Executive Team

NCG’s Executive team has a wealth of expertise and leadership experience within the education sector. Together they work to ensure NCG succeeds in its mission to enable social mobility and economic prosperity through exceptional education. Our team consists of a Chief Executive’s Group, made up of professional services colleagues, and a wider Group Executive Board which includes College Principals, Directors and strategic leads.

Chief Executive Group

Liz Bromley – Chief Executive Officer

Before joining NCG in the summer of 2019, Liz worked in Higher Education for more than 20 years, holding senior roles at the Open University, Salford, Goldsmiths and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor. Liz was also CEO of University Alliance during 2018, on a secondment from UCLan.

First in family to go to University, Liz studied English Language and Literature at Worcester College, Oxford. She has been a passionate advocate for social equality and for widening access to all forms of education, in practical as well as in policy terms, throughout her career. Liz is well known across the education sector for leadership development, positive change management, entrepreneurial leadership, improving the student experience, and for making things happen.

Liz has been a member of the board, and the Finance and Resources Committee of the Mulberry Multi Academy Trust in Tower Hamlets, and is also a Trustee of the Sir John Brunner Foundation in Cheshire. She is Deputy Chair of both organisations, and is chair of the Audit Committee at SJBF. She is also a board member of Common Purpose (UK).


Chris Payne – Deputy Chief Executive

Chris has worked in Further Education for the last 20 years, latterly in a variety of Senior Leadership roles. His career started with the management of IT training centres in for an outstanding sixth form college in Leicester before developing through his expertise in funding and information systems to take a Director level role for a large FE college in Nottingham.

He joined NCG in February 2010 as Group Director for Planning and Performance, before becoming Executive Director for Strategic Partnerships.  In that latter role he was Executive Lead on the mergers with Kidderminster, Carlisle and Lewisham Southwark Colleges. For the majority of 2018-19 Chris stepped up to act as CEO, leading on the refresh of NCGs strategy.

Externally Chris has represented the sector on Technical Advisory Groups with the Finding Agencies.  He is also a Governor and Vice Chair at Ada, The National College for Digital Skills in North London.


Lisa Sproats – Interim Chief Finance Officer

Bio coming soon.

David Balme – Chief Operations and Compliance Officer – Secretary to the Board

David joined NCG in August 2018 from his role as Director of Continuous Improvement, Change and Compliance at the University of Sunderland. David brings a wealth of education experience, having worked at the University for in excess of 13 years in a number of finance, assurance and student data roles. Prior to this, David worked within the HE and FE sectors whilst employed in financial advisory and assurance roles within KPMG.

As an Executive Director, David has responsibility at an Executive level for governance compliance across the group, leading on risk & assurance, the HE registry, information governance (including FOI and data protection) and Tier 4 compliance.


Steven Wallis – Executive Director, Quality

Steven joined NCG in April 2018 and is responsible for the Group’s education and training performance, quality and continuous improvement, working closely with the leaders, managers and staff within NCG’s colleges.

Steven has over twenty years of experience in further education and skills, in a variety of teaching and managing roles.

Before joining NCG, he spent the last decade in the executive team of a successful Further Education college, specialising in curriculum strategy, curriculum operations and quality of provision.

Steven is also Chair of NCG’s Safeguarding Council and acts as Group Designated Safeguarding Lead.


Scott Mulholland – Chief Information, Data and Estates Officer

Scott’s education career began in 1997 as Head of Student Administration at the Robert Gordon University where he also completed a MSc in E-Business. Digital transformation has been a strong focus for him ever since.

He progressed through several roles of increasing seniority before establishing his own digital consultancy in 2013 working with HE and FE clients. In his most recent permanent post, he was Pro Vice Chancellor (Corporate Development) and Registrar at the University of Central Lancashire. In this role, he was a member of the Executive Team, the institutional lead on Data Strategy and Chair of the Information and Data Governance Group.

In addition to his role in NCG, he is currently a governor on the Board of Furness College and a member of their Learner Experience Committee. Scott’s experience extends beyond education. He has held senior roles in the private sector, local and central government in the UK, Singapore and New Zealand. His career has been varied, but the continuous thread is building great teams and leading them through complex change with a commitment to the value of data and technology as drivers of excellence.

Grant Glendinning – Executive Principal (North)

Grant has over 20 years’ experience of teaching, management and leadership in Further and Higher Education, beginning his career in London colleges. As part of City and Islington College’s senior management team, he served as Director for its Centre for Lifelong Learning, during which time he oversaw the strategic vision, planning, delivery and development of the Centre.

He then went on to take up role as Vice Principal and later Interim Principal for the College. In 2018, he moved to Carlisle to take up the principalship of Carlisle College, and since July 2020 has been Executive Principal for NCG North. The themes of his career achievements to date feature remodelling and repositioning of significant areas of educational offer, identifying and creating pathways for progression and forging innovative partnerships across a diverse range of stakeholders.


Joe McGraw – Director of People and Development

Joe joined Carlisle College in September 2010 and was a member of the Executive Leadership Team in his role as HR Director, prior to taking on a Group wide role as Director of People and Development for NCG.

Joe is a chartered member of the CIPD with over 17 years’ experience working at a senior level in HR and is Co-Chair of the AoC North East HR Directors forum. Joe is responsible for leading and developing the services which support and develop our people right across the Group, promoting a strong service ethic which supports our colleges, while promoting the best interests of NCG and of our people.

Tony Lewin – Executive Principal (South)

Bio coming soon.

Group Executive Board

Our Group Executive Board consists of professional services colleagues from our Chief Executive’s Group and the following representatives from across NCG.

Cat Lewis
Kidderminster College

Gerard Garvey
Interim Principal
Lewisham College

Scott Bullock
Newcastle College

Denise Williamson
West Lancashire College

Simon Ross
Interim Principal
Newcastle Sixth Form College

Annette Cast
Southwark College

Sarah McGrath
Carlisle College

Jon Ridley
Deputy Principal (HE), NCG