Julie’s part-time role as Director of the Tertiary Colleges Group is to raise the profile of the group and the tertiary college model, promote the tertiary colleges’ perspective in policy formulation and decisions, as well as keeping members informed and up-to-date, through conferences, news and bulletins. She provides a collaborative resource for the group to undertake research and facilitates an advisory forum to pilot various innovative approaches. She supports the tertiary concept that is ideally suited to addressing key government challenges such as low participation, social exclusion, education/business misunderstanding, stagnating achievement levels, inequality of esteem and inefficient use of resources.
Julie’s background is as a specialist funding expert in the education and skills sector working at local, regional and national level. She has a proven track record in leading complex multi-million pound employability and skills programmes, which support disadvantaged learners on the one hand, and small businesses and local economic growth on the other.
She has led on the European Social Fund for the Skills Funding Agency and its predecessors for over 20 years, successfully implementing national Co-financing and more recently developing the Opt-in model for Local Enterprise Partnerships to work with ESF in 2014-2020 programme.
Julie has an excellent understanding of both public and private sector perspectives, having developed successful relationships with key national and local stakeholders, including colleges and training providers; Government Departments; the European Commission; voluntary and community organisations; and Local Enterprise Partnerships. Her work has resulted in streamlined procurement approaches for both ESF and its match funding – significantly reducing bureaucracy for providers and co-financing organisations, and removing high risk issues from EC auditors’ agenda. She has developed clear guidance on complex EU funding rules, and has a proactive collaborative and common sense approach to continuous improvement. Her work has covered strategy, systems, processes, stakeholder management, funding methodologies, procurement, contract and programme management, performance monitoring, evaluation, audit, and risk management.
She works on other consultancy projects providing strategic and practical advice and recommendations to government departments, colleges and training providers, and Local Enterprise Partnerships, and she is also on the Board of Trustees of a small charity which specialises in helping people at disadvantage achieve through support, learning and jobs.
She lives in Warwickshire and is married with two teenage children.