A NEW principal has been appointed at one of the North-East’s largest further education colleges.

Nigel Harrett, of Ponteland, will take the helm at Northumberland College at an exciting time following its recent merger with Sunderland College.

Mr Harrett, who was previously deputy principal and deputy chief executive at Sunderland, was appointed by the board of governors following a rigorous selection process.

He said: “I am very excited to be joining Northumberland College as their new principal at such a pivotal point in the history of the college. It will be an honour to lead the college into the next ambitious stage of its growth and development.

“I am inspired by innovation and passionate about the strong values at Sunderland College and I am looking forward to embedding these into the culture at Northumberland.

“My key priorities will be working with partners and stakeholders to drive the college forward with a vision of excellence at its heart, ensuring the student experience is the very best it can be and delivering a career-focused curriculum aligned to the skill needs of Northumberland to ensure outstanding outcomes.”

In addition to his role as principal, Mr Harrett is an Ofsted inspector, a director of both Sunderland BID and One Awards, and sits on national groups for curriculum reform policy and teaching, learning and assessment.

Rob Lawson, chairman of governors at Northumberland College, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Nigel as the new principal. We are confident that Nigel has the experience, skills and insight needed to lead Northumberland College into a bright future.”

The merger between Sunderland and Northumberland followed a similar venture between Sunderland and Hartlepool Sixth Form College.