Denise Brown, currently Vice Principal at South Essex College, will take up the post of Principal and Chief Executive from interim Principal David White at the end of the summer.

Denise began her further education career as a lecturer and policy advisor at London’s Newham College in 1988. Her roles included senior lecturer, department head, faculty director and deputy Principal at Havering College, before she was appointed Vice-Principal at Newham in 2002, eventually serving 3 years as Principal between 2010 and 2013.

At South Essex College, she has worked as Vice Principal for quality and curriculum, leading a team responsible for updating the college’s courses to better suit the needs of students.

The appointment follows a recruitment and selection process which involved two days of interviews and meetings with Governors, students, the senior management team and the wider body of staff.

Neil Bromley, Stoke-on-Trent College Chair of Governors, said: “Denise was chosen, following a rigorous selection process, because of her wealth of experience, her expertise, authority and passion for education. She was exactly the kind of person we were looking for.

“She shares our values about doing the best for people and for the wider community and she understands the need for a determined skills development programme in the city.

“She made it clear that she would be working with our excellent staff for students, local business and the wider community. She was a quality candidate and we are very pleased to make the appointment.”

Denise Brown said: “I am absolutely delighted and humbled. I have been given an opportunity to practise what I see as my vocation – to help young people and adults improve their life chances through education, supporting the businesses and the prosperity of a particular place – at the highest level.

“I am really looking forward to working with the very able and dedicated staff at the college and getting to know Stoke-on-Trent better. The city reminds me very much of my home town of Oldham – a place of rich industrial heritage surrounded by beautiful countryside populated by warm, friendly people.”