Team

Ascentis are passionate about customer service, and keep the learner at the heart of everything we do. Meet our dedicated and specialist team and our sector expert Board of Trustees.

Leadership Team

Fiona Lugiano

Fiona Lugiano

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Paul Howarth

Paul Howarth

Commercial Director

Phil Wilkinson

Phil Wilkinson

Chief Executive Officer

Trustees

Alison Bolton

Alison Bolton

Trustee

Alison has been a Trustee and a member of both the AVA and AO Committee at Ascentis since June 2013. Having spent over 25 years working in Higher Education admissions, Alison has more recently been undertaking project and support work in a number of Universities in both the North East and North West of England. She has been very happy to be part of an organisation supporting opportunities to enhance lives through education.

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Paul Rowe

Paul Rowe

Trustee

Paul has worked in international education and transnational education (TNE) partnerships throughout his career, initially teaching overseas in Spain and Japan for 8 years. On returning to the U.K., he used his background in teaching TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in a large Further Education college managing an ESOL department, running international foundation and teacher training programmes and recruiting international students. Replicating this role in Higher Education more recently has led to role focused on developing and maintaining TNE partnerships at scale and international student exchange opportunities for a University and supporting the development of complementary partnerships with Further Education colleges.

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Robin Newton-Syms

Robin Newton-Syms

Trustee

Robin re-joined The Lancashire Colleges in October 2015 with a remit to help secure new European funding for colleges as well as a successful outcome to the area based review of Lancashire’s further education sector. Over £10.7million of new funding has since been secured. Having previously worked with the group from 2005-2009 he subsequently helped set up the Greater Manchester Colleges Group. Robin was the National Director of Communications for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) when it was established in 2001 and previously Head of Communications for the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC). He has held senior positions in the further education, university and local government sectors, including a spell as Clerk to an FE corporation board. Robin has also run a successful business consultancy for 15 years. 

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Rosemarie Davies

Rosemarie Davies

Chair of the Awarding Organisation Committee

Rosemarie started her career in sales and marketing, followed by three years as a social worker in residential care settings for young people in Greater Manchester, before moving into Further Education in 1986.

In 2006 Rosemarie moved to Manchester Enterprises (now Economic Solutions) where she was responsible for the delivery of university accredited Leadership and Management qualifications.  In 2007 she was appointed as Head of Higher Education Programmes for Economic Solutions’ training arm, Skills Solutions, since which time she has overseen the substantial development of Economic Solutions’ HE provision. Rosemarie is the Chair of the Awarding Organisation Committee.

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Stephen Carlisle

Stephen Carlisle

Chair of the Board

Stephen has a professional background in Human Resources. He was a senior manager in Further Education for over 20 years. Until his retirement, he had been Principal at two Further Education Colleges for a total of 7 years. Stephen is Chair of the Ascentis Board and he also Chairs the Remuneration Committee.

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Sales Team

Alex Houghton

Alex Houghton

Regional Sales Manager, Northern England

Alex joined Ascentis in March 2021, after spending the last 14 years working with education providers in the Disabled Students Allowance, colleges and universities in the UK, Europe and the USA, as well as businesses and local authorities, providing innovative technology solutions. 

Alex looks after our Ascentis centres in the North of England and Northern Ireland and enjoys spending time with our centres, discussing our qualifications and their plans for each academic year. 

Outside of Ascentis, Alex spends his summers playing cricket for his local team and enjoys walking throughout the lake district.

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Dian Shaw

Dian Shaw

Regional Sales Manager, South West, Midlands and Wales

Dian has worked in Education for over 20 years as a Head of Faculty, Teacher, Assessor and National Account Manager working in the Further Education sector. Dian is extremely passionate about the demonstrative impact education and life-long learning opportunities can have on all learners’ lives. She started her career teaching professional footballers around the UK and established the first Sport Science Scholarship for professional football in England for professional clubs. Outside of Ascentis, Dian enjoys spending time with her family in the Lake District.  

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Frances Nicholson

Frances Nicholson

Regional Sales Manager, London, South East & East of England


Frances is a Philosophy Graduate, who has spent the last 7 years of her career working in Sales. Joining the company in 2021, Frances has enjoyed immersing herself in the Education sector, making a positive difference in the lives of learners and hearing about the progression they have made on their educational path.

Frances lives locally to Ascentis, enjoys spending time walking through the beautiful Lancashire countryside with her fiancé and dog, Harvey. As well as travelling to new places and learning about new cultures and activities to try, Frances spends her free time ticking things off her bucket list, such as swimming with sharks.

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Watch Our Client Videos

Ascentis helps change the lives of over 170,000 learners each year. Hear about why our staff love working for us, and why our customers love working with us.

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Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service Speaking about Ascentis English & Maths Stepping Stones

Ascentis has a fantastic suite of English and Maths Stepping Stones qualifications which enable learners to focus on specific skills, build their confidence and progress onto further learning. This testimonial video features Leicester Adult Skills and Learning Service who outline the benefits to them and their learners of using these qualifications.

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The City of Liverpool College Speaking about Ascentis Access to Higher Education

Access to HE with Ascentis - We Make a Difference. Watch our Testimonial and hear how it makes a difference to learners and the opportunities it brings.

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Best Practice People Speaking about Ascentis Short Online Qualifications

The Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are delivered in many centres across the UK and help to support learners’ Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. Listen to Ascentis Customer, Best Practice People talk about how effective the Ascentis Short Online Qualifications are and how they successfully aid their NEET learners, improving skills and confidence in turn helping them secure employment.

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What our happy customers say

“We are very pleased that we made the move to Ascentis for all our ESOL exams. The exams are appropriate for our learners, and lecturers find the marking manageable. As an organisation, Ascentis is a pleasure to work with. Our queries are always dealt with quickly and we are extremely well supported by our verifier.”

Waltham Forest

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with Ascentis. There has been support of a high quality throughout the academic year. Support has been provided through a variety of roles including the quality managers, lead EQA’s and subject moderators.”

Bradford College

“We have been delighted with the impact Ascentis Extended Awards in Mathematical Skills (Stepping Stones) have had on our student’s progression towards their functional skills mathematics as well as preparing them for the completion of their GCSE. It has taught them the essential skills in mathematics which enabled them to deal with the practical problems and challenges of life – at home, in education and at work. These skills are valued by employers and further education, and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. We are also very impressed with the level of service and commitment shown by the staff of Ascentis, they are always available to help whenever help is needed.”

Brent Start

“The transparency and support of Ascentis has been refreshing. Our moderation process has been a pleasure and developmental feedback has always been welcomed.”

Kensington & Chelsea College

21st Oct 2021

Ascentis Events

Pre-Entry Webinar

Join our subject experts as they discuss the benefits of Pre-Entry qualifications.

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22nd Oct 2021

Quality Assurance Events

Ascentis Maths Skills Quality Assurance Webinar

This webinar is for Ascentis customers only and it is free to join. The webinar will include standardisation activities as well as the opportunity to share best practice with other practitioners. Participants will also receive an update on the qualification and general administration information.

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25th Oct 2021

Ascentis Events

An Introduction to Pre-Entry ESOL and Volunteering

This webinar will talk you through our Pre-Entry ESOL qualifications, My Local Area and My Life. These qualifications are mapped to the bottom end of the ESOL curriculum and have been developed to allow learners to provide simple personal information and to learn about their area. We will also introduce you to our recently developed ESOL Volunteering to Support English Language qualification. This qualification is available at Levels 1 & 2 and has been developed to support the volunteers who want to teach ESOL, this could be learners who have been through the system and want to support their community, general volunteers who want to help and those who may like to teach ESOL as a profession in the future.

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  • AELP
  • CPD Certified
  • FAB
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Natecla
  • Access to Higher Education
  • The Parliamentary Review
  • West Yorkshire Learning Providers
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Qualifications

Specification Overviews

Key Documents