Newcastle College

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Newcastle College
Newcastle College logo.png
Type Further Education Higher Education
Location Scotswood Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear
DfE URN 130552 Tables
Staff 1218
Students c. 45,000 (2013–14)[1]
Gender Mixed
Ages 14+
Colours Blue, white
Website Newcastle College

Newcastle College is a Further Education and Higher Education college in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The college has a complex history, being an amalgamation of various colleges and training providers. The college is a part of a larger corporation called NCG (formerly the Newcastle College Group).

Ofsted downgraded the college to 'good' following its inspection in 2012, having been graded 'outstanding' in both 2004 and 2008.[2][3][4] The college has attracted further controversy in recent years, with accusations of workplace bullying, high redundancies in teaching staff, and the ejection of inspectors from the premises.[1][5]


The College was founded in 1894 as Rutherford Memorial College, becoming Rutherford College Secondary School for Boys in 1945.[4] In 1930, the President of the Board of Education Charles Trevelyan founded the Trevelyan Building for girls.[citation needed] In 1962 the college was divided into two separate divisions, the college of Further Education and the Charles Trevelyan Technical College. In 1972 the two colleges merged and became known as Newcastle College.[4]

According to The Journal, the college was falling into disrepair in the late twentieth century. Dame Jackie Fisher, who joined the college as principal in 2000 and later became chief executive of the group, suggests that the buildings were in a poor state due to lack of investment in the 1990s and that the structure of the college was wasteful. The restructuring took Fisher and her team three and a half years, with the college, as of September 2011, turning over £150m a year, compared to £45m in 2003.[6]


Newcastle College is a division of NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group). With a turnover of more than £155million, NCG is one of the largest education, training and employability organisations in the UK.[7]

In August 2007, the college merged with Skelmersdale & Ormskirk College, a college in Lancashire;[8] it was later renamed West Lancashire College in August 2011.[9]

Intraining was formed in March 2008, following the acquisition of TWL Training in December 2007,[10] and the purchase of the troubled training organisation Carter & Carter in March 2008.[11] This led to the introduction of the Newcastle College Group (NCG).

In November 2011, the group also acquired the British youth charity Rathbone Training.[12] The college attempted to merge with Northumberland College, but the Ashington-based college rejected the merger plans in response to feedback from their staff, students and local MPs.[13]

In November 2005, the Times Educational Supplement reported that lecturers who rebelled, "against new contracts, were defeated after they faced losing their jobs."[14] Following cuts by the coalition government, the college reorganised its curriculum structure leading to 200-equivalent full-time job losses, with 188 new jobs created in 2011. The restructure lead to the grade, and therefore salary, reduction of many teaching staff.[15] Shortly after redundancies were announced, The Guardian reported that NCG's chief executive, Dame Jackie Fisher, "enjoyed a pay rise, including bonus and retention payment, of almost £73,000."[15] However, the report mentions a spokeswoman's defence of the pay rise, pointing out "that Fisher is responsible for three divisions with an annual turnover of £152m in 2009-10."[15] Also in 2011, allegations of workplace bullying were publicly made against college management and reported on the BBC's regional Inside Out programme in January 2012.[5][16] NCG vehemently refuted these allegations stating that “it takes any allegation of bullying extremely seriously and has a clear and transparent process for dealing with staff concerns. All reported allegations are always thoroughly investigated and dealt with appropriately.[16]

Ofsted downgraded the college from 'outstanding' to 'good' following an inspection in 2012.[2] It was widely reported that college management had ejected the inspection team from the premises, and that some inspectors were offered counselling as a result of the process.[17][18]

In March 2014, Newcastle Sixth Form College, a Further Education college in Newcastle upon Tyne, was official opened.[19]

In August 2014, Kidderminster College was acquired by NCG.[20]


The Parsons Building at the main campus.
The Rutherford (left) and Trevelyan (tower block) Buildings

The main campus is situated at Rye Hill, close to Newcastle city centre. However, some courses and services are delivered from elsewhere. The Sandyford Building is located within Northumbria University's main campus, and Newcastle Aviation Academy is located next to Newcastle International Airport.[21] There are several other campuses in neighbouring towns, such as the John Marley Centre (also known as West End College) in Denton Burn, the Energy Academy and Aviation Academy in Wallsend at Newcastle International Airport respectively and a construction centre at Low Walker.

Work started on the construction of a new Sixth Form college at the Rye Hill campus in August 2011. Designed by international architects RMJM, the building was scheduled to open in 2013.[22] The college was official opened in 2014 as Newcastle Sixth Form College and is no longer part of Newcastle College, but instead a separate division within NCG.[23]


Performance Academy: Opened in November 2004, the £21m Performance Academy at Newcastle College is one of the UK’s leading training centres for music, performing arts and media.[24][25] The facility comprises a 250-seat theatre; ten recording studios; acting, music and dance studios;[24] and its own record label.[26] Former students from the Performance Academy include Joe McElderry and Perrie Edwards from Little Mix who won The X-Factor in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Lifestyle Academy: September 2006 saw the opening of the £40m Lifestyle Academy, for students studying hospitality, beauty, hairdressing, travel and tourism, and sport.[27]

Energy Academy: The Energy Academy in Wallsend is a centre of innovation, training, and development for the offshore wind sector.[28] Opened September in 2011, the 20,000 sq ft centre provides skills training to employers within the renewable energies sector and to young people in the region.

Newcastle Sixth Form College: In 2013 Newcastle College opened its doors to a brand new building to open the brand new sixth form which was new to the college.

Higher education[edit]

Newcastle College also offers HE qualifications. These include Foundation Degrees bachelor's degrees and master's degrees. The college has over 3,000 HE students and is one of the biggest providers of HE in FE. These students have access to HE-only facilities such as Space.

The college previously offered foundation degrees validated by universities, including Leeds Metropolitan, Northumbria, and Sunderland. In July 2011, Newcastle College was awarded Foundation Degree(FD) Awarding Powers, allowing it to develop and validate its own FD programmes.[29]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Top college in jobs cull". Times Educational Supplement. 
  2. ^ a b Pearson, Adrian (17 August 2012). "Newcastle College downgraded after Ofsted inspection". The Journal. Newcastle upon Tyne. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  3. ^ 2008 Ofsted report. Retrieved 6 October 2010
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Newcastle College". The Independent. 1 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Chronicle letters: Public force Beeb U-turn - Get Involved - ChronicleLive
  6. ^ Knox, Chris (September 5, 2011). "Teacher With A Real Talent For Rescuing Our Failing Colleges". The Journal. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle Chronicle & Journal Ltd. p. 28. 
  7. ^ NCG Annual Report 10/11
  8. ^ "Skelmersdale College (Dissolution) Order 2007". Office of Public Sector Information. 2007-08-01. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  9. ^ "College to become West Lancashire College". West Lancashire College. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Turner, David (22 March 2008). "Carter & Carter sell-off bucks trend". 
  12. ^ "Newcastle College Group ‘merge’ with Rathbone". FE Week. 
  13. ^ King, Emma (Nov 17, 2011). "Northumberland College pulls out of merger deal". The Journal. 
  14. ^ Lee, Joseph (December 23, 2005). "Panto Plays On Without Cinders". Times Educational Supplement (4666). TSL Education Limited. p. 29. 
  15. ^ a b c Mourant, Andrew (27 June 2011). "Are colleges cutting more jobs than they need to?". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ a b "Inside Out North East and Cumbria". 2012-01-23. BBC. BBC1.  Missing or empty |series= (help)
  17. ^ Pearson, Adrian (Jul 17, 2012). "Newcastle College staff clash with Ofsted inspectors". The Journal. Newcastle upon Tyne. 
  18. ^ Brown, Jonathan (18 July 2012). "Ofsted inspectors forced to leave Newcastle College after row over conduct". The Independent. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Proposed Merger between Kidderminster College and NCG". Kidderminster College. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Royal opening for college's new aviation academy". News Post Leader. 29 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  22. ^ Warburton, Dan (Aug 10, 2011). "Newcastle College unveils plans for new Sixth Form centre". The Journal. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b Sting in the tale: with a 21m [pounds sterling] investment and the backing of a famous pop star, Newcastle College's Performance Academy has impressive launch. | Goliath B...
  25. ^ "Newcastle College chiefs proud of Joe's efforts". Evening Chronicle. 
  26. ^ "Futureheads guitarist visits Newcastle College". The Journal. 
  27. ^ "New Lifestyle Academy almost full ahead of time". Newcastle College. 
  28. ^ "Energy academy in Wallsend set to boost jobs". Evening Chronicle. 
  29. ^ Porter, Aaron (11 August 2011). "First or Fail: Newcastle and Durham colleges and Carol Vorderman". The Guardian. 
  30. ^ Leah Strug (8 October 2009). "Support for X Factor Joe is top class". Shields Gazette. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°58′00″N 1°37′40″W / 54.96667°N 1.62778°W / 54.96667; -1.62778