New leader for Gateshead College

Judith, from Low Fell in Gateshead, is the college’s first female principal and will take up the position from August 1 following the retirement of Richard Thorold.

She comes to the role having been deputy principal for curriculum and quality at the college for the past four years and brings more than 25 years’ experience and expertise in further education teaching, leadership and management to the position.  

After completing her teacher training at Gateshead College, she joined the teaching team in 1987 as an English lecturer before moving into a role developing adult community learning provision across Gateshead.

This was followed by senior management roles as director of teaching and learning, and assistant principal: quality, before taking up her current post in 2009. Judith is a key figurehead in the development of the Gazelle entrepreneurial colleges’ initiative, transforming the college curriculum to give students the best chance of success in the jobs market.

Judith said: “I am thrilled to be appointed and feel privileged and proud to have been given the opportunity to lead Gateshead College. I am really looking forward to building on Richard's excellent work to ensure that Gateshead is the college of choice for students and employers.

“It is an exciting and challenging time to be involved in further education. I am absolutely focused and devoted to making sure that all students continue to receive the highest quality training to equip them with the skills and confidence that will provide the important foundations for their future success, give them the edge in the jobs market and help them to adapt to a constantly changing world.”

Robin Mackie, chair of the Board of Governors, said the quality of applicants was extremely high, and added: “Judith is a highly talented, extremely motivated and dedicated individual who impressed with her ambition, commitment and passion for Gateshead College and the wider region.  

“We have a bold vision for our future and the futures of our students and have every confidence that Judith will help us realise this, she is undoubtedly the best person to lead the college over the coming years.

Richard Thorold, outgoing principal, added: “I am delighted to be passing on the principal’s baton to Judith and wish her the best of luck in taking the college forward to an even brighter future. I know the college will go on to even greater achievements under her leadership and she will be absolutely dedicated to the staff, students and community we serve.”