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Covid Update

On Tuesday 29 March, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, set out the next steps for living with COVID-19 in England from Friday 1 April.

Updated guidance advises:

  • Adults with the symptoms of a respiratory infection, and who have a high temperature or feel unwell, should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a high temperature.
  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can return to college when they no longer have a high temperature, and are well enough to attend.
  • Adults with a positive COVID-19 test result should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 5 days, which is when they are most infectious. For children and young people aged 18 and under, the advice is 3 days.

For education and childcare settings from Friday 1 April:

  • Regular asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended in any education or childcare setting, including in SEND, alternative provision and children’s social care settings. Therefore, we will no longer be able to order test kits .

SGS OPERATION CHRISTMAS

SGS has launched a fundraising campaign to help raise £15,000 for vulnerable students and families over Christmas. Money raised so far


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

Deputy Principal
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Gavin Murray

Deputy Principal

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.

Liam Evans

Liam Evans

Vice Principal Corporate and Community
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Liam Evans

Vice Principal Corporate and Community

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 SGS College's marketing, learner recruitment, enrolment, schools' engagement, careers, customer experience, commercial event income, data, funding and admissions, adult education and community engagement whilst also providing marketing and media support for the SGS Group.

Stuart Evans

Stuart Evans

Vice Principal Further Education
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Stuart Evans

Vice Principal Further Education

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.

Sarah Stephens-Lewis

Sarah Stephens-Lewis

Assistant Principal Apprenticeships
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Sarah Stephens-Lewis

Assistant Principal Apprenticeships

Sarah began working for SGS College in 2008 as a work based learning assessor, quickly progressing to a Course Leader role and then into Employer Engagement. Sarah then taught Business Management for 2 years before moving into a Coordinator role for apprenticeships, followed by Head of Department for Professional and Financial Services then Head of Faculty for Apprenticeship Provision.

Sarah has always had a passion for work based learning and apprenticeships having started her career in a management training programme for one of the UK's premium department store groups. Alongside her ethos for workplace learning, Sarah studied a skills-led diploma, facilitating her progression within SGS College and graduated in 2018

Outside of work, Sarah is usually found with her husband and two children, eating good food, enjoying holidays and weekends away, and spending time with friends!

Alex Gaiger

Alex Gaiger

Assistant Principal WISE
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Alex Gaiger

Assistant Principal WISE

Alex began working as a part-time Barista at the Filton campus in 2001whilst studying a full-time vocational course at the College in Sport & Applied Sciences. Alex progressed on to become a Learning Support Work, Sports Lecturer, Peer Practitioner and Team Leader in Sport.

Alex moved to an alternative FE provider in 2016 for a career progression opportunity where he secured the role of Deputy Head of Department. After a year of gaining key curriculum experiences Alex applied for the role of Deputy Head of Department in Sport in 2017 where he returned to SGS to continue to develop his career; holding the positions of Learning Area Manager of Sport, Head of Faculty of Culture Media and Sport and was responsible for the curriculum delivery for further education, higher education and adult.

During his time at SGS College Alex has completed over 10 professional qualifications which has enable Alex to continue to develop his understanding of the education sector. Alex is passionate about continuing to develop a culture where staff and students can thrive which enables them to work towards their career and education aspirations.

Alex hold an Honours degree in Sports Education and a Postgraduate certificate in Education. Alex has also been affording the opportunity to complete a Level 5 in Leadership and Management which has supported him to develop his practice.

Outside of work you will find Alex at the gym, running, on the bike or constructing Lego Batman sets. Alex and his family enjoy visiting new countries to experience different cultures whilst also finding to rest and relax.

Mark Anthony Jones

Mark Anthony Jones

Assistant Principal Academic
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Mark Anthony Jones

Assistant Principal Academic

Mark graduated with a Masters Degree in Law and after a short spell of working in London, he turned to his real passion, teaching and learning. He joined the College in 2004 and has held several positions including Law Lecturer, Advanced Practitioner, Head of Department, Head of Faculty and Head of Teaching & Learning. He is currently the Assistant Principal for Academic Studies, including A-Levels, GCSEs and Access to Higher Education.

Improving life chances is essential, and Further Education can be genuinely transformational – Mark has a passion for teaching and learning and has worked with a wide range of departments to ensure that students receive an ambitious well-rounded, holistic education.

Mark is currently undertaking a Leadership Qualification in Strategic Change, focusing on how student and staff behaviours have changed during and after the pandemic. He likes to keep busy outside of work and enjoys racket sports, eating out and travelling. With a wife and two girls, there is always plenty to keep him occupied.

Katie Bone

Katie Bone

Assistant Principal Filton Vocational
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Katie Bone

Assistant Principal Filton Vocational

Katie joined the college in 2006 as a Health and Social Care Lecturer, progressing on to Head of Department, Cross Site Head of Department following merger and most recently Head of Faculty for Construction. From 1st August she will Assistant Principal Vocational for Filton Campus.

Prior to working in education Katie worked in social care for 10 years in a variety of social work roles and was Associate Lecturer for the Open University delivering on the Social Work degree programme.

When not at work Katie is with her teenage children, at the gym or enjoying a good film.

Sally Hamlet

Sally Hamlet

Assistant Principal Stroud
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Sally Hamlet

Assistant Principal Stroud

Sally started working at the college in Stroud in 2005 as a Technician in the then new Hair and Beauty Department, whilst working toward a teaching qualification and a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. Progressing to become a full-time lecturer, Head of Department for Hair and Beauty and Complimentary therapies and then a Head of Faculty for Vocational.

Sally strongly believes from her own experiences in the chances FE Colleges bring to everybody, in particular the transferable skills which are developed. Having completed a Hotel and Catering Management qualification at Cheltenham college she has had several managerial positions including the opportunity to work as a manager for the John Lewis Partnership and be part of their manager development scheme. Following this Sally went back to college to pursue a different career in Beauty Therapy, completing several courses and then worked in the industry.

When not working I love spending time with my dog Sam, walking and running. Enjoying time with grandchildren and family.

Amanda Lowery

Amanda Lowery

Assistant Principal Bristol School of Art & UAL Quality Lead
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Amanda Lowery

Assistant Principal Bristol School of Art & UAL Quality Lead

Amanda has had a varied career working as a practising artist, facilitator, tutor and lecturer in adult, further and higher education and manager in participatory arts, arts in health and education.

Amanda began work at SGS college as printmaking and fine art tutor 15 years ago and soon after became head of department at Stroud School of Art and Learning Area Manager for Stroud and Bristol School of Art; Wise Campus. Amanda then became head of faculty for creative. Amanda feels privileged to work with her team and students and to have had these roles, to be the custodian of art school education.

Amanda is passionate about the opportunity's further education can provide its community, through various access points, at all levels offering steppingstone progression into chosen vocational creative industry pathways.

Amanda holds an Honours Degree in Fine Art from University of East London; a master's degree in Printmaking from Chelsea School of Art; UAL and a postgraduate diploma in education.

Amanda is an external moderator for UAL examining body and a UAL Advisory committee member.

When not at work Amanda is with her four children, her family, friends and when she can, she can be found in her studio or visiting galleries.

Debra Burton

Debra Burton

Assistant Principal SEND & Equality of Opportunity
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Debra Burton

Assistant Principal SEND & Equality of Opportunity

Debra joined SGS College (previously Filton College) in November 2003 as a part time Assessor, supporting part time Teaching Assistant qualifications. It wasn’t long before she started teaching within the Business department and became Course Leader for full time Business qualifications. Both roles gave Debra the opportunity to develop skills and experience in both adult and 16-18 curriculum.

During this time, she achieved a Post Graduate Teaching Certificate (PGCE) in Lifelong Learning, a Level 5 Management qualification as well as various relevant CPD courses.

Debra was successfully appointed to Head of Department for Professional and Financial Services before progressing further to Head of Sector for Employability and Progression. This role included Higher Education, Apprenticeships, Adult and SEND curriculum giving a breadth of opportunity to develop skills in all of these areas.

Debra is passionate about supporting high quality teaching and learning with the aim of improving outcomes for those learners with disabilities or difficulties, whether this is onto further education, employment or independent living.

When not at work Debra loves spending time with her grandchildren, walking and her new hobby of open water swimming.

Patrick McLeod

Patrick McLeod

Assistant Principal Projects
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Patrick McLeod

Assistant Principal Projects

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.

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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Kelly Gillett

Kelly Gillett

Director of People & Organisational Culture
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Kelly Gillett

Director of People & Organisational Culture

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!

Simon Kay

Simon Kay

Director of Digital and Professional Development
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Simon Kay

Director of Digital and Professional Development

Simon started life at SGS College as a PGCE trainee teacher in 2006. He taught in both the Business and IT departments, moving into various cross-college roles supporting teacher and staff development, eventually becoming Head of Teaching and Learning in 2014. Over the years Simon has developed a focus on digital technologies and is passionate about finding new ways to support and develop both student and staff experiences.

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.

Penny Chislett

Penny Chislett

Director of Education Support Operations
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Penny Chislett

Director of Education Support Operations

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

Rich Aitken joined the College in 2018, following 20 years at the University of Bristol within a variety of diverse financial management roles.

As Head of Finance, Rich leads the College’s Finance team in all areas of finance operations, accounting and reporting, and finance systems and process development, as well as supporting the Group Chief Financial Officer with areas of financial strategy, performance, compliance and risk.

Rich is an Associate Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA).

Nigel Hornsby

Nigel Hornsby

Director of Estates
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Nigel Hornsby

Director of Estates

I joined the college in 2009 as Head of Grounds at WISE campus where I was responsible for developing and maintaining the class leading outdoor sports complex and building a grounds team to manage them before moving into the WISE Campus Manager role, then Head of Estates (Bristol), Head of Estates (SGS) and now Director of Estates and part of an amazing Senior Leadership Team. I manage and work with a superb team of Estates and Facilities staff and I am responsible for the college estate.

I began my working career in 1980 and enjoyed a wonderful twenty-two-year teaching career for Sandwell MBC in the West Midlands before moving into a corporate management role at Millfield School in Somerset as Deputy-Head of Grounds.

I am passionate about working to provide here at SGS College the highest quality facilities and environments which support our outstanding teaching and learning.

Hazel Budd

Hazel Budd

Director of Quality, Teaching, Learning and Exams
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Hazel Budd

Director of Quality, Teaching, Learning and Exams

Hazel joined the college in 2001 as a lecturer in Sport and Physical Education, she then progressed to hold a number of leadership and management roles in various subject areas before moving into the Quality department to focus solely on the quality of teaching and the student experience.

Hazel is passionate about the FE sector and how it can raise aspirations and transform lives with outstanding teaching at the heart of this.

'A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.'
Brad Henry

Jo Kear

Jo Kear

Director of Higher Education / Tutor in Art History
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Jo Kear

Director of Higher Education/ Tutor in Art History

Jo joined SGS College in 2000 as an Art History lecturer. Since then, she has occupied a variety of roles including Course Leader and Head of Department of the Bristol School of Art, Queens Road. She has taught on a variety of FE and HE courses both at SGS and at other institutions. In 2016 Jo joined the College-wide HE management team and became Head of Department and then Head of Faculty for HE Curriculum, Standards and Development. These roles required leading on the development of new curricula and ensuring the quality of existing programmes.

Jo is deeply committed to College-based Higher Education and believes whole-heartedly in the exceptional, person-centred approach that colleges offer their degree students. Jo started her own academic journey studying A levels at a sixth form college and describes the experience as transformative. The opportunities she accessed at her college fostered her ambition to study at university which eventually culminated in her achieving her PhD at the University of Bristol.

When not in work Jo enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She can often be found either in an art gallery, gaming, walking in the countryside or with her head in a good book. Sometimes she manages to do all four of these things in one day!

Executive Team

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

Kevin Hamblin

Kevin Hamblin

Group CEO & 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.

Douglas Blackstock

Douglas Blackstock

External Member
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Douglas Blackstock

External Member

Douglas joined the Corporation in January 2022 and has recently retired as the Chief Executive of the UK’s independent Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), whose role is to ensure academic standards are maintained and that student learning opportunities are of the highest quality. QAA headquarters are in Gloucester and Douglas held Executive roles there for 20 years. Douglas has been particularly interested in working to ensure the needs of all four nations of the UK are recognised; increasing the engagement of students in quality assurance; campaigning against ‘essay mills’; promoting the QAA Access to Higher Education Diploma; and building trust and confidence in UK education through international partnerships and networks. Douglas now provides independent international consultancy services related in higher education and is the President of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). He holds a number of non-executive director roles in education and regulation, including being a member of the Boards of Qualifications Wales, Cilex Legal Regulation, Stroud and Cotswold Alternative Provision School and Wynstones Ltd.

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.

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.

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 CEO & Executive Principal
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Kevin Hamblin

Group CEO & 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

Irene Molodtsov

External Member
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Irene Molodtsov

External Member

Irene joined the Corporation on 1 November 2021. Irene is a business leader and a serial entrepreneur. She is the former CEO of Sia Partners UK & Ireland (management and data science consultancy) where she led a Business Transformation, Growth & Innovation, Utilities and FS practices. Prior to joining Sia Partners in 2016, Irene co-founded a business transformation firm Molten (which was sold to Sia Partners) which had offices in London, Houston and Moscow. Irene co-founded Molten Technologies (virtual Desktop firm), was a Chairman of Giffords Circus, an NED and Co-owner of Lillingston (bespoke event organisers) and is the NED and co-owner of Lynwood & Co (a Cotswolds Cafe Chain). Irene’s specialism is digital and business transformation having developed and implemented strategies and operating models for multinational globally. She knows how to grow and pivot business to be profitable and sustainable. Irene’s passion is Diversity & Inclusion and she has run numerous programmes in this area.

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.

Covid Update