Executive Team

Joe DJoe Docherty – Chief Executive

Joe Docherty joined NCG in July 2013 from housing and care provider Home Group, where he was Deputy Chief Executive. In 2002 he established Tees Valley Regeneration, the government backed economic development body which led a £500m inward investment and development programme in the region and which now forms the basis of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership. He began his career as a Graduate in Banking, where he was eventually a Director in the Corporate Banking Division of Barclays in London.

Joe is a Trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation – a charity which supports education, arts, environment and social change and a Trustee of Arts Council England, chairing their Area Council for the North. He is a Chairman and co-owner of Crosby’s, a fast growing SME providing services and equipment to the catering industry.

He is an alumnus of Strathclyde University and Harvard University.


Lynne G

Lynne Griffin – Group Director, HR & Organisational Development

Lynne is a very experienced HR professional with a wide range of both operational and strategic HR work. She joins us from Newcastle-based housing association Home Group, where she was Head of HR. There she led programmes to improve the culture of trust in the organisation and schemes which led to dramatic reductions in staff turnover and reduced grievance and disciplinary cases.

Before that she worked as an Associate Director and consultant for HR consultancy firm Professional People Management, and was Operational Director of HR for Northern Rock Bank, now Virgin Money, and oversaw major re-structures of the company.


Chris PChris Payne – Group Director, Strategic Partnerships

Chris has worked in Education for the last 15 years in a variety of management roles. Starting in 1998 as the Adult Training Centre Manager for a Sixth Form College in Leicester he subsequently developed his expertise in funding and information systems to take this lead at Directors level for a large college in Nottingham.

Chris joined NCG in February 2010 as Group Director for Planning and Performance. He now has responsibility for Management Information, Quality, IT  and e-learning across the group as well as being the lead with each of our funding main agencies. Chris is responsible for funding across NCG as well as being the lead on Performance Monitoring and Planning. He also works nationally with the Education Funding Agency and Skills Funding Agency through his work on their Technical Advisory Groups.


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Alastair Mitchell – Group Director, Finance, Estates & IT

Alastair joined NCG in November 2015 from The Sage Group Plc where he was CFO for the UK and Ireland business. He brings with him a broad range of financial experience gathered across different commercial sectors. Alastair had previously led an AIM listed UK leisure business and prior to that held a number of senior finance positions with PepsiCo Inc both in the UK and overseas.

Alastair graduated from Loughborough University and began his career with Ernst & Young where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.


Louise Dawson

Louise Dawson – Group Director, Quality and Standards

Louise has had a career in education since 1989 working at Salford College and Calderdale College in a variety of roles before joining Skelmersdale & Ormskirk College, now West Lancashire College, in August 2008 as Deputy Principal.

Louise was appointed Principal of West Lancashire College in January 2009 and worked there until the end of July 2013, working with a fantastic team of staff and local employers and stakeholders in making a real difference in West Lancashire.

She was appointed to the role of Group Director for Quality and Standards in August 2013. In her role she works through the appointed Quality leads in each Division to embed and consistently implement agreed Quality Assurance procedures.