Sunderland College has announced an ambitious new strategic plan that will shape the strategic direction of the College until 2023 and position it as a leading organisation, nationally, regionally and locally.

Principal and Chief Executive of Sunderland College, Ellen Thinnesen, formally launched the College’s ‘vision of excellence’ to stakeholders at an event last night, which took place at the College’s £30 million City Campus.

The College’s strategic plan focuses on ‘excellence at the heart of everything’. The strategic vision will be supported by a set of four professional values and behaviours, which will underpin all of the College’s activities, and five strategic goals relating to a careers-focused curriculum, outstanding learning opportunities, a united culture, financial resilience and engagement locally, regionally and nationally.

During the launch event, Ellen praised the College’s stakeholders and governors for their passionate support of the College and thanked the ‘amazing’ staff for their passion and commitment to transforming lives and making the student experience the very best it can be. Drama lecturer, Jonathan Wharton – whom students describe as ‘inspirational’ – was given a special mention for his FE Lecturer of the Year Pearson’s Teaching Award.

Ellen also paid tribute to the ‘fantastic’ students who have accomplished great things. She 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.

Rob Lawson, Chair of Governors at Sunderland College, 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.”

Following Sunderland College’s merger with Hartlepool Sixth Form College last September, the College recently announced plans to merge with Northumberland College in a move that will bring significant benefits to the North East region and create a large dynamic Regional College Group with campuses across Northumberland, Sunderland, Washington and Hartlepool.

More information about the College’s strategic plan is available online: