New Directions College is Reading Borough Council’s Adult & Community Education (ACE) service.  It is part of the Directorate for Economic Growth & Neighbourhood Services. The key senior Officers within the Council that have oversight of the service are; the Executive Director for Economic Growth and Neighbourhood Services, the Assistant Director of Culture and the Head of Service/Principal for New Directions College.

The College also has a Governance Board that meet termly.


The current terms of reference set out in Article 10 of the Council’s Constitution for Governance of Adult Skills and Community Learning at the Council, is as follows:

The Governance Board is:

  • To provide advice and guidance for the development of adult skills and community learning across Reading
  • To monitor and evaluate the portfolio of provision funded by the ESFA
  • To endorse the annual accountability statement and three-year strategic plan/statement of intent for Adult Skills and Community Learning
  • To review the priorities of the plan on an annual basis
  • To monitor service and financial performance against an agreed set of KPIs and the quality improvement plan.
  • To consider and recommend for approval by the Board the annual Self-Assessment Plan and associated Quality Improvement Plan (Ofsted requirement).

Specific duties include:

  1. Scrutiny of overall performance of the service against agreed KPIs
  2. Review and endorse key documents:
  • Strategic Development Plan
  • Self-Assessment
  • Quality Improvement Plan
  • Endorse commissioned activity
    • Consider links and opportunities with other Council/place-based services
    • Consider contribution to overall Council objectives
    • Review learner engagement, feedback & communication with stakeholders
    • Engage with learners and service users, to elicit first hand feedback
  • Board members must also participate in relevant Safeguarding, Prevent, British Values and Governance training relevant to their role.


      The Governance Board will consist of the following members:

      1. Lead Councillor responsible for Education (Chair) Cllr Ruth McEwan
      2. The Principal of New Directions – Andrea Wood
      3. The Deputy Principal of New Directions (visiting) Lisa Welch
      4. The MIS & Performance Manager of New Directions (visiting) Aliea Rashid
      5. The Assistant Director of Culture – Donna Pentelow
      6. The Assistant Director of Housing & Communities – Zelda Wolfle
      7. The Director for Education – Brighter Futures for Children – Brian Grady
      8. Representative for Public Health – Martin White
      9. Representatives from local FE Sector – Paul Emberlin and Debbie Ferguson


      • The chair of the governance board will be the lead councillor responsible for Education including adult learning.
      • The board will meet 3-4 times per year. 
      • The board will carry out class visits and engagement activity with service users and report on these.
      • The board will also engage with nominated staff concerning the self-assessment and resulting quality improvement plan between meetings.
      • All meetings will be set 1 year in advance. A copy of the agenda and papers will be sent at least five clear days in advance of the meeting.
      • Meetings shall not be open to the public unless the board decides otherwise, however learners will be invited to share their experiences with the board.
      • From time to time the board may invite representatives of other learning organisations and the voluntary sector to join its discussions and provide information and advice.
      • In addition to Board Meetings, Board Members must participate in approx. 3 – 5 hrs of relevant Safeguarding, Prevent, British Values and Governance Training annually, subject to status.

      If you have any enquiries about the Governance Board, please contact us.