning. Recognising we are NOT two colleges divided by the River Tyne, we are seeking a regional leader able to provide that bridge to help us achieve a ‘one college’ approach in all we do.

We are also looking for someone with high-level experience in the HE sector, preferably within HE regulation, to help take our HE provision to the next level.

In short, we are looking for people who have commitment, energy and vision to make a difference.

It is an exciting time to join the group and we hope to hear from outstanding people who can support our transformation. Our new strategic vision of ‘Excellence at the heart of everything we do’ will position us in the top 10 colleges nationally for performance and top 25 colleges nationally for financial health.

If you feel like you would be interested in joining the Board of the Corporation, please contact Peridot Partners to discuss the role in more detail.

Thank you for your interest in us.

Yours truly,

Rob Lawson
Chair of the Education Partnership North East Regional Board

About Education Partnership North East (EPNE)

Education Partnership North East (EPNE) is a dynamic partnership between Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form and Northumberland College. Following a successful merger between the three colleges, we are now one of the largest college groups in the country, educating and training 21,500 students across three counties. With a catchment area stretching from the Scottish border to the Tees Valley, we have seven campuses situated across Sunderland, and in Hartlepool, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Ashington and Ponteland. Whilst working hard to create a one-college approach, each college remains strongly connected to the communities they serve.

EPNE delivers high-quality post-16 education and training through a broad curriculum in academic, professional and technical subjects. We offer qualifications across further, higher and adult education programmes, as well as through apprenticeships. We also offer specialist provision for students with special education needs and disabilities.

Sector specialisms

Our sector specialisms align to the key needs of the labour market and are embedded both in our pioneering curriculum development and investment in world-class facilities that equip our students with the relevant skills for industry. EPNE courses are delivered by experienced and dedicated staff and we have some of the best training facilities in the North East. EPNE specialises in the following industries:

  • Land-based and Animal Management
  • Business and Professional Services
  • Health and Care
  • Construction
  • Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Digital Industries

To realise our vision, EPNE aims to excel in pursuit of excellence to enable our colleges to increase engagement and improve performance by uniting the large and sprawling populations under one culture and strengthen our reputation locally, regionally and nationally.

Purposefully bold and challenging, EPNE aspire to be:

  • In the top 10 Colleges nationally for student achievement; and
  • In the top 25 Colleges nationally for financial health.

EPNE believe that culture and quality are equally important and as such, place a high value on living and breathing our professional values.

EPNE’s passion is our strength – we have demonstrated this continuously and will continue to pursue our vision with enthusiasm and determination.

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


Thank you for your interest in this role.

Please download Role Description and Person Specification and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential chat, please contact the lead consultant at Peridot Partners:

Dr Sophie Carney | sophie@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07399 528307

Drew Richardson-Walsh | drew@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07739 364033

Please submit a CV and supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. Please include your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to  response@peridotpartners.co.uk  inserting “Regional Board Member (Strategic Leadership) – EPNE orRegional Board Member (HE Quality) – EPNE” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the job, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

We wish to encourage applications regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief.

All applications will be considered solely on merit.


Closing date for applications: 12pm, Monday 3rd August 2020
Longlisting: 5pm, Wednesday 5th August
Interviews: Tuesday 11th August

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and Education Partnership North East are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this Equality Monitoring Form.

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The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.

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