New boss for Sunderland College

Ellen Thinnesen, the new principal at Sunderland College.
Ellen Thinnesen, the new principal at Sunderland College.
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Sunderland College has announced today the appointment of a new principal.

Ellen Thinnesen will take over the role of principal and chief executive early next year, following the announcement that current principal, Anne Isherwood, will be retiring.

The college says Ellen has a wealth of experience in further education and will arrive on Wearside from Tameside College, where she was deputy principal.

Prior to this, she held various senior management and teaching roles at Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education.

Commenting on her appointment, Ellen said: “I am honoured to be joining Sunderland College as its new principal. The organisation already has an excellent reputation for the quality of its teaching and learning and I’m looking forward to working with the staff, students and governors to build upon this.

“There are some exciting times ahead with the opening of the college’s new £29million City Campus, which will provide our students with the highest quality learning environment and I’m delighted to be leading the college into its next stage of development.”

The Board of Governors appointed Ellen to the role following a rigorous recruitment and selection process.

Rob Lawson, chairman of governors at the college, said: “As a board we are delighted with the appointment of Ellen and are confident that she will do an excellent job as principal.

“Her vast experience, leadership qualities and enthusiasm for ensuring our learners succeed made her the ideal candidate for the job.

“The further education industry is operating in a tough economic environment and we are confident that with Ellen as principal, she will guide us through both the challenges ahead as well as the many exciting times we face.”

Rob went on to say: “The board would also like to thank the outgoing principal, Anne, for her contribution and commitment to the college during her time here. She has overseen the development of the new £22million sports and arts academies at Bede Campus, played an instrumental role in securing the development of our City Campus and built upon the college’s core strength of teaching and learning.

“In addition, Anne has worked tirelessly to ensure that the college is at the heart of our community, building strong relationships with stakeholders both in Sunderland and the wider region and we’re now seen as a key partner with a real ‘can-do’ attitude.”