Rachel Nicholls

Principal at Peterborough College

Rachel Nicholls has worked in the Further Education sector for over 20 years and has been a senior manager for nearly 10 years. She has worked in a variety of colleges in terms of size and location as well as different types of colleges in terms of those in rural, city and urban areas. She is a sports graduate and also holds a PGCE and MSc in Leadership and Management.

Rachel is now the CEO of Inspire Education Group which consists of Peterborough College, Stamford College and University Centre Peterborough. IEG employs circa 1200 staff and has approximately 10,000 students on a range of different programmes including full time courses for young people, adult provision, apprenticeships and higher education degree provision.

Rachel is passionate about the transformative role that colleges play in communities and for individuals. Colleges are central to the governments levelling up agenda and she believes it is vital that we champion and better fund technical education so that we have the skilled workforce that will ensure we drive economic prosperity and growth. Rachel believes that innovation, creativity and vision has to be at the heart of our skills system and that employers need to work with colleges to co-design curriculum and support its delivery so that we deliver a highly qualified and highly skilled workforce both now and in the future.