The Association of Colleges (AoC) is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Our Board, which
usually meets four times a year, sets AoC's strategic direction, monitors
progress against our priorities and objectives, approves our annual
budgets, and oversees financial performance.
The Board consists of the AoC Chair; AoC's Chief Executive; AoC's Chief Operating Officer; a principal from each of our nine English regions; a principal from a sixth form college: a principal from a land-based college; two co-opted principals and the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Board's Governors' Council. Each year our members also elect a President to be an ambassador for the sector as well as for AoC itself, and they sit on the Board as well.
The minutes of our Board meetings are available after each meeting on this AoC Board webpage.
To assist the AoC Board in undertaking its duties, a number of committees have been set up, consisting of Board members and any other persons as the Board thinks fit. The current Board committees are Audit Committee, Finance and General Purposes Committee, and Remuneration Committee.
AoC President (2020/21)
Sally Dicketts, who has worked in further education since 1985 and is a tireless campaigner and advocate for the learning and skills sector, took over from former President Steve Frampton on 1 August 2020.
Since 2013, Sally has been Chief Executive of Activate Learning, bringing together in one group: seven FE Colleges, four UTCs, two 11-18 secondary schools, a studio school, a training provider delivering apprentices, training and consulting in the workplace, and a specialist engineering training provider.
She is a board member of the Education and Training Foundation, Pearson’s board and deputy chair of the LEP skills board. Her extensive career has been recognised at the highest level, with Sally being awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Honours List in July 2013.
Co-option Sixth Form Member Colleges
William became Principal at BHASVIC in 2016 after 15 years at Godalming College where he started as a Psychology teacher and moved up the ranks to Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality. He was Vice-Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board at Feltham Young Offenders institution between 2006-2012 and is also Governor of a local Primary School.
South West Regional Representative
College Principal and CEO
Andy’s FE experience comes from his 27 year career at Bridgwater & Taunton College. He has been a senior manager for 16 years, holding both curriculum and cross college roles. Andy was promoted to Vice Principal in 2012 and became College Principal and Chief Executive in June 2017.
Andy successfully led the College’s merger project team in 2016. His experience now comes from leading the £50m Bridgwater & Taunton College that supports over 20,000 students a year, across all levels and provision types, including A Levels and a rapidly growing apprenticeship programme that will support over 3,000 apprentices this year. Operating over three campuses at Bridgwater, Taunton and Cannington, the College covers every subject sector area, including land-based. The 2019 OFSTED Inspection report confirmed the success of the merger and Bridgwater & Taunton College.
Andy is passionate about the transformational impact that FE can have on people and communities and has formed strong partnerships with key stakeholders including local councils to maximise the positive impact of the College.
South East Regional Representative
Principal and CEO, Basingstoke College of Technology
Finance Director, AoC
Having trained as a Chartered Accountant, Peter worked in the private sector for 15 years, the final role being in a Group of 10 Companies, with a turnover in excess of £600 million. He was appointed to all Boards and specifically as Finance Director to a number of the subsidiaries. Peter has also successfully passed the IoD Certificate in Company Direction.
Co-option Land-based Member Colleges
Principal and CEO of East Durham College
Yorkshire and Humber Regional Representative
Principal and CEO, The Sheffield College
Angela is the Principal and CEO of The Sheffield College. Her FE journey began as a student. Her work in London, the North West and Yorkshire has focussed on improving colleges, striving for an outstanding experience for learners. Angela has a national profile in English and Maths, chairs the South Yorkshire Principals’ Group, is a National Centre for Diversity Patron, and has a long track record championing the role of women in leadership in Yorkshire and the Humber region. She champions our sector by working with local, regional and national decision-makers to ensure FE, and its economic impact, is not only at the heart of policymaking but fully understood and recognised.
North West Regional Representative
Principal and CEO, Wirral Metropolitan College
Sue is the Principal and CEO of Wirral Metropolitan College, having been appointed in 2012. She has many years’ experience in the Further and Higher Education Sector, as well as experience working in a number of private sector, multi-national industries, focusing on improving quality and business efficiency through the development of people, communication and the supply chain. Sue is also a Director of Wirral Business Partnership, supporting thousands of companies in the Liverpool City Region and a member of a number of national, regional and local partnerships that focus on improving business efficiency and growth by helping people aspire, develop and achieve.
David Hughes became Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges in September 2016.
My pronouns are: he, him, his
Before that he was CEO at Learning and Work Institute, a leading think tank, research and policy organisation which was formed in 2016 from a merger he led between NIACE and Inclusion.
From 2000 to 2011, David worked in senior roles at the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). At the LSC and SFA David led the funding and improvement relationships with colleges and providers and successfully took on trouble-shooting roles to rescue crises in capital funding and Educational Maintenance Allowances.
Prior to that, David worked in the voluntary sector across a wide range of roles and organisations in the UK and Australia, in social housing, co-operatives, welfare, regeneration and community development.
David has held many Board and Committee roles, including a few years as Vice-Chair of the East Midlands Regional Assembly in the 1990s. He played a leading role in establishing the new Education and Training Foundation in 2013 and has established and supported several third sector organisations.
Principal & Chief Executive, New City College
Gerry is Group Principal & Chief Executive of New City College, following the merger of Hackney Community College and Tower Hamlets Colleges in 2016 and Redbridge College in 2017. He became principal of Tower Hamlets College in April 2013 following almost four years as the college’s Vice Principal – Curriculum & Standards. Gerry is a qualified business studies teacher who has worked in the sector since 1993.
He holds business degrees from the University of West of England and Aston and a PGCE from Manchester Metropolitan University. Gerry has worked in sixth form and further education colleges in Birmingham and London, leading on business development, mergers, curriculum improvement, inspection and culture change. Gerry is also a Director of London Capital Colleges (representing London’s largest colleges) and the college’s recruitment company, TowerSkillsRecruitment Services. He sits on the college’s Corporation as an ex-officio member and also serves on Finance and General Purposes, Search and Curriculum & Quality sub-committees. Gerry is a co-opted committee member of Association of Colleges London following his election to the main AoC board in December 2014. He also serves on the AoC’s national Employment and Audit Committees.
Tower Hamlets College was rated Good (with Outstanding features in December 2013) and Outstanding for financial health (March 2015). Total income is £21m (50% EFA, 30% SFA, 20% other).
Eastern Regional Representative
Principal, City College Norwich
Corrienne became College Principal in September 2012, having previously served as the Deputy Principal Curriculum.
Corrienne Peasgood joined the college as a sessional lecturer in plumbing and has worked as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Director, Vice Principal, Deputy Principal. By the age of 21, Ms Peasgood had completed an apprenticeship and taken on the running of her family business in plumbing and heating. The opportunity came to run a part-time course in plumbing for City College Norwich, a post which led to a full-time lectureship, and then becoming a manager, providing insights into the many different departments at the college.
West Midlands Regional Representative
Jatinder Sharma OBE
Principal, Walsall College
Born in the Midlands, Jatinder attended the local comprehensive school before going on to study Financial Management and was awarded his Masters Degree at the University of Dundee. Before entering into further education, Jatinder worked and qualified as an Accountant in Public Practice before joining the logistics sector.
East Midlands Regional Representative
Principal and CEO, SMB Group
London Regional Representative
Dr Sam Parrett
As CEO and Principal of a large College Group in south east London, Dr Sam Parrett is focused on ensuring high quality education routes are accessible to all and that Further Education sits at the centre of the communities it serves. Sam’s experience is varied, providing her with extensive insight to the FE sector.
Sam was appointed principal of Bromley College in 2010, overseeing a merger with Orpington College the following year. Then in 2016, she led the country’s first three-way College merger, bringing together Bromley College, Bexley College and Greenwich Community College to form London South East Colleges – which now has over 12,000 students and more than 1,200 staff.
Strong progression into college has been supported by Sam’s successful establishment of a multi-academy trust – London & South East Education Group - which includes eight alternative, special and mainstream schools and an apprenticeship provider.
Awarded an OBE for services to Further Education in 2016, Sam is keen to contribute further to the shaping of regional and national policy agendas and recently completed a doctorate in FE policy. She is a fellow of the CIPD, RSA and the Chartered Institution of Further Education. Sam was appointed as a National Leader of Further Education last year and is also a member of the CBI’s London Regional Board. In addition, Sam sits on London Councils’ Young People Board as the Further Education representative. In October 2020 Sam was recognised as FE Leader of the Year at TES FE Awards ceremony.
West Midlands Regional Representative
Principal of Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College
David has worked in the further education sector for more than 25 years and is currently the Principal of Herefordshire, Ludlow and North Shropshire College. The College serves a large, predominantly rural geographical area and includes two general further education centres in Hereford and Oswestry; a dedicated sixth form college in the market town of Ludlow; and two agricultural campuses in Walford and Holme Lacy. David began his career in further education as a part-time music lecturer and has since worked in a number of colleges across the North West of England, the West Midlands and Wales.
Chair of Governors’ Council
Simon has been Chair of Governors at Barnsley College for 6 years, where he has overseen ambitious strategies to enhance the curriculum, develop higher level skills and build assurance-based governance. He was appointed, in 2018, to be a National Leader of Governance supporting the FE Commissioner and was elected as the chair of the AoC Governors Council in November 2021.
He established a TVET consultancy business in 2015, advising governments and the TVET sector on skills systems and strategies. He specialises in employer engagement in skills, apprenticeship policy and the link between skills and productivity.
Simon was previously Executive Director of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. He managed the UK network of Sector Skills Councils and delivered £300m of industry led skills development. He has extensive experience of skills and small firm policy development from his background in Government.
Vice-Chair Governors’ Council
Jonathan has been Chair of Corporation at Leicester College since 2016 and represents the East Midlands region on the AOC Governors’ Council, of which he is co-Vice Chair. He works as Chief Executive of the Church of England Diocese of Leicester and is also involved with a number of local charities working with young people at risk, prostate cancer support and the annual Leicester Comedy Festival.
Vice-Chair Governors’ Council
Newham VI College
An experienced FE and Skills sector strategic governance and human resource management professional; Consultant, Trainer and Mentor.
Joanne’s worked with LA’s; GFE, SFC, Land Based, Adult Education colleges and academies. Roles undertaken include: GFE strategic management team member with broad ranging corporate responsibilities; Director of HR & Legal Services; Clerk and Company Secretary; National Subject Specialist in Governance; AoC Assistant Governance Manager & Helpline Advisor.
Joanne’s sector voluntary roles include:
Vice Chair of NewVIc.
Regional Committee - Vice Chair.
Chairs and Vice Chairs Virtual Group - Vice Chair.
Governors’ Council Joint Vice Chair.
Andy has worked in Further Education for more than 26 years and is currently the Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham. Andy began his career in further education at Newcastle College as a financial accountant, during which time he qualified through the ACCA route and now holds Fellow status. Eight years at Newcastle was followed up with 3 years as a Senior Service Accountant for Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with responsibility for financial oversight of six directorates across the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital. In 2004 Andy was appointed as the Head of Finance at New College Durham with subsequent progression through to Director of Finance, Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Principal. Following a campus redevelopment in 2005, Andy was instrumental in raising the College’s financial status to ‘Outstanding’ in 2008 and maintaining this rating to the present day through some of the most challenging times that have been experienced in the FE sector. In 2020 Andy was appointed as Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham.
Andy played a leading role in the College’s Institute of Technology application which involved working extensively with 6 regional delivery partners, the DfE capital and finance team, partner University leads and key employer leads. The North East Institute of Technology was approved in 2020, is led by New College Durham and is now in its second year of operation. Additionally, Andy has played a key role in the development of a multi academy trust for which the College is a lead sponsor.
New College Durham is a large, general further education (GFE) College, rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2009. The College is the largest college to provide vocational further and higher education in County Durham. The College positions itself to respond to skills needs locally and across the region and works with employers and their representative groups to ensure that future skills needs are being addressed.