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.
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
Dr Nikos Savvas
Dr Nikos Savvas is both the Chief Executive of West Suffolk College (a large General Further Education College), and Suffolk Academies Trust (an innovative post-16 Multi-Academy Trust), consisting of Abbeygate Sixth Form College in Bury St Edmunds (which he founded in 2019), and the recently awarded Ofsted Outstanding One Sixth Form College in Ipswich.
Nikos has been on the board of the New Anglia LEP, the founding board of the University of Suffolk (one of the newly created Universities in the country). He has also been Chair of the Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region, (which preceded the AoC) and successfully led the merger into the AoC to support a single strong voice for the sector.
He has a PhD in High Energy Particle Physics from Manchester University.
Nikos passionately sees education as the main factor that he can influence to transform people’s lives for the better.
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.
London Regional Representative
Janet Gardner - Waltham Forest College
Janet is an experienced strategic leader with a commercial background who has a successful track record of transformational change. Since moving into the Further Education sector, Janet has worked in senior leadership roles within diverse and complex FE colleges across London and was appointed as Principal & CEO of Waltham Forest College in 2020.
Janet is passionate about promoting equality of opportunity and has led on several regional and national projects in collaboration with partner organisations to support hard to reach pockets of the community. Janet co-chairs the GLA Anchors’ Network Hiring and Skills Group, supporting the Mayor of London’s Recovery Board, is a member of the AoC National Employment Group and is the AoC London Regional Representative on the national board.
North West Regional Representative
Lisa O’Loughlin is the Principal and CEO of Nelson and Colne College Group. She has a wealth of experience within the Further Education Sector having joined NCCG from The Manchester College, where she was Principal and Deputy CEO at LTE. Lisa has an impressive array of experience within the sector, particularly in strategic leadership, cultural and organisational development, stakeholder management, quality systems, and curriculum development. Lisa previously worked in East Lancashire, as Deputy Principal of Blackburn College between 2007 and 2013. Lisa is dedicated to ensuring that all learners, at all levels and ages, are able to access only the very best skills and experience throughout their education.
East Midlands Regional Representative
Corrie studied business and management at Coventry University. She joined Moulton College as Principal & CEO in July 2019 and prior to this she held a variety of senior management roles in Further Education institutions. Corrie is focused on meeting the needs of local communities and employers and giving students an exceptional learning experience. She comes with a wealth of experience in the teaching and learning environment and has a demonstrated history of highly successful leadership in Further Education.
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.
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.