Sunderland College has appointed a new Faculty Director to lead its Digital and Creative provision into an exciting and ambitious future.

Sheree Rymer has taken up the role following a rigorous selection process and replaces Jane Reed who has been successfully appointed Campus Principal at Hartlepool Sixth Form.

With over 20 years’ experience in education, Sheree will strengthen the college’s commitment to a high quality, career-focussed curriculum while engaging with employers and community to ensure students develop skills to meet local and regional economic needs.

Originally a Performing Arts student at Sunderland College, Sheree later returned to the college as a Lecturer after graduating from Northumbria University. Since Sheree has successfully progressed through coordination and leadership roles where she has used her creative knowledge and skills to drive community connected learning and inspire the next generation of children and young people.

As a Trustee for the Sunderland Empire and a member of the City Learning Group, Sheree has played a key role in supporting students to pursue careers within the creative industries and along with her teams, has provided students with access to learning opportunities across Wearside, also helping to raise the City of Sunderland’s profile in the creative industries.

Sheree said: “I am thrilled to be moving into the role of Faculty Director and welcome the exciting opportunity to strengthen Sunderland College’s Digital and Creative offer across the city and wider North East region.

“We have a clear vision for excellence, and our career focussed and future ready curriculum ensure our students have the very best start and succeed in their chosen careers. With our state-of-the-art Arts Academy and new Digital Skills and Innovation Centre we deliver outstanding learning opportunities, and brilliant engagement with schools and employers to ensure students develop the skills required to meet regional needs and priorities.

“Sunderland is a vibrant city with a rich creative and cultural heritage and as Faculty Director I aim to work alongside our ambitious community and business partners to ensure the successful continuation of city-wide initiatives and projects and importantly, to open up opportunities for our students to contribute to them.”

Ellen Thinnesen, Chief Executive of Education Partnership North East, of which Sunderland College is a part, added: “Our Strategic Plan sets out a clear focus to attract, retain and develop our workforce. Over the past five years we have been working hard to achieve this. We have significantly invested in internal leadership development through our own mentoring, coaching and our aspiring leaders’ programmes, and as an outcome, we have increasingly seen brilliant staff, like Sheree, progressing their careers with us”.

Sheree is always one of the first to engage in new initiatives, to speak up and contribute to idea generation, solutions and progress. Her work ethic, track record, and can-do attitude will serve her well in her new role and I look forward to seeing Sheree make her mark.”

As the college enters its next stage of growth and development, Toni Rhodes, Principal, said: “As the UK Digital and Creative sector is rapidly evolving, we intend for Sunderland College to be at the forefront of skills and innovation. Under Sheree’s leadership, our Digital and Creative Faculty is key to this, and I’m looking forward to working closely with Sheree and her team.”

Sheree will also work in partnership with the college’s newly appointed Strategic Lead for Digital Skills and Learning Innovation Dan Fitzpatrick who will drive the college’s digital transformation and ambitious plans to become a digital industry-leader over the coming years.

Dan will be based at Sunderland College’s new Digital Skills and Innovation Centre at Bede Campus which will open in September 2021 and enable unparalleled learning opportunities for students studying T Levels from September 2021. The centre will be key part of Sunderland City Council’s plans to revolutionise Sunderland as a Digital City.

Sunderland College, Northumberland College and Hartlepool Sixth Form are collectively known as Education Partnership Northeast, one of the largest academic and technical college partnerships situated entirely in the North East and Tees Valley. The partnership includes six main college sites of which one is a specialist animal and land-based college; it also includes two sixth forms and a considerable number of community focussed satellite delivery centre across the region.

The breadth and scope of Education Partnership North East enables leaders to ensure a cohesive approach to regional education and skills strategy, whilst ensuring each college is deeply connected to their local communities to benefit local people, partnerships and place.

Sunderland College is a specialist academic and technical provide in a number of skills priority areas.  To find out more about its extensive range courses for school leavers and adults, visit

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19