Dr Alison Birkinshaw OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of York College takes up her position today as President of the Association of Colleges.
Alison became Principal and Chief Executive of York College in January 2008, having previously been Principal at Nelson and Colne College. Prior to that, she was Deputy Principal at another Lancashire College, Runshaw. She began in FE in 1984 as Music Lecturer at Nelson and Colne College. She was awarded an OBE in 2012 and an honorary doctorate from York University in 2017, both for services to education.
At the announcement of her Presidency, Alison said: “It is a huge privilege to have been elected to the role of President and I am very grateful for the support of my fellow principals. Whilst I certainly will not neglect York College, this role will allow me to act as ambassador for the sector, and I look forward to drawing the attention of ministers and others in government to the big difference colleges make to the lives of individuals, communities and employers. I will also enjoy paying tribute to the hard work of staff across the sector and the support colleges receive from the families of students, local businesses and the wider community. I will work hard to ensure that there is recognition that investment in the college sector is crucial so that young people and adult students can contribute positively to society. I hope I can make a difference and live up to the expectations of my fellow principals, although I know that the work of previous presidents will be a hard act to follow.”
Dr Alison Birkinshaw (right) with Ian Ashman, AoC's 2016/17 President and Rachael Maskell MP