Matt Vaughan has joined the college as vice-principal for curriculum and quality following a revamp of its executive management structure.
The 53-year-old will be responsible for developing the strategic vision of all teaching, learning, assessment and curriculum planning at the institution, which has campuses in Mansfield and Ashfield.
He will take the lead role in designing and implementing its new ASPIRE curriculum – ensuring the organisation is at the forefront of innovation and remains responsive to the needs of the community and employers – and further build on the quality of the student experience.
Matt said: “I’m thrilled to join West Notts during this important period and have the opportunity to be part of an upward journey for the college.
“My priorities are three-fold: to provide an outstanding experience for students of all levels, to build on the good work that is already happening with employers, and ensure standards of teaching and learning are of a consistently excellent quality.
“There’s still a way to go in certain areas but I’m confident we’ve got the right people in place, which gives us a superb platform to achieve our aims, so I’m extremely optimistic about the future.
“It’s a fantastic privilege to be here and I’m excited by the prospect of helping bring back the good times and getting the college – and, above all, the learner experience – back to where it should be.”
Matt comes with more than 30 years’ experience in a variety of education settings across the country, having worked at a variety of levels from foundation teacher to deputy chief executive of a large college group.
He began his career as a part-time youth worker in Birmingham in the late 1980s, which he combined with studying a post-graduate certificate in education, and progressed through youth work and teaching to a number of senior management positions in local authorities and further education colleges.
Previous roles included senior officer leading the learning and skills service at Nottinghamshire County Council, head of the learning and skills service at Nottingham City Council, and assistant principal and curriculum director at North Notts College, Worksop.
More recently, Matt spent five years with Ofsted, joining as Her Majesty’s Inspector before being promoted to senior Her Majesty’s Inspector for further education and skills for the East of England region. Prior to this, Matt had worked for Ofsted as a part-time inspector since 2001.
He joins the college from Hull College Group, where he worked as deputy chief executive and deputy principal until September 2019.
Matt has a Master’s degree in public services management, a post-graduate diploma in the management of public services, a post-graduate certificate in youth and community education, an honours degree in the social sciences, and adult teaching and assessor qualifications. He has particular expertise in widening participation, foundation learning, leadership and management, and teaching the social sciences.
His innovation in curriculum-design has won awards and received nominations for best practice. Matt has served as nominee for Ofsted inspections on seven occasions for four different organisations.
Matt’s appointment completes the college’s new executive team, which also comprises of principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley; vice-principal for communications, engagement and student experience Louise Knott; director of finance Jon Fearon; director of IT, estates and learning resources Gavin Peake; and director of HR and organisational development Suzanna Smith.
Principal Andrew Cropley said: “I’m delighted to welcome Matt to West Notts College as the final, permanent appointment to our new executive team. Matt brings a wealth of experience in further education from a number of different perspectives and, combined with his obvious passion and energy, will help ensure we achieve our vision.
“I’m looking forward to seeing Matt work with the teaching teams here to provide our students with a great experience, and with our growing number of local partners to ensure that those students become the workforce that will drive our communities forward.”
Matt is married to Anna, a primary school teacher, with whom he has two children, Harry, 22, and Archie, 17. They live in Barnby, near Newark, Nottinghamshire. Outside of work Matt enjoys open-water swimming and long-distance running. He is also an avid supporter of Burnley FC and Lancashire Cricket Club, and runs a youth football team.

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