Sunderland College principal praises 'amazing' staff and 'fantastic' students

Pictured at the launch event are, from left to right, Jon Ritchie, of Sunderland City Council, Jill Colbert, of Together for Children, Paul Callaghan, of MAC Sunderland, chair of governors Rob Lawson, principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen, David Bell,  of Sunderland University, John Mowbray, of Sunderland University, and'John McCabe, from North East Chamber of Commerce.
Pictured at the launch event are, from left to right, Jon Ritchie, of Sunderland City Council, Jill Colbert, of Together for Children, Paul Callaghan, of MAC Sunderland, chair of governors Rob Lawson, principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen, David Bell, of Sunderland University, John Mowbray, of Sunderland University, and'John McCabe, from North East Chamber of Commerce.

A principal has praised her "amazing" staff and "fantastic" students at the official launch of her college's five-year strategic plan.

Sunderland College principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen was speaking while unveiling the college's "vision of excellence" to stakeholders in an event at its £30m city campus.

She said staff were "amazing" for their passion and commitment to transforming lives and making the student experience the very best it can be.

Drama lecturer Jonathan Wharton - who students describe as "inspirational" - was given special mention for his Further Education Lecturer of the Year Pearson’s Teaching Award.

Ms Thinnesen also paid tribute to the college's "fantastic" students for accomplishing great things and to stakeholders and governors for their passionate support.

The college’s strategic plan focuses on "excellence at the heart of everything".

Its five main goals cover a careers-focused curriculum, outstanding learning opportunities, a united culture, financial resilience and engagement locally, regionally and nationally.

Ms Thinnesen said: “I’m extremely proud to launch the college’s new strategic plan, which sets out our bold new vision and ambitious goals to nurture a better world, shape better communities and inspire the next generation of students.

“A culture of strong values is hugely important to us and our strategic goals will ensure we embrace change, have courage in our aspirations and seek new opportunities to embed excellence in everything we do.

“Against a climate of significant changes in the further education sector, colleges play such an important role in transforming lives.

"I am extremely optimistic for the future and our college’s remarkable past will create even more ambition for the future.”

The strategic plan is the result of extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including government bodies, community partners and employers, along with the College’s staff, governors and students.

Chair of governors Rob Lawson said: “I am very much looking forward to working with our colleagues to achieve the new strategic plan and support the college to build on its successful past, towards a bold and aspiring future.”