The deputy chief executive of a housing charity is getting the top job at NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group).
Joe Docherty (pictured) is to succeed Dame Jackie Fisher as chief executive when she retires this summer.
He is currently at Newcastle-based Home Group, a social enterprise and charity with a turnover of more than £300m. It houses more than 120,000 people a year in 55,000 homes across 200 local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales.
Jamie Martin, NCG governors’ chair, said: “Joe is the ideal leader to take over the reins at NCG.
“He has unrivalled experience spanning the charitable sector, education and the arts, as well as a successful track record in leadership across a wide range of organisations.”
Before Mr Docherty’s time at Home Group, which provides care and support for 26,000 vulnerable people, he headed government-backed regional economic development body Tees Valley Regeneration for seven years from 2002.
He completed an advanced management programme in business administration and managementat Harvard Business School two years ago and is a trustee and council member of the University of Durham.
Mr Docherty is also a trustee of the Esme Fairburn Foundation, a charity which supports education, arts, environment and social change; and a trustee of the Arts Council England, chairing their northern area council.
He has a masters in construction finance and management from the University of Strathclyde where he also achieved a bachelors degree in engineering.
Dame Jackie leaves having led NCG since 2000, during which time it was rated by Ofsted as outstanding before a controversial inspection last year resulted in a downgrade to good.
Last summer, FE Week reported how NCG had cut the education watchdog’s visit short following what Dame Jackie referred to in an internal email as “some troubling incidents”.
The inspection was later concluded but the college’s downgrade was described by Dame Jackie as “flawed”.
“I was astounded to see the final grading of NCG, but not surprised when I saw the flaws in the way the grade was arrived at,” she said at the time.
Nevertheless, under the leadership of Dame Jackie, who announced she was stepping down late last year, NCG has grown from a single FE college to a national provider working with 95,000 learners and 20,000 companies every year.
It now employs 3,600 staff at 70 locations across the UK and has annual turnover of more than £192m.
“We are immensely grateful to Dame Jackie for her tireless work over the past 12 years with NCG, and although she will be a hard act to follow, I am confident we have an excellent successor in Joe,”said Mr Martin.
NCG currently has five divisions in Newcastle College, Newcastle Sixth Form College, West Lancashire College, in Skelmersdale, Intraining, based in Sheffield, and youth charity Rathbone, in Manchester.