Newcastle College recently welcomed former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening to campus, to showcase the impact that further education institutions are having in delivering opportunity and driving societal change.

The visit also encompassed Newcastle Sixth Form College, following the announcement that NCG (the national college group that Newcastle College is part of) has joined the Breaking Down Barriers Commission, to explore ways in which it can make a difference for students, staff and the communities its colleges serve. 

The Breaking Down Barriers Commission is the UK’s fastest-growing network of socially responsible and progressive businesses and organisational leaders, led by Nick Forbes CBE. Set up to deliver equality of opportunity, members are working collectively and cross-party to change society for the better by redefining the role of business in society and seeking new ways of constructive engagement with government.

NCG's work with the Commission will focus on developing innovative strategies to remove the systemic barriers that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances. Chief Executive, Liz Bromley, will be the college sector lead for the North of England, whilst Chief Executive Officer at Capital City College Group, Angela Joyce, will be the college sector lead for London for the Commission.

Liz Bromley commented: “NCG exists to create life-changing opportunities for individuals, and our seven colleges are at the heart of diverse communities across the country. The Breaking Down Barriers Commission wholly supports and aligns with NCG’s mission to enable social mobility and economic prosperity through exceptional education. The further education sector is key to economic recovery and this partnership will provide us with even more opportunity to make a positive impact on society, allowing us to accomplish real change for the individuals and communities we serve.”

Thanking NCG for its hospitality, Rt Hon Justine Greening said: “It was fantastic to see first-hand the work that Newcastle College and Newcastle Sixth Form College are doing and the very real opportunities they create, nurturing a talent pipeline that will enable their students to reach their full potential. That’s good for them as individuals but it is also important for their communities which benefit socially and economically from the knowledge and skills they acquire. They are opportunity makers for their businesses and employers.

“It is also great that NCG’s CEO, Liz Bromley, has agreed to be the College Sector Lead for the North East as part of the Breaking Down Barriers Commission. Her expertise will help the sector to play a full and effective part in delivering opportunities in an area of the country that has traditionally seen fewer than other regions. I’m looking forward to working with her and her teams at Newcastle College and Newcastle Sixth Form College to highlight the crucial role that further education plays in our education system and in shaping a fairer, more prosperous future.”

Nick Forbes said: “I am delighted to welcome Capital City College Group and NCG as new members of the Breaking Down Barriers Commission. Their vision of enabling social mobility and transforming lives through exceptional education and training closely aligns with the Commission’s vision of delivering opportunity to everyone everywhere, regardless of background, through a focus on a practical, evidence-based approach. It is crucial that we find common ground across sectors and organisations if we are to make tangible progress in driving positive societal change and I am looking forward to partnering with them as valued members of the Commission to help achieve a fairer society.” 


To learn more about the partnership and the Commission’s initiatives visit