Creating the skills of tomorrow... today

Dawn Ward OBE (Chief Executive & Principal)

Dawn has held senior positions within Further Education for over 12 years and joined Burton and South Derbyshire College as Chief Executive and Principal in November 2008 - the same year she was awarded ‘Principal of the Year’ from the Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL).

She has received a national accolade from the Network for Black Professionals for Leadership in Race Equality and is a member of the National Workforce Race Advisory Group. She is a longstanding mentor for the Black Leadership Initiative and Chairs UKSkills National Diversity Advisory Group.

Dawn has recently been elected as President of Burton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry following a successful two year tenure as their Vice President. In April 2010 Dawn was awarded Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute.

A graduate from Oxford Brookes University, Dawn has had a successful international career, is a published author and was an active member of the UK team for WorldSkills Competitions. In 2007 she was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to education and skills training.

In 2010 and 2011 she led the College to successful acquisition of national awards in Leading the Learner Voice and is a national champion for UKSkills. Her role in leading culture change was also described as pivotal in the College’s recent successful Investors In People (IIP) Gold accreditation.

Dawn is passionate about the Further Education sector and actively encourages and promotes the benefits of competitive skills education and training.



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