Senior Leadership Team
Nicki Ross Principal
Nicki has been the Principal at NCW since 2016. She recognises it as a very special place for young people with a vision impairment and that gaining a place at the College can be transformational. Nicki is committed to ensuring all young people who attend NCW are given every opportunity to excel. Prior to working at NCW, Nicki worked for 27 years in three Gloucestershire schools as a PE teacher, Deputy Head and Headteacher. When not at work, Nicki enjoys following a premiership football team, reading and sport.
Victoria Ward Strategic Lead - VI Education
Victoria joined NCW in 2000, initially as Director of Music, where she developed an expertise for Music Braille and introduced Music Technology to the curriculum. She remains committed to ensuring that students are taught the skills that they need to become independent learners. Victoria leads on VI Education, a role which encompasses continuing professional development of staff; ensuring that every student has equitable access to the whole curriculum including the specialist VI curriculum and that students are fully prepared for life after College and the world of work.
Louise Pratt Assistant Principal, Business & Finance
Louise joined NCW in 2018, having spent the previous 20 years working in industry and the charitable sector. Her remit at NCW includes overseeing Finance, HR, Administration, Premises, Marketing, Fundraising, the Transcription Department and Health and Safety. This is Louise’s first role in an education setting and she is delighted to be part of the future of NCW as it faces new challenges and new opportunities. As well as keeping NCW financially on the straight and narrow, Louise loves getting to know the students and is often seen keeping order in the dining room and getting involved with activities all over school.
Jon Clugston Strategic Lead - Student Wellbeing
Jon joined NCW in September 2019, to lead on wellbeing and safeguarding across the College as well being responsible for the residential provision. Prior to joining NCW, Jon has over 25 years’ experience of working in special education and as an inspector for the Care Quality Commission. In his spare time, Jon enjoys long distance walking, playing and watching sport and travel.
Fiona Madden Strategic Lead – Student Progress
Fiona was delighted to have joined the team at NCW in September 2019 as lead for student progress and feels strongly that every young person has the right to the best education and opportunities possible. Prior to that she has worked for over 30 years in Gloucestershire schools in a range of roles, including Head of Expressive Arts, Interventions Manager and Deputy Head. When not at work, Fiona enjoys travel and anything to do with the theatre, particularly musicals with ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Matilda’ being favourites.
Diana Fulbrook Chair of Governors
Diana Fulbrook OBE lives in Worcester and spent her career in the probation service, the final 11 years as Chief Executive of a Probation Trust. She has significant experience in strategy, leadership, change management and running an organisation, and enjoys applying this to the field of education. Since retirement she has chaired two safeguarding boards – one for children and one for vulnerable adults, and currently also chairs the Worcestershire Association of Carers Trustee Board. After being a trustee at NCW, she became Chair of the Governing Body in 2015 and feels it a privilege to be involved in such a special place.
Sue Ayres Vice Chair
Sue is retired now after 40 years of working in education. She taught in secondary schools in various West Midlands authorities before joining Birmingham local authority as Head of Service taking the strategic lead for raising the educational attainment of children in care. This work provided experience of multi-agency partnership, Residential settings and Safeguarding as well as education across all age groups. Sue has always undertaken voluntary work and has been a trustee of the Baron Davenports charitable trust since 2006 and has recently become a trustee of Music Therapy Works, a charity which provides therapeutic interventions for children and adults using music.
Karen Holyoak Staff Governor
Karen has had varied career in teaching starting in Further Education and then in secondary schools as a Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher before joining NCW in September 2015. She qualified as a QTVI in 2018. Karen teaches English, History and Sociology and was appointed Head of Key Stage 5 in 2018. She is currently doing research for a Masters Degree on transition and outcomes for young people with vision impairments getting into employment and higher education. She enjoys extra curricula activities with the students and wandering the Malvern Hills.
Tracey Smith Non-teaching Staff Governor
Tracey has worked at NCW since 2003 and holds two posts. In her role as Liaison Co-ordinator she works closely with the Marketing team to show potential parents and students what life is like at NCW on a day to day basis. She works with prospective families to plan and organise an assessment for their child and is then the point of contact for the families whilst they navigate the funding process. She also works as the Learning Support Coordinator, managing a team of 12 Learning Support Assistants who deliver planned support for new and existing students to develop their skills to become independent students and adults of the future.
Rob Godfrey Governor
Rob was educated at Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe and University College Oxford where he studied Modern History and Economics. He qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in 1985 within the electricity supply industry and spent most of a rich and interesting career with a research company who are world leaders in all aspects of hydraulic engineering. Rob has extensive experience of all areas of finance, taxation, company law and pensions. By the time of his retirement in 2015 he was solely responsible for the financial affairs of the UK company and its many foreign subsidiaries. Rob is a keen walker and golfer; he plays the piano and has extensive experience of choral singing. He enjoys travelling, reads widely and has retained an enthusiastic interest in history and current affairs.
Mary Russell Governor
Mary is pleased to be able to use her skills as a previous optometrist and rehabilitation worker for visually impaired people as a Trustee Governor at New College Worcester. Mary is no stranger to specialist VI provision, having taught ILS and Mobility for more than 8 years in a residential setting. Mary has at different stages been a parent governor and a staff governor in different fields, and feels very welcome in this vibrant community with its holistic approach.
Sandy Bannister Governor
Sandy lives and works in Worcester, and has brought up her three children. She have direct experience of the benefits of specialist education as, in the 1970s, she was educated in a similar school to NCW. Sandy is the designated Local Authority Governor for the College. She passionately believe that vision impaired children and young people are entitled to education which equips them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to lead an active and fulfilled life, and she is proud to support NCW as one of the Trustee Governors
Jesus Fernandez Munoz Governor
Jesus holds a dual Masters in Civil Engineering from leading Universities in Spain and France, a Diploma for Graduates in Banking from the London School of Economics, and a Masters in Leadership and Strategy from the London Business School. He works as an independent consultant in the financial and energy sectors. He has over 25 years of experience in operational and strategic work with financial and development institutions in London, New York, Washington and Continental Europe. In addition, he has served on the Board of the Rotary Club of Wall Street in New York, and that of a Business School Alumni Chapter in Washington. As the Parent Governor, he wants to contribute his skills to the advancement of the College’s mission and the continuous improvement of the overall experience for its students and other stakeholders.
Noel Duffy Governor
Noel was born in county Galway in Ireland and arrived in the UK in 1984 as a newly minted chartered accountant. He has lived in Worcester since January 1985. Noel set up and ran his own accounting practice for several years, before joining one of his clients, Dolphin Computer Access Limited on a full time basis in 2008. Dolphin is one of the largest developers of assistive technology for people with sight loss in education, the work place and people’s homes. He is currently CEO of Dolphin and also takes a leading role in the industry worldwide, holding executive positions on national and international trade bodies. Obviously because of his role he has a special interest in sight loss, but he also holds positions on governing bodies of other specialist schools.
Steve Tyler Governor
Steve is Director of Assistive Technology at Leonard Cheshire and has led a range of service and product developments over many years in the sector – from the speech system that drives Amazon’s Alexa and Kindle products to accessible ATM’s and access to TV. He is married with two children and has many interests outside of work – fragrance and coffee roasting being two of them.
Philippa Simkiss Governor
Whilst working as an engineer, Philippa began supporting blind people to retrain as roles were made redundant due to the introduction of computer-controlled machinery. Since then she has established award-winning employability programmes that operate internationally and has led research, policy and fundraising teams in national charities. She now works as an independent consultant, committed to enabling people to reach their potential. At NCW this means listening to students and helping them to follow their dreams.
Nicky Bryant Governor
Iain Paul Governor
Iain’s career was spent in Herefordshire and Worcestershire as an Architect designing schools, libraries and a variety of other public buildings. He has retained a strong interest in design and very much enjoys working as a volunteer in NCW's Art department. Iain brings his extensive knowledge and experience of design, construction and project management to the work of the Governing Body. His other outside interests include gardening, walking and sketching.
Other Key Staff
Mr Mick Madden Senior Care
Dr Jeanette Normanton Erry Head of Outreach
Mrs Julie Sutterby Nurse
Mr Alan Drabwell Senior Houseparent, Peggy Markes House
Ms Katie Simkins Senior Houseparent, Bradnack House
Ms Alison Hussell Senior Houseparent, Dorothy McHugh House
Mrs Cathy Wright Head of Key Stage 3 & 4
Mrs Karen Holyoak Head of Key Stage 5
Mrs Sam Belton SENCo