This section covers information relating to the way Bishop Auckland College is governed and how decisions are made. In general, the Board is responsible for the overall functioning of the College, including the quality of service offered to students, as well as the College’s financial health and strategic direction.
In some instances, information from committee minutes will be exempt from disclosure where it contains personal information, information that may damage the commercial interests of the institution or that may threaten the health and safety of specific individuals.
Corporate Board Members
Pamela Petty – Chair of Corporation
Pamela is an ex-student of the Bishop Auckland College who studied A Level Accounts as part of her accountancy training nearly 30 years ago. She is also governor of a primary school in Barnard Castle and a non-executive board member of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum. She joined the Board of the Corporation of Bishop Auckland College in 2013 and became Chair of the Board in December 2014. Pamela joined Ebac, which was launched by her father John Elliott MBE in 1972, back in 1986. After heading the Group IT department she was promoted to Manufacturing Director in 1997, then to her current position of Group MD in 2003. Pamela also Chairs the College’s Search & Governance Committee, as well as its Remuneration Committee.
Natalie Davison – Terranova – Principal / Chief Executive at Bishop Auckland College
Natalie became Principal and Chief Executive of Bishop Auckland College in January 2013, having previously been Vice Principal. With a love for science and technology, Natalie began her career working for Procter & Gamble as a production manager in detergent manufacture. Moving into further education in 1997, she taught and managed engineering provision in South Essex, before leading the Technology Faculty at Newham College in East London, which at the time specialised in Railway Engineering. Natalie has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Swansea, and Masters level studies include MA Local and Regional Development at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS) at Newcastle University and an MBA from Henley Business School. With a particular interest in the interaction between skills policy and economic development, Natalie is passionate about the role that further education plays in changing lives and bringing prosperity to individuals, businesses and communities. Natalie is also a member of the College’s Search & Governance Committee.
Andy Dunn – Board Member
Andy was appointed to the Board of the Corporation of Bishop Auckland College in 2014 as a South West Durham Training Executive Council Member. He started his career at Warner Electric in Bishop Auckland as an apprentice toolmaker. After several years then moved into the automotive industry, supplying parts to all the major car companies in Europe. Andy’s career has progressed to the position of General Manager of Engineering with Nifco UK. He is responsible for all aspects of engineering in the manufacturing of plastic components to very high specifications and quality standards. Andy is Chair of SWDT’s Executive Council, a subsidiary of BAC.
Jane Ruffer – Board Member
Jane moved to Bishop Auckland in 2012 after the creation of the Auckland Castle Trust whose aims are to preserve Auckland Castle and its set of important Spanish paintings promoting religious tolerance and to stimulate economic regeneration in the area. She is a doctor specialising in palliative care and has been a trustee and vice chair of a hospice and has served on the governing body of her local primary school. She has been on the Board of the Corporation of Bishop Auckland College since 2013 and takes a special interest in safeguarding and is on the Search & Governance Committee, as well as the Remuneration Committee.
John Banks – Clerk to the Corporation
John became Clerk in June 2013. Previously, after qualifying to teach he went to work for ICI as a Trainer Supervisor. After 5 years he joined Middlesbrough Council as Training Officer and Deputy Manager of their Youth Training programme then moved on as Manager of an 80 place Youth Training Scheme for a community body in East Cleveland. There followed a career in local government economic development, 11 years of which were in County Durham where he managed their £26.5m Single Programme and subsequently was Deputy and Acting Team Leader for Economic Policy with particular responsibility for representing the County at the Tyne & Wear City Region and for management of the Durham Dales Centre.
John Yarrow- Board Member
Following completion of his accounting degree in 1997, John trained as a Chartered Accountant, gaining the professional qualification in 2001. In 2002 he joined Baker Tilly (now RSM) as an Audit Senior where he led audit fieldwork teams on several college audits throughout the North East. In 2006 he joined Allen Sykes Limited as an Audit Manager where he oversees audits varying in size in several different sectors. He joined the Board in December 2016. He is Chair of Audit Committee.
Diane Gowland – Board Member
Diane is a trusted and highly experienced leader in Further Education, drawing on over 30 years’ experience implementing public policy through transformation programmes and strategic partnerships. She holds a lifelong commitment to broadening access and developing new opportunities for people through education. In recognition of her work, she received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2005.
Graham Currie – Board Member
Graham Currie is the Finance Director of the Ebac Group. Graduating from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a degree in Mathematics in 1991, Graham’s career at Ebac began with his appointment as a trainee accountant, before progressing through the positions of IT Manager, IT Director and Quality Director en route to his current roll. A strong commercial knowledge and a technical background has enabled Graham to design and implement a number of efficiency saving systems within the group. Graham served as a board member of SWDT, a subsidiary of BA College from March 2016 to July 2019.
Ian Shuttleworth – Board Member
Ian is a qualified solicitor and a Partner at Hodgson and Angus LLP, with 30 years’ experience in the legal profession. Ian is highly experienced in all aspects of legislation and compliance. Ian holds various offices in organisations including secretary of Local Auction Mart Company, which is one of the oldest companies in the country. Ian is also President of Durham County Football Association.
Julie Vincent – Staff Governor