Chris Toon takes up the role after spending two years at Knowsley Community College in Liverpool.
He has more than 15 years’ experience of the education and skills sectors and was part of a new management team at Knowsley Community College that turned around the fortunes of a failing institution, ensuring it received an Ofsted ‘Good’ rating within 14 months.
A qualified teacher and experienced lecturer, Chris was appointed to an advanced practitioner post within four years of starting his career in further education. An accomplished teaching coach, he brings to his new role a strong financial aptitude, proven entrepreneurial skills and a wealth of business acumen.
Chris, whose official job title is deputy principal: curriculum and quality at Gateshead College, said: “I am thrilled to be joining this forward-thinking college at an exciting, challenging time in further education. Gateshead College recognises that the sector is changing and is adapting the way it delivers education to coincide with this change, making sure students are employment-ready with the qualifications and skills needed to support our economy.
“I was impressed with the principal’s bold vision for the future of education, and the college’s successful track record of giving students the skills, confidence and enthusiasm that they need to go on to secure successful careers or launch their own business.
“Gateshead College places real importance on engaging with employers so our courses are all job-focused, our curriculum is industry-led, our students work on real live projects and are mentored by some of the region’s top managers and entrepreneurs.”
“In my new role I will be totally focused on making sure that Gateshead College continues to be seen as the college of choice for students and employers.”
Judith Doyle, principal and chief executive at Gateshead College, said: “Chris is exactly the type of entrepreneurial, innovative individual we were seeking to appoint. I’m confident that he’ll help us to continue to support and inspire our staff to deliver world-class teaching, ensuring that our students are the most highly prized in the jobs market.
“There were some strong candidates for the position but Chris’s skills and experience made him the ideal choice. We were impressed with his commitment and passion for Gateshead College and his unwavering dedication to the staff, students and community that we serve.”