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Outstanding Leadership and ManagementLeadership TeamIn our most recent Ofsted inspection in 2017, we were rated Outstanding for leadership and management.

Learn more about our recent Ofsted report

Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is responsible to the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal (Kevin Hamblin), the Executive Team and the Corporation for the leadership and management of the College. Each member oversees an area of the organisation and is responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day operation of their departments.

Sara-Jane Watkins

Sara-Jane Watkins

College Principal
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Gavin Murray

Gavin Murray

Vice Principal, Performance, Standards and Effectiveness
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Gavin Murray

Vice Principal, Performance, Standards and Effectiveness

Gavin Murray joined the College in August 2008 as a lecturer in law and business.

With 13 years' experience in further education, Gavin has been both a Corporate and a Curriculum Manager, having taught law and business to both academic and vocational learners at all levels.

Gavin also has experience working with the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and two major international awarding bodies, both on curriculum design and development and on the conduct of public examinations.

With degrees in Law and Economics and a higher degree in Legal Practice, Gavin has responsibility for monitoring academic performance and overseeing the College's quality assurance function, libraries and learning resource provision.

Kelly Gillett

Kelly Gillett

Assistant Principal (Associate Dean), Higher Education and Adult 
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Kelly Gillett

Assistant Principal (Associate Dean), Higher Education & Adult 

Kelly began volunteering in the IT Centre at the College in 2000, progressing on to become IT Centre Team Leader, Head of Department for Professional and Financial Services, and then Curriculum Director HE and Adults (Associate Dean), responsible for the adult curriculum, higher education and employability.

During her time at the College, Kelly has completed more than 15 courses, gaining an understanding of the further education experience. Having taken the FE study route, Kelly feels strongly about the opportunities it offers.

Kelly holds an Honours degree in Business and Human Resources and a Postgraduate Teaching Certificate. Kelly is currently studying for an MBA at the University of Gloucestershire.

When not at work, Kelly is with her two children, her friends and family, at the gym or shoe shopping!

Patrick McLeod

Patrick McLeod

Assistant Principal, Work-Based Learning
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Patrick McLeod

Assistant Principal, Work-Based Learning

Patrick has managed work-based learning and apprenticeships since joining Filton College in 2008, following 12 years working in land-based further education. Patrick has an Honours degree in Agricultural Engineering from Cranfield University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from Bristol University.

Liam Evans

Liam Evans

Assistant Principal, Corporate Development
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Liam Evans

Assistant Principal, Corporate Development

Liam is a marketing graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University's Business School. He joined the College in 2003, having worked as International Marketing Manager at a regional FE provider.

Liam has day-to-day responsibility for all aspects of marketing, learner recruitment, enrolment, schools engagement, customer experience, commercial event income and European Social Fund projects, whilst also providing marketing support for the SGS Group.

Stuart Evans

Stuart Evans

Assistant Principal, 16-18
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Stuart Evans

Assistant Principal, 16-18

Stuart joined the College in 2000, delivering in the Sports and Public Services department, as well as within our highly successful sports academies.

Stuart is an experienced FE practitioner and has held management positions across a wide range of provisions within SGS.

As Curriculum Director 16-18, Stuart is responsible for the success of learners on their study programmes.

Outside of the College, Stuart enjoys spending time with his children and volunteers locally as a coach for a junior football side.

Judith Saunderson

Judith Saunderson

Group Chief Financial Officer
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Moira Foster-Fitzgerald

Moira Foster-Fitzgerald

Chief Group Services Officer and Designated Safeguarding Lead
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Penny Chislett

Penny Chislett

Head of Support
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Penny Chislett

Head of Support

Penny joined the organisation in 2001 as a Learning Support Worker. Penny has held a variety of support and management positions over the last 15 years. Having worked for the College at many different levels, Penny has a great understanding of the FE sector and the life-changing impact education can have on young people's lives. As Head of Learner Services and Support, Penny and her team are committed to providing an outstanding support service to all learners at SGS College.

Rick Aitken

Rich Aitken

Head of Finance
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Rich Aitken

Head of Systems & Supporting

Coming soon

Helen Edmunds

Helen Edmunds

Head of Human Resources
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Helen Edmunds

Head of Human Resources

Helen Edmunds joined the College in November 2007 and became Head of Human Resources on 25 July 2011. Helen is an experienced HR professional with many years' experience in both the private and public sectors. Helen is responsible for overseeing the human resources function at SGS College.

Nigel Hornsby

Nigel Hornsby

Head of Estates
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Nigel Hornsby

Head of Estates

Coming soon

Simon Kay

Simon Kay

Head of Digital and Professional Development
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Simon Kay

Head of Digital and Professional Development

Coming soon

Tim Hanks

Tim Hanks

Group IT Director
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Tim Hanks

Group IT Director

Tim joined the College in 2005 and has held a key position in IT ever since, with over 16 years' experience in both IT and education.

As Group IT Director, Tim leads on infrastructure and new technologies across the organisation, whilst also providing support for SGS Group.

Outside of the College, Tim enjoys surfing and is a keen motorcyclist.

Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible to the Corporation for the strategic leadership and management of the College.

Kevin Hamblin

Kevin Hamblin

Group Chief Executive and Executive Principal
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Sara-Jane Watkins

Sara-Jane Watkins

College Principal
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Sara-Jane Watkins

College Principal

Sara-Jane Watkins was appointed Principal in September 2015 and is responsible for providing leadership in all functional and curriculum areas, implementing Corporation decisions, managing the day-to-day budget and resources, and overseeing all aspects of staff and student discipline.

With a Master's degree in Marketing from the University of the West of England and an Honours degree in Countryside Management, Sara-Jane was previously Communications Director at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire.

Gavin Murray

Gavin Murray

Vice Principal, Performance, Standards and Effectiveness
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Gavin Murray

Vice Principal, Performance, Standards and Effectiveness

Gavin Murray joined the College in August 2008 as a lecturer in law and business.

With 13 years' experience in further education, Gavin has been both a Corporate and a Curriculum Manager, having taught law and business to both academic and vocational learners at all levels.

Gavin also has experience working with the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and two major international awarding bodies, both on curriculum design and development and on the conduct of public examinations.

With degrees in Law and Economics and a higher degree in Legal Practice, Gavin has responsibility for monitoring academic performance and overseeing the College's quality assurance function, libraries and learning resource provision.

Judith Saunderson

Judith Saunderson

Group Chief Financial Officer
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Judith Saunderson

Group Chief Financial Officer

Judith Saunderson joined the College in 2004 after leaving her role as a Senior Manager at Deloittes.

Judith is responsible for overseeing the financial strategy and performance of the College, its subsidiary companies and trusts. Judith has a Master's degree from Oxford University and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Moira Foster-Fitzgerald

Moira Foster-Fitzgerald

Chief Group Services Officer and Designated Safeguarding Lead
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Moira Foster-Fitzgerald

Chief Group Services Officer and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Moira joined the College in May 2011 with over 20 years' leadership experience in both HR and facilities, mostly gained within private sector organisations. Moira is the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the SGS Group, responsible for providing support to staff across the Group to carry out their safeguarding duties.

Moira is accountable for the human resources and payroll functions, and for developing the delivery of back-office services to the College, schools and our partners, including the management of Group-wide policies and procedures.

She also has responsibility for providing HR and safeguarding advice and taking a lead role on negotiations with key stakeholders.

Corporation (Governors)

Corporation members are volunteers who play an important part in setting the strategic direction of the College. The Corporation ensures accountability for the use of public funds by monitoring and evaluating the College's performance.

David Hagg

David Hagg

Chair of the Corporation, External Member
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David Hagg

Chair of the Corporation, External Member

David joined the Corporation in October 2018, when he retired as Chief Executive of Stroud District Council. Formerly a chartered planner and marketer, he held senior local government roles in North East and North West England, before joining the Council in 2001. He was a member of Lord Low's Commission on the Future of Advice and Legal Support, served on regional committees of the Legal Services Commission and currently chairs the South West Regional Advisory Board of the national waterways and well-being charity the Canal & River Trust.

Sophie Green

Sophie Green

Vice Chair of the Corporation, External Member
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Sophie Green

Vice Chair of the Corporation, External Member

Sophie joined the Corporation in February 2019. Sophie is currently a Manager within the Internal Audit department for AXA UK, and she has almost 10 years' experience in the financial services industry. Sophie has been a Chartered Global Management Accountant since 2016 and has an Accounting and Management degree from the University of Bristol.

Louise Bright

External Member
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Louise Bright

External Member

Dr Louise Bright, Director of Research and Business Engagement at USW, has undertaken secondments to Welsh Government and The Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (now Advance HE). Louise continues to be an influential colleague in various fora and continues to influence policy and practice in higher education by virtue of membership on boards and committees of external (and influential) organisations. These include being a peer reviewer for the HR Excellence in Research Award; University of South Wales representative on the Welsh Crucible programme; lead for the Wales Women in STEM Network; and was a key member of the Chief Science Advisor for Wales Task and Finish Group which wrote a report considering women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical research in Wales.

Steph Brooks

Student Member
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Steph Brooks

Student Member

Steph became a student at SGS college in 2020 at the WISE Campus to study Level 3 BTEC in Sport, fitness, and personal training. During her time at college, she has supported her classmates through Student representative meetings by making suggestions for change. After she finishes her course at college, she hopes to go and join either the RAF or go to University to study a sport degree relating to her current course. She is working towards one day being selected for the Olympics in either the heptathlon or the 400m hurdles. Following Student Union elections, Steph was elected to become one of the Student Members on the Corporation from 1 August 2021.

Lynne Craig

External Member
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Lynne Craig

External Member

Lynne joined the Corporation from 1 April 2020 and has been involved in FE for more than 25 years, beginning as a part time lecturer teaching computing and office studies progressing to a full time post teaching on management and teacher training courses. A variety of posts focusing on quality and improving teaching and learning led to her appointment as Vice Principal for curriculum and quality at Gloucestershire College. During her time at the college she helped to improve standards and develop curriculum. Lynne became site Principal for the Royal Forest of Dean College when they merged with Gloucestershire College. As part of this role she led the initial design of the new college campus in the Forest.

As part of her involvement in improving quality Lynne has been an inspector with ALI and Ofsted. Other posts include the chair of the South West Peer Confederation, a member of the LSIS Council and a school governor. Lynne has also been a Trustee for Young Gloucestershire.

After leaving Gloucestershire College Lynne set up her own business as an educational consultant and she has carried out several independent curriculum projects for colleges. Alongside this business Lynne spent five years as an FE Adviser working for the FE Commissioner helping to improve performance in colleges across the country. Since leaving the Commission she has taken on interim senior management roles.

Sophie Chester-Glyn

Sophie Chester-Glyn

External Member
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Sophie Chester-Glyn

External Member

Sophie joined the Corporation in March 2018. Sophie has been the Managing Director of a social care organisation for over nine years. Sophie previously worked in project management at BT Global Services. Sophie has a Master's in Business Administration and recently completed a Master's in Social Care Law at Cardiff University. Sophie has a particular interest in disability law and practice and is embarking on a PhD at Bristol University on Human Rights in Adult Social Care.

Mike Croker

Mike Croker

External Member
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Mike Croker

External Member

After graduating from the University of Bristol, Mike joined the accountancy firm Ernst & Young, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1986. Mike was a Senior Manager at the Learning & Skills Council and its successor organisations from 2001 to 2014. There he worked with a number of FE colleges, sixth form colleges and academies in the South West of England on financial plans, capital project funding, mergers and financial management and governance reviews. After a spell as a consultant in education finance with RSM, Mike now undertakes interim roles, most recently internal audit reviews at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust.

Matt Davis

Matt Davis

Staff Member
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Matt Davis

Staff Member

Matt was elected to the Corporation in October 2019, having spent a decade in the customer-focused hospitality industry and almost another decade with SGS College. Matt has been responsible for developing a unique student financial support department and procedures that focus on supporting the student to succeed without financial barriers both inside and outside of college. Matt's contribution to student finance has left lasting policies and procedures that were adopted by SGS College and other colleges within the FE sector. After a brief spell away from SGS College to deliver motivational talks and events around joining the hospitality sector, and to Cornish businesses looking to drive employees' passion and success within the industry, Matt returns to SGS College as 19+ Planning and Partnership Coordinator to help shape the future of part-time courses at the College.

With a student focus and proven background in executing strategies, implementation, marketing knowhow and relatable presentation delivery, Matt looks to ensure that the SGS Corporation will continue to have a member on the ground whose focus and passion is on delivering key values and strategic direction that will lead to the long-term success of SGS, its students and its employees.

Outside of work, Matt works as a musician and has been on successful country-wide tours over the last 13 years and released albums that have gained chart success.

Carly Dyson

Carly Dyson

External Member
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Carly Dyson

External Member

Carly joined the Corporation in May 2019. Over the past 10 years Carly has worked across a variety of technical roles in the Banking and Retail industries. She is currently seconded into the Communications team within a large financial services organisation, with a focus on inclusion, diversity, and developing the technical community within a large Digital engineering function.

Phil Eames

Phil Eames

External Member
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Phil Eames

External Member

Phil now works in internal audit governance and risk management at Bristol City Council, having previously been a freelance assurance and audit consultant after taking early retirement from the Education Funding Agency (EFA), where he was Head of Assurance. He worked for the EFA and its predecessor funding bodies for more than 20 years in assurance and audit roles, dealing with colleges and academies and other education providers. Prior to that he worked for Ernst & Young and the Audit Commission. He was a student at the former Filton College and prior to that at the Royal Forest of Dean Grammar School.

Catherine Green

External Member View bio

Catherine Green

External Member

Catherine joined the Corporation in March 2021. She is a Law graduate of Cardiff University and qualified as a Solicitor in 1998. She has lived in Stroud for over 15 years where she is a Director of WSP Solicitors. Her practice specialises in commercial and property litigation and alternative dispute resolution. She chaired Stroud Businesswoman’s Network for some years and has been involved in a number of events at the college where she has demonstrated her passion for getting young people into work. Outside work she enjoys traveling.

Kevin Hamblin

Kevin Hamblin

Group Chief Executive and Executive Principal
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Kevin Hamblin

Group Chief Executive & Executive Principal

Kevin Hamblin was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal in September 2015, having been appointed Principal and Chief Executive of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College in February 2012. Prior to this, Kevin was the Principal and Chief Executive of Filton College since December 2001.

On completion of his degree, Kevin worked as Commercial Manager and then Commercial Director of a private training company, before becoming Head of Open Learning at Swindon College in 1997. This led to a role as Head of Electrical, Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering at Swindon, before becoming Vice Principal at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire in 1999.

Dave Merrett

Dave Merrett

External Member
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Dave Merrett

External Member

Dave has worked within the plumbing and heating industry for over 30 years and is the owner and Managing Director of Merretts Heating Services. In 2014, Dave was part of the launch of the new plumbing and heating apprenticeship standard, and he has been heavily involved in the development of that standard. He also now serves on the apprenticeship board, overseeing the new standard.

Gary Parsons

Gary Parsons

Staff Member
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Gary Parsons

Staff Member

Gary joined the College in 2014 teaching A Level History, a role he still undertakes in addition to running the GCSE Plus programme in the Sixth Form at Filton Campus. Gary had previously been on placement at, the then, Filton College whilst undertaking his PGCE in 2011. In the Sixth Form, Gary helps with the day-to-day running and management of the centre in conjunction with the Head of Sixth Form whilst also developing the strategic future direction of the Sixth Form. Gary is also a keen historian and has completed a History MPhil at Bristol University centred around the evolution of governance in Bristol in the 1980s and 1990s.

Ben Short

Ben Short

External Member
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Ben Short

External Member

Ben joined the Corporation in December 2018 and brings technology leadership expertise to the governing body. He is currently Director of IT at Royds Withy King, a UK top 100 law firm, and prior to this he was Portfolio IT Director at Capita, providing technology leadership for multiple national government and financial services accounts.

Rick Sturge

External Member View bio

Rick Sturge

External Member

Rick is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ international business experience in senior executive roles. He is an independent consultant, a specialist in business transformation, and is the part time CFO of the Bloodhound Land Speed Record project.
He Chairs Business in the Community in the southwest and is HRH Prince Charles’ appointed ambassador for responsible business. He is a member of the WECA recovery taskforce and a Visiting Professor at UWE Bristol. He worked in aviation for many years before moving into business consultancy with PwC, Accenture, WNS, IBM and Firstsource. He has extensive experience in international trade and relations having worked in 110 countries. He has a strong track record in training and talent development having worked for the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) and the London School of Business & Finance. He has advised many Governments / businesses around the world on technical educational / training programmes and managed development projects for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, EBRD and the European Union. He has also travelled as a trade ambassador for the UK with various UK Government and City of London trade missions.