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Being a Governor at NCG


Our Board


Peter Lauener – Independent Governor – Chair of Corporation

Peter had a career in the Civil Service, with a particular focus on policy development and delivery roles in education and skills. From 2010 to 2018, Peter held a number of demanding Chief Executive roles including Chief Executive of the Education and Skills Funding Agency, interim Chief Executive of the Institute for Apprenticeships and interim Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company.

Peter now holds a number of non-executive roles, including Chair of NCG, a group of seven colleges in communities from the North and North West England through the Midlands to London.  Peter is also Chair of the Student Loans Company which manages applications from students in further and higher education for financial support as well as repayments after graduations.  He is also Chair of the Construction Industry Training Board, which raises a £200m pa levy from construction industry employers to invest in training and skills for the industry; and Chair of the Orchard Hill College, an Ofsted outstanding provider of post 16 education for special needs young people in London and South East England.  Peter is also a non-executive director of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, an integrated clinical and community provider of services to children and young people.


Chris Roberts – Independent Governor – Vice Chair of Corporation and Chair of Search Committee

Chris Roberts is Vice Chair of Northern Education Trust, Chair of North Country Leisure and Trustee of Greenwich Leisure. Chris formerly served in executive roles with the Skills Funding Agency rising to Chief Operating Officer. Chris is the Vice Chair of the Corporation, Chair of the Search Committee and a member on the HE Governance Committee.


John Cuthbert – Independent Governor – Chair of Audit Committee

John Cuthbert OBE took early retirement in March 2010 from his role as Managing Director of Northumbrian Water Group plc. During his time in that role, the company won various awards and John himself was awarded North East Business Executive of the Year in 2003. Before joining the water industry John worked in the process and retail sectors after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He has previously held a number of roles including Chair of Water UK, Vice Chair of Durham University Council, a Board Member of ONE North East, and Chair of Northern Business Forum. John was awarded the OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours list for Services to Business in the North East. John is the Chair of the Audit Committee.


Mark Squires – Independent Governor – Chair of Appraisal and Remuneration Committee

Mark Squires is the former Chief Executive of Benfield Motor Group and recently stepped down as Chair of the National Franchised Dealerships Association. He holds a BSc in Economics from the University of Hull and a Master’s in Business Administration from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University in Chicago. He is Chief Executive of St Ebba Capital Ltd, an investment company and Partner in Squires Barnett Architects. Mark also serves on a number of charitable boards including as Chair of the Royal Grammar School Educational Trust and Deputy Chair of the Prince’s Trust North East Development Committee. Mark is the Chair of the Appraisal and Remuneration Committee and a member of the Audit Committee and Search Committee.


Caroline MacDonald – Independent Governor – Chair of HE Governance Committee

Caroline MacDonald has a degree and PhD in molecular biology from the University of Glasgow and held a number of positions in universities in Scotland and the North East of England. She retired in 2014 from Teesside University as Deputy Vice Chancellor and is currently a member of the Glasgow Colleges Regional Board and Vice Chair of the University of the West of Scotland. Caroline is the Chair of the Higher Education Governance Committee, and a member of the Appraisal & Remuneration Committee and Search Committee.


Jeannette Strachan – Independent Governor

Jeannette has worked in education for over 25 years. She was the Registrar and Secretary at the University of Hull and she has held senior positions at Newcastle University, City University London, UCL and St George’s, University of London. She has also worked in Further Education at Barnet College in North London.

Jeannette has a BSc in Economics from the University of Hull. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration from the University of London and a Master’s in Business Administration from City University. Whilst at University, Jeannette was a member of the University Air Squadron and after graduation served as an officer in the Royal Air Force.


Liz Bromley – Ex-Officio Governor and CEO

Liz has worked in Higher Education for more than 20 years having held senior roles at the Open University, Salford, Goldsmiths and most recently at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where, as Deputy Vice Chancellor, she was accountable for corporate planning and the international strategy. Liz was also responsible for marketing, recruitment, communications and the University’s external engagement agenda, including the management of the University’s many partnerships. Liz was acting CEO of University Alliance for some months during 2018, on 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, and for making things happen.

Liz is deputy chair of the Mulberry Multi Academy Trust in Tower Hamlets, and is a Trustee of the Sir John Brunner Foundation in Cheshire. She is a non-executive director of Common Purpose (UK) and was a member of AHUA’s executive board for some years. Liz is married to Andrew and has three daughters, a son, a stepson, a granddaughter, an elderly Springer Spaniel called Bob and an especially lovely cat called Obi.


Jennifer Mitchelson – Staff Governor

Jennifer has worked within Education for 13 years, the last 3 have been at Newcastle College. Jennifer has held a variety of finance, funding, strategic planning and compliance roles; affording her the ability to look at the “bigger picture” when making decisions in her day to day role, and when making recommendations to others throughout her roles.

For Jennifer, positive relationships are the foundation for success and she makes every attempt to build effective relationships with all colleagues. Jennifer has, during her time at Newcastle College, gotten involved in many opportunities to work with and assist other colleges within the group; as well as working closely with many parts of group services. Jennifer leads on the Newcastle Staffing budget; Apprenticeships Contracts & Funding Team, and Subcontract Management at Newcastle College. Jennifer’s role requires high levels of confidentiality, integrity and regular engagement with college SMT.

Skills Jennifer brings are; leadership, integrity, staff engagement and an ability to initiate and deliver projects.

Jennifer is a qualified accountant, and in addition to this, she is treasurer and an active member of a small local charity: MVS Northumbria.


Cameron Hartley – Student Governor

Cameron has been a student at Newcastle College since 2016, starting off in Access to FE progressing on to qualify as a hairdresser and now studies Access to HE:Law. Alongside his Access course he sits as Newcastle college Students’ Union President. Previous to President, Cameron has filled officer roles as Welfare and Societies, during his time as Societies Officer he also held a position on the

NUS FE zone accountability board, in this position Cameron was a part of the first AoC national conference student panel supporting topics such as votes at 16. He has worked on and supported a number of policies within the college as well as chairing the student interview panel for the appointment of our new CEO.