New College Durham deputy principal Tony Lewin will be taking the top job at Newcastle College next academic year.

He will also take up a position as an executive member of the Newcastle College Group (NCG) executive board from September.

Mr Lewin, appointed deputy principal of New College Durham in 2009, said: “I believe passionately that it is important colleges are able to put the needs of their learners and customers first and to invest in the future of their learners, employers and local community.”

He replaces Carole Kitching who, as previously reported, will become principal of Lewisham Southwark College in July.

Joe Docherty, NCG chief executive, said: “Tony is an experienced leader in the FE sector. He can hit the ground running, working with partners including the North East local enterprise parntership and combined authority, and has an enviable track record in leadership. I am confident he will take Newcastle College to even further success.”

Meanwhile, Abigail Appleton, creative director of BBC Learning, has been appointed principal of Hereford College of Arts (HCA).

Ms Appleton said: “The college is a hugely impressive and creative institution and it is a great privilege to have this chance to become part of its future.”

Dan Howard, governors’ chair, said: “We believe we have found a principal designate who will match our collective ambitions, help us make the most of our manifest opportunities and lead the college into a secure, successful and very different future.”

She replaces retiring Richard Heatly, principal of 12 years, this autumn, as previously reported.

“Abigail is an excellent choice to lead the college as its reputation grows and its importance to Herefordshire and the creative sector develops,” he said.

And former Birmingham Metropolitan College chief operating officer Bob Pattni has taken up post as director of finance and deputy principal at Cambridge Regional College (CRC).

A qualified accountant, he has worked in education for more than 20 years and said: “CRC is a very forward-thinking college. It works closely with employers to enrich the lives of learners to provide an environment that is full of opportunity.”

Principal Anne Constantine said: “Bob comes to us from a very large college and with long experience in FE.”

Finally, Mark Ravenhall is stepping down from his chief executive post at the Further Education Trust for Leadership thinktank. Mr Ravenhall, a former National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (Niace) policy director, had been appointed its first chief executive in July last year.

“I am proud to have been part of the beginnings of Fetl and think that we have achieved a great deal in its first year,” he said.

“Indeed, what began as a part-time two-day per week post has expanded and reached the point where it is taking much more of my time than I originally expected.

“Therefore I have made the decision to step down so that I have sufficient time to fulfil my other commitments and interests.”

Jill Westerman, principal of the Northern College and chair of Fetl, said it was a “mark of his success that the level of interest has been so high, which has meant that the work of Fetl needs more time and attention than we originally envisaged for this part-time role”.

She added: “The board plans to make interim management arrangements to take forward the work of Fetl until a permanent appointment can be made. Mark will be working alongside us to ensure a smooth handover so that the growing work of Fetl to support the leadership of thinking in our sector is sustained and developed even further.”