Edition 140: Lise-Lotte Olsen, Rebecca Kay, Natalie Wilson & Rayna Crawford-Jones

Chelmford’s Writtle College has a new governors’ board chair in Julia Smith.

Ms Smith, who has served as a governor since July 2010, took over from Lise-Lotte Olsen, who finished her term of office after eight years in the Essex college role.

“I very much look forward to this challenge as we enter an exciting phase in our history with the ability to award our own degrees and our ambition to further strengthen our FE provision, building on our very successful last Ofsted inspection,” said Ms Smith.

“I am firmly on the side of the student and will be championing them throughout my term of office, making sure they get the very best education if they choose to study here with us at Writtle College.”

Ms Olsen, a business and training consultant, said: “I wish Writtle College and the governing body every success going forward. Hopefully during my tenure as chair we have started to build a sound base for the future and I think Julia will be an extremely able chair to continue this process.”

And Preston’s College, in Lancashire, has appointed a new operations manager to coordinate its Istem (innovation, science, technology, engineering and maths) teaching provision in preparation for the opening of its new £13m Istem Centre in September.

Former Preston’s College student Rebecca Kay responsible for ensuring high-quality teaching is delivered consistently across the curriculum in both traditional and non-traditional iSTEM subjects.

“A shortfall of suitably-skilled employees is already proving costly for businesses across Lancashire and our goal is to ensure more young people embrace iSTEM by focusing resources on the right areas,” she said.

Meanwhile, specialist industry awarding organisation EAL has appointed Natalie Wilson as head of commercial development — a newly created position.

She will spearhead the company’s revitalised commercial offering, formulate and execute strategy and liaise closely with EAL’s sister organisation Semta.

She has spent four years working as EAL’s product innovation manager.

“I am delighted to be appointed to this position which will enable me to utilise my knowledge and experience to the full,” said Ms Wilson.

Julia Chippendale, EAL managing director said: “Natalie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge of the skills arena and sectors we operate in. She has a finely focussed vision of how we will evolve — and an extraordinary drive to deliver.”

And at Walsall College, senior manager of sport has been appointed the new chair of the Association of College’s (AoC) West Midlands Sport Network.

Rayna Crawford-Jones, who is responsible for shaping the sport curriculum at Walsall College, will lead the group — made up of staff with responsibilities for curriculum delivery as well as sports facilities and student participation at 38 colleges across the West Midlands.

She said: “I’m delighted to have been selected to Chair the AoC Sport West Midlands Network. I am looking forward to helping develop the strategy for sport and making sure that we take a whole organisation approach to sport within colleges.”