Rachel Nicholls

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Rachel has worked in the Further Education college sector for 22 years and currently is the Chief Executive Officer of the Inspire Education Group.  The Inspire Education Group consists of Peterborough College, Stamford College and University Centre Peterborough.  Rachel has worked in eight different colleges and started her career organising extra curricula activities, moving into teaching sport, public services and business and then into various management roles.  Rachel was pivotal to the merger of Stamford College and Peterborough College and the creation of the Inspire Education Group.  The Group employs over 1300 staff and has over 9000 students on a range of courses including higher education degree programmes, apprenticeships, full time and part time further education courses for example A Levels, BTECs and T Levels as well as provision for 14-16 year olds.  The group also has significant provision for students with special educational needs.  Rachel is also a Director of University Centre Peterborough and is passionate about widening participation.

Rachel sits on the Towns Fund Board in Peterborough as well as the Employment and Skills Board and the Chamber of Commerce.  Rachel is also Co-Chair of Peterborough Citizens, part of Citizens UK.  Peterborough Citizens uses the model of community organising as a way of bringing about change by developing leaders and leadership within civic organisations and communities to hold people in power to account.  There are 18 member institutions in Peterborough and all are committed civic organisations, working together for the common good.

Rachel strongly believes that education and training can improve life chances. She is passionate about removing barriers and tackling social injustices so that everyone can have the same fair and equal chance to access opportunities and get on in life.


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