Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form have appointed a new Principal.

With over 10 years-experience of working in education, Toni Rhodes has held several senior curriculum and quality positions at OFSTED outstanding colleges, overseeing further education, higher education, and apprenticeships.

Toni joins Education Partnership North East from Barnsley College where she is currently Vice Principal of Quality and Access to Learning.

Prior to this, Toni was Vice Principal with the TEC Partnership which includes Grimsby Institute and Scarborough TEC.

Toni has a Masters degree in Globalising Justice, holds a Chartered Management Institute Level 8 in Strategic Direction and Leadership and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Toni said: “I feel extremely privileged to be joining a great college that has a reputation for cultural excellence and I am looking forward to meeting staff during the interim period and many more from the summer onwards.

“These are difficult times but I’m looking forward to the journey as we strive to deliver excellence for our learners.”

Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive of Education Partnership North East, added: “Having previously worked with Toni I know she will add real value to our college, curriculum strategy, and ultimately the progress and achievement of our students.

“Toni is a great leader who prioritises quality at the heart of everything she does. I’m genuinely delighted to be working with her again.”

Rob Lawson, Chair Education Partnership North East, said: “For some time we have been searching for the right candidate and I am thrilled we have successfully appointed a values-based leader who understands the important dynamic between culture, quality and performance.

“Toni brings extensive knowledge and experience; The Corporation and I look forward to working with her.”

John Barnett, Local Board Chair, said: “Toni will play a leading role working with Governors of Sunderland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form.

“She performed exceptionally well at interview and I am confident Toni will hit the ground running as we actively pursue our aspirational vision and strategic plan.”