Cheri Ashby appointed Deputy Chief Executive at Activate Learning

Cheri has more than 25 years of experience in the FE sector, having previously held roles as a teacher, course leader, Curriculum Manager and Assistant Principal. She has been part of the Group Executive Team at Activate Learning since January 2016.

During 2019-20, Cheri led on the merger of the previous Guildford College Group (Guildford College, Merrist Wood College and Farnham College) into Activate Learning.

Passionate about Activate Learning’s mission to transform lives through its award-winning Learning Philosophy, more recently Cheri has taken over responsibility for curriculum and become the nominated individual for leading on behalf of Activate Learning in Ofsted inspections. She has also joined the Trust Board of Activate Learning Education Trust (ALET) which oversees the schools.

Cheri said: “Activate Learning strives to provide people with an amazing learning experience in which they feel stretched, motivated and emotionally supported to become the best they can be.

“I have been privileged to work with so many dedicated colleagues in my time here and hope that I can contribute to even more success for our students in the years ahead.”

Speaking about her promotion to the position of Deputy Chief Executive, current Chief Executive Sally Dicketts CBE said: “I’m delighted that Cheri has been appointed to this role. Having worked with her over the years, I know what a brilliant teacher-leader she is.

“Cheri is someone who fully recognises the transformative power of our Learning Philosophy and the remarkable impact it can have on our students’ lives.

“I know that Cheri will be a fantastic Deputy to Gary Headland when he takes up his position as Chief Executive on 1 April. Activate Learning is incredibly lucky to have her in this key role.”

Sue Sturgeon, Chair of the Corporation for Activate Learning, who oversaw the recruitment process for the Deputy Chief Executive role, said Cheri was a fantastic choice for the role.

She added: “I was pleased to be a member of the interview panel alongside Pauline Odulinski, Chair of Search and Governance, and Gary Headland our future CEO.  We were all immensely impressed by Cheri and unanimous in our decision to appoint her as Deputy CEO.”


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