The Grimsby Institute Group has announced the appointments of Gill Alton as its new chief executive and Debra Gray as its principal.

The decision to split the two posts follows the retirement of Sue Middlehurst, who steps down after more than five years at the helm.

The group’s corporation hopes the split role will enable a “greater focus on strategic direction, curriculum quality and its ambition to be recognised as an outstanding college by Ofsted”.

Ms Alton will take up post as chief executive in March. She is currently principal of Rotherham College and was formerly a vice principal at the Grimsby Institute, with responsibility for curriculum and quality.

Jonathan Lovelle, chair of the corporation, said he was delighted that Ms Alton will be returning the group.

“She has a wealth of experience that will support our vision of being an innovative, inspiring and outstanding organisation as well as guiding the overall strategic direction,” he added.

Ms Gray has stepped up to the position of principal at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education after serving two years as deputy principal.

She has worked in education for more twenty years, most recently as assistant principal for curriculum and quality at Chesterfield College.

Mr Lovelle said: “Debra’s new role will certainly be a challenging one, not only running one of the UK’s largest FE and HE colleges but also due to our breadth of provision for learners, with our youngest learner attending our nursery facilities at three months old to our eldest learner at 96 years old.”

Meanwhile, Ann Burrell, Gary Cumiskey and Chris White have joined the board of trustees at awarding organisation, One Awards.

Ann Burrell’s career has been rooted in human resources and organisational development. She is currently the director of human resources and education at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

She is also a member of the Health Education North East governing body and chair of the North East Social Partnership Forum.

Gary Cumiskey is the vice principal for curriculum and quality at Middlesbrough College.

He started his working career as an apprentice carpenter in the construction industry but made the decision to move into education in 1998.

Since then, Mr Cumiskey has held positions at Northumberland College and Sunderland College, leading up to his role at Middlesbrough College. He is also a serving Ofsted inspector.

Christopher White has more than 10 years’ experience in accounting and finance and currently works as the finance director at Darlington Building Society. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales.

Louise Morritt, chief executive of One Awards, said the organisation was delighted to welcome the trio to the board.

“Their backgrounds are diverse and complement those of our existing board members who provide outstanding support to the senior management team,” she added.

“The new trustees bring fresh expertise, knowledge and a determination to strategically influence the organisation to the benefit of our partners, stakeholders, centres and ultimately the learners.”

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