Movers and Shakers

Edition 127: Nichola Newton, Paul Hafren, Penny Wycherley & Colette Cohen

Warrington Collegiate came under the principalship of Nichola Newton this month.

She took over from Paul Hafren, who retired at Christmas after 12 years as principal.

She joined from Leeds City College where she was deputy principal, having previously served in senior roles at Runshaw College, Nelson and Colne College and Ashton Sixth Form College.

“I believe in the transformative power of education and consider it a privilege to have been chosen to serve the community of Warrington and the wider region,” said Ms Newton.

“I am committed to working with the senior team and staff at the college to improve life chances for all who choose to study with us.”

She will also play a leading role in the Warrington Collegiate Education Trust which currently comprises Beamont Collegiate Academy and the recently opened Future Tech Studio School.

Colin Daniels, governors’ chair of the grade three-rated collegeiate, said: “Nichola is a confident and inspirational leader with an impressive track record of success within the sector. Her passion for teaching and learning and the success of all learners linked to the needs of the local community will make her an excellent principal.”

Meanwhile, Penny Wycherley’s retirement has come to an end after less than six months.

She left Great Yarmouth College around the start of the academic year having served as its principal for three years, but has taken on the role at London’s Waltham Forest College, which was deemed by Ofsted to require improvement in November.

“I was delighted to be approached just before Christmas to lead the team at Waltham Forest College,” said Ms Wycherley, whose predecessor, Robin Jones, stepped down late last year.

“This is a vibrant community in an area of planned growth in which the college’s contribution to skills development will be essential.

“In its recent inspection there were many indicators of success on its journey to an Ofsted good grade and I am looking forward to continuing that journey. It was that challenge that persuaded me to leave the extreme walking in New Zealand and the greater tranquillity of my Sussex garden to lead and support the team here.”

And the National College for Onshore Oil and Gas has appointed Colette Cohen, head of Centrica’s UK oil and gas production business, as its first chair.

Her first role will be to lead the development board and guide the National College, where training of engineers for the fracking industry will be led by Blackpool and The Fylde College, through its business planning phase.

“To build a successful shale gas industry it’s vital we attract young people to train for the exciting roles which will be on offer,” she said.

“The National College will be providing a wide range of first class courses in the years to come and I’m looking forward to steering the college through this critical development stage and beyond.”

Bev Robinson, principal of Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “Colette brings extensive industry knowledge and experience to the role of chair. This will be invaluable in shaping the direction and strategy of the National College and is much welcomed.”


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