Who We Are

The Northern School of Art has provided students with specialist art and design education in the North East for over 100 years. Dating back to 1870 when The Middlesbrough School of Art was opened shortly followed by The Government School of Art in Hartlepool in 1874. The School, formerly the Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) was formed in 1979 by the merger of Teesside College of Art, Middlesbrough, and the Hartlepool College of Art. Being the only educational institute dedicated to art and design in the North East over this course of time has given our school immeasurable experience and expertise in creative education. We have had the opportunity to work with outstandingly talented students that have graduated to become some of the best in their respective industries. Our Alumni include Ridley Scott, director of Alien and Blade Runner, car designer Keith Patterson and artist Mackenzie Thorpe. The School is one of only two remaining specialist art and design institutions in the further education (FE) sector in the UK. It is unique in the Northern East of England as the only specialist further and higher education provider of art and design education. The School was one of the first institutions to be awarded ‘Gold’ in the Teaching excellence Framework (TEF) for full time higher education (HE) provision in 2017. It has held its Outstanding Ofsted rating since 2009, having most recently been inspected and graded as Outstanding in April 2022. The Northern School of Art is a statutory charity as set out in the ‘Further and Higher Education Act 1992’; as an organisation we are regulated by the Education & Skills Funding Agency, Department for Education.

Our Vision for 2024

By 2024, we will have built on our track record and successes. In essence we want to have more students on continuously improving courses, studying in high quality, supportive, creative environments. We will develop our curriculum through increasing product differentiation from our competitors and foster innovation. Our students’ experience with us and the quality of the destinations they move on to, in the North and elsewhere, guides what we do and aspire to. This Plan has been adapted by our Corporation Board which will monitor its direction and delivery. We will have: • Degree Awarding Powers and become an HEI enabling us to become ever more responsive to the needs of students and industry, making the School more visible in direct comparison to competitor universities and opening up new funding opportunities only available to HEIs. • Grown, out-pacing demographic growth in both FE and HE student numbers as demographic growth kicks in, enabling us to secure our place in the region, re-invest in, and develop our curriculum offer and become more resilient. • A new FE Campus in the heart of Middlesbrough, a location that is more accessible to our growing catchment area - adjacent to a creative industry hub. • Established the School as a leader in thinking and practice in the creative sector in the North and beyond - allowing us to offer current and relevant teaching and industrial experience.

Our Values

• Creativity and excellence • Professional practice, employability and enterprise • Student engagement, support, collaboration and community

Our Behaviours

• Concern for the quality of a holistic student experience • A positive, collegiate approach • Professionalism • Always seeking improvement; appropriately self-critical • Equality and diversity

Our Academic Character

We are a specialist Art School and as such we will provide an academic experience at all levels of the School that will ready and prepare our students to excel in the creative industry and society. We value established higher and further education that places academic achievement as a central aim. However, our creative curriculum goes further by placing our students’ personal development at the centre of their learning experience. This includes enrichment of the student experience, providing opportunities for personal journey development, enhancing the learning experience to contextualise the wider purpose of creative practice and through meeting, stretching and challenging individual aspirations.

A Transformative Curriculum

Through our academic research and engagement with our academic community, at both further and higher education, we have developed a curriculum offer that succeeds in providing a transformative creative education experience at all levels of the School.

How We Make Decisions

Download our Deliberative Structure for an overview of the committees and decision-making in the School.

External Governance Review

Our governance review 2022/23 In June 2022, The Northern School of Art commissioned Stone King LLP to undertake the required independent, external review of its governance practice (hereafter, “the review”). The main aim of the Review was to: “Consider the current performance of the Governing Body in discharging the principal responsibilities of good governance”. The resulting report was considered and accepted by the Corporation Board on March 10th, 2023. The Review noted that: “In summary, taking account of meeting observation, discussions and documentation available, this review recognises that the governance of The Northern School of Art is expert, committed, ambitious and demonstrates many examples of effective practice.” The Corporation Board valued the process and feedback from the external governance review and are fully committed to maintaining high levels of effective practice in line with the Codes of Good Governance. Governance is an essential part of the School’s success and we are committed to ongoing reflection and improvement. For any questions please contact Lesley McLaren, Head of Governance, email: Lesley.mclaren@northernart.ac.uk

Corporation Board

For a list of the School’s Corporate Board agendas, minutes and reports, please visit Corporation Board Teaching & Learning Committee Minutes Please contact foi@northernart.ac.uk. Staff/Student Consultation Group Meetings Please contact foi@northernart.ac.uk. Appointment Committees & Procedures Please contact foi@northernart.ac.uk.


The Governing Body of the Northern School of Art is responsible for the educational character and strategic direction of the institute. They determine our policies and monitor our performance. The Corporation consists of 19 Governors from a wide variety of backgrounds, including staff and students, and their experience and strategic skills make a vital contribution to the continuing development of the School.

Governor Profiles

Statement of Primary Responsibilities

Tim Bailey


Robin Simmons

Vice Chair

Ian Swain

Co-opted MemberChair of Audit Committee

David Hughes

Independent Member

Martin Raby


Lesley McLaren

Head of Governance

Gillian Miller

Independent Member

Jane Rapley

Independent Member

Kieron Goldsborough

Independent Member

Kirsten Baggaley

Independent Member

Natalie Brett

Independent Member

Elouise Leonard Cross

Independent Member

Polly Clarkson

(FE Staff Governor)

Kirsty Binns

(FE Student Governor)

Jayne Hemmins

(HE Staff Governor)

Senior Management Team

Dr Martin Raby

Principal & Chief Executive

Stuart Slorach BSc(Hons) FCCA

Vice Principal (Resources)

Michael Wheaton MEd PFHEA FRSA

Vice Principal HE (Quality & Planning)

John Waddington MA PFHEA FRSA

Vice Principal (Higher Education)

Rob Kane BA(Hons) PGCE

Vice Principal FE

Amy Crossland

Vice Principal People Services