Board of Trustees Profiles

David Balme – Executive Director of Governance, Assurance and Risk, NCG
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Having worked in local government for almost 9 years David joined KPMG in 2001. During his time with KPMG he worked in the FE / HE assurance and advisory teams. In 2005 David joined the University of Sunderland holding a number of roles including Deputy Director of Planning & Finance, Director of the Business Assurance Service and Director of Continuous Improvement, Change and Compliance Service. In August 2018 David joined NCG where he has executive responsibility for Governance, Assurance, Risk, Information Governance and the HE registry.

Kay Dickinson, NOCN Trustee

Kay is an educational sector consultant who also carries out a number of charitable activities.

Prior this she spent five years as an Executive Director for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), working with employers across all sectors of the economy. As a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants her background is in finance. However over her career in the private and public sectors she has developed a wide range of expertise which includes strategy development and planning; managing organisational performance and delivery; change management; and corporate governance and internal control.

Having worked in a number of quite different organisations she has enjoyed close working relationships with a lot of non-execs, senior business leaders, trade unionists and educationalists. As a result she has learned a huge amount about the key ingredients for success.

Before joining UKCES Kay worked for organisations such the Sector Skills Development Agency, Department of Health, NHS Trent Regional Health Authority, Ptarmigan Holdings PLC, Wigfalls PLC and Yorkshire Electricity Board.

Michelle Elliott, Vice Principal for Curriculum at University Centre Quayside

Michelle has worked in Education for over 20 years and worked with a range of Awarding Organisations including NOCN and One Awards. Michelle has had a variety of management roles within Further Education including 16-18, adults, pre-employment, apprenticeships and project development.

Michelle is now the Vice Principal for Curriculum at University Centre Quayside (UCQ) that specialise in Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeships and prior to this she was a member of SLT (Senior Leadership Team) for Stockton Riverside College as the Director of Business Development, her responsibilities have incorporated implementing strategy across her areas of responsibilities including apprenticeships and employer engagement. She is highly experienced in leading teams in curriculum planning and implementation.

Michelle has a full understanding of the requirements of the Board and commitments of Board members. As an experienced board member within FE settings, Michelle has participated in sub-committees including Quality and Standards, Finance and Employment along with other groups as required.

Andrew McHale, Operations Director, Positive Futures

Andrew has over 20 years' experience in the field of education and training. working across the public, private and third sector in various lecturing, training and management roles.  He is passionate about education and the benefit that it can have, with a keen interest on the quality improvement of teaching, learning and assessment related to improved life outcomes.

Andrew has previously had responsibility for quality improvement within the Learning and Skills sector and the operational implementation of quality assurance frameworks, including regulatory compliance and workforce development with a specific focus on the development and implementation of CPD relating to improving standards.

Serving as a trustee with One Awards, Andrew contributes his knowledge, experience and commitment to education with regard to improving quality and educational management.

Sheila McQueen, Professor Emeritus Nursing and Continuing Professional Development

Previously Professor of Professional Practice, Nursing and CPD at University of Sunderland. Registered general Nurse, Registered Sick Children’s Nurse, Registered Nurse Teacher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Sheila has spent over 38 years working in Nursing, as a practitioner and senior nurse for the NHS for 20 years. Sheila then focused her career on working in Nursing and Health Care education and academia.

She has recently developed the Registered Nurse Degree apprenticeships and the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner Apprenticeship for North East NHS Trusts and has vast experience in Nurse education, CPD, Workforce Development, Practice Development and Leadership in the NHS and HEI sector.

Sheila is also a professional advisor in McQueen Health Education consultancy Ltd and a director of Education for Hall and Angus Substance misuse in the workplace Ltd. She is firmly committed to Education and Training for all, widening participation, and work based learning that supports people in employment and with career development.

Jane Oswald, Assistant Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment, University of Sunderland

Jane has worked in education for over 20 years, with roles in both the higher education and further education sectors. She has a great deal of knowledge within the field of marketing, communication, advertising, events, social media, branding, public relations, design and digital marketing. This includes 14 years dealing with B2C, B2B, admissions and corporate marketing within education recruitment, along with experience in the field of sport (football, rugby and athletics), local councils and the leisure industry. 

Jane is currently Assistant Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment at the University of Sunderland. Within this role she is responsible for providing strategic direction for all aspects of the University’s marketing and communications activity including the development of integrated marketing strategies, management of the University’s brand and implementing tactical campaigns to deliver student recruitment to target.

Les Woodward, Head of Client Services (North East and Scotland) at Home Group Limited

Les started his working career in 1980 as an Apprentice Electrician in the manufacturing sector. On completing his four year apprenticeship he gained the new position of Service Engineer working for a small local company maintaining bar and kitchen equipment.

In 1987 Les changed his career direction and commenced working in the Social Care sector initially as a Residential Social Worker and then after successfully achieving his professional social work qualification soon moved into management positions.

After a short period in managing his own leisure and retail business in 1998 he commenced working for Home Group in 1999. Whilst working for Home Group he has held several management positions and held his current senior management role for over 11 years.

Les currently has management responsibility for all Home Group Care & Support services and associated properties in the North East and Scotland. This includes providing care and support services to many vulnerable and disadvantaged client groups including learning disabilities, ex-offenders, mental health, young people, domestic violence and older people. Services provided include training and CQC registered services.

Over the past 14 years Les has kept to his Social Work roots through membership of several Fostering Panels.

I have worked with other Awarding Bodies in the past but must say that I am really pleased with the service offered by One Awards and NOCN along with the support given as well, it makes me feel as if I could ask absolutely anything and they wouldn’t mind at all and would deal with it efficiently.

Julia Hamby
JM Training Services