The individuals who serve as independents on the board of governors are from a diverse range of backgrounds and use their skills and experiences to play a vital role in the development of the College..
Chair of the Corporation
Paul is currently Chief Operating Officer at EFT Systems Ltd in Southport. He has a broad range of experience built over a ten year career with Royal Bank of Scotland followed by a further decade within SME businesses at Senior Management and Director level. During his time at RBS Group he spent several years as a Relationship Manager within Commercial Banking. The training and experience he received in terms of financial understanding of business has been built upon through his heavy involvement in SME’s financial leadership.
Strategic leadership is the part of Paul’s day-to-day role, where he gains satisfaction from openly challenging the status quo while striving for continual improvement. Paul has extensive experience of designing and presenting board papers and regularly leads and sponsors proposals from the leadership team with the board. Paul frequently chairs meetings and is an advocate for board diversity, enjoying the variety of opinions from different personalities, experiences and backgrounds, coupled with the technical knowledge from the experts in the room.
Paul dedicates time to mentor other business leaders and is very much involved in local sponsorship from Southport Rugby Club to partnerships with local charities, extending the range of his voluntary work to become a member of the Southport College Corporation in 2021. Following a successful term as Chair of the Resources Committee, in January 2023, after the retirement of the previous Corporation Chair, Paul extended his support of the College by taking up the post of Chair of the Corporation.
Vice Chair of the Corporation
Appointed to the Board in 2021 and becoming the Vice Chair of the Corporation in January 2023, Laura is a director at Social PR & Communications. A former award-winning journalist she worked for newspapers across the North-West and was the education correspondent for the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo where she specialised in the higher education/university sector. She has also headed up communications teams in the public and third sectors including South Lakeland District Council and London’s Greenhouse Sports (formerly Greenhouse Charity).
Laura also led and delivered a £150k award-nominated rebrand of the UK volunteering charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) to Volunteering Matters. More recently she worked in Edge Hill University’s Corporate Communications Team before becoming a consultant and in 2021 she established a Liverpool office for Social offering PR and communications across Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria.
Alex is a qualified Chartered Building Surveyor currently working in private practice for various clients in both the public and private sector. During her career, Alex has gained a wealth of experience in working with a number of FE colleges, universities and schools undertaking cost plan condition surveys, providing professional advice and also designing and project managing building alterations, refurbishments and extensions.
In recent years Alex has become an RICS Assessor, assessing candidates for Chartership status. She was appointed as an independent governor in December 2020 and has served on both the Governance Committee and Resources Committee, taking up the role of Resources Committee Vice Chair in 2022
Alex is currently the Director of Marketing of Fletchers Solicitors in Southport, having joined the company is 2003 as a law graduate. His marketing expertise brings a wealth of experience in both communications and marketing strategies to support the ongoing development and branding of the College. Alex is a volunteer mentor for Virgin Start-up, providing guidance and advice to new start-up businesses.
Alex also volunteers at a local soup kitchen and provides free marketing advice to charities and social enterprises through the ‘Pimp My Cause’ organisation. Alex was appointed as an independent governor at Southport College in May 2018 and is a member of the Resources Committee.
Alex is a Chartered Surveyor and Chartered Building Engineer working for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) responsible for the valuation regulation of 14,900 surveyors in the United Kingdom jurisdiction. Previous experience includes creating and running private enterprises and charities as well as local volunteer work.
Alex joined Southport College as a Governor in 2023, becoming a member of the Audit Committee.
Anita has been an Associate Governor for over eight years. She currently works for the University of Liverpool as a Digital Projects Manager, working in the Education Directorate within the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.
Anita is qualified in teaching in both FE and HE and is a Teaching Fellow. Anita has a passion for promoting the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning and offers advice and support on this topic in her role as a member of the Standards Committee.
Prior to working at the University of Liverpool, Anita worked for Jisc as an eLearning Advisor, supporting colleges across the North West of England in the use of technology in for enhancing teaching and learning.
Prior to this role Anita worked in a further education college for over ten years, she had roles as Computing and ICT lecturer and Programme Coordinator and later became Head of Provision for Adult and Community Education, managing 22 community learning centres, which offered both flexible and classroom taught courses.
Outside of work, Anita volunteers for Liverpool City Council. One of her volunteering highlights was being a Benevole steward during the Giants Spectacular in Liverpool. She is also an NHS responder supporting the local community.
Carla is a Qualified Accountant and Audit Director at KPMG, dealing with a wide variety of Industry groups. Her focus is on driving audit quality, liaising with Chief Executives, Boards and Audit Committees. She completed her accountancy training at a local accountancy firm in Southport before progressing her career at Grant Thornton and KPMG. Carla and her team at KPMG have supported the college with its enrichment and careers advice programme, providing guidance on Accountancy Career entry levels. She is an alumni of the college and passionate that every individual is given the opportunity to achieve their full potential through education.
During her four-year term as an independent member of the governing Board, Carla Chaired the Audit committee, adopting a coaching approach to challenging and supporting the Board and Senior Leadership Team. Carla now continues to use her expertise to support the College through co-opted membership of the Audit Committee, providing essential objectivity and independence.
Diane Hutchinson is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, using her knowledge and expertise to Chair the Remuneration Committee. Recently retired after 45 years working as a Civil Servant in HMRC. Originally a tax inspector, Diane changed direction over 20 years ago to become a Human Resources professional. Her roles have included HR Manager, HR & Learning Business Partner and, in the latter years, Tax Academy Business Partner providing a pivotal link between the Department’s learning academy and operational business teams.
She is passionate about building capability and enabling every individual to reach their full potential. Diane has many years of previous experience as a Governor at a large secondary school. In voluntary roles, Diane is a long-standing member of the Southport Dramatic Club, with her membership having included a term as Chair of the Club.
Elaine is recently retired from a career in teaching at both Southport College and Manchester City College. Prior to this she worked for the NHS.
She supported education delivery and was team leader for Social & Life Skills, Family Literacy, Employability, Catering and Art and Business studies.
Her connection at Southport College began in the 1980’s when she studied O-Levels, many years later she completed her PGCE and teaching practice before being employed by the college. Her son studied at the college and he too is now teaching.
She recently completed a photography course and is due to graduate this month after completing a Counselling Diploma.
Having graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) in Business and a Masters of Business Administration. Kash has 9 years in working in commercial leadership roles in retail, facilities and insurance industries before embarking on a career in the education sector. Kash has a breadth of executive senior leadership experience in FE, HE and Apprenticeships and has worked for one of the largest FE colleges in the UK. Her skills of delivering transformative change in delivering operational models, strategic plans spanning across curriculum, quality, business improvement and project/change framework in order to ensure that learners have the best experience whilst attending their chosen career pathway.
Kash is well versed in providing expert advice and knowledge in the FE sector and has over 17 years experience in education inclusive of having roles in governance in both primary and secondary as Chair and Vice Chair. Kash is passionate about supporting Southport College and hopes her wealth of experience will add value to the Board. Her mantra is 'everyone deserves a chance' no matter what their background and or capabilty.
Kash also supports many volunteering roles in the community such as raising charity money for Barnardos and supports a local women's community group. In her spare time, Kash enjoys time with her family and friends as well as going on lengthy walks in the countryside.
Katy is currently the Headteacher at Greenbank High School, having joined the school in 2012. In this role she is in charge of standards and curriculum as well as overseeing the pastoral system.
Her subject areas of specialism are maths and French and she has developed a range of educational leadership knowledge through participation in the NPQH programme as well as in facilitating on the NPQML programme with aspirant middle leaders from the north west. Katy was appointed as an independent governor at Southport College in January 2020 and is a member of the Standards Committee.
Margaret has worked in Higher Education for over 30 years. She was formerly Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Bolton and undertook various management roles there such as Director of Social Sciences and was a Principal Lecturer in Community Studies.
Margaret has acted as an external examiner for masters programmes at various Universities such as Sheffield Hallam and maintains an interest in quality assurance issues. Previously she was an Associate Tutor with the Open University. Margaret was appointed as an independent governor in January 2020 and is a member of the Resources Committee.
Mark is currently a Senior Relationship Manager with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE). The role includes working directly with employers and other key stakeholders, such as colleges and universities, to develop or review apprenticeships in Engineering and Manufacturing. Prior to taking the role with IFATE, Mark worked for the Skills Funding Agency as a Provider Manager, contract managing Colleges and training providers in Lancashire.
Mark has also had roles contract managing delivery of the Train to Gain programme and has been an Investors in People Adviser and Assessor. He believes in the importance and impact that learning can have on people’s development. He is particularly passionate about apprenticeships and how they can help establish individual’s careers and then help with their progression.
Mo is a qualified Chartered Civil Engineer and during his career has worked in both private and public sector organisations, in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. He has held senior posts in Municipal Engineering, Economic Regeneration and Low Carbon Economy. Recently retired, Mo now plays an active role in the local community. He is Chair of the Board of Trustees for Sefton’s Carers Centre and Chair of the Light for Life Charity. He is also a Trustee of The Frank Hornby Railway Trust.
Since his appointment as an independent governor in September 2017, Mo has provided extensive support to the Corporation of Southport College, having Chaired the Governance, Remuneration and Audit Committees, currently serving as Chair of the Audit Committee.
Rob is a Chartered Accountant with financial experience in both the commercial and public sector. Immediately prior to his retirement he was a senior financial accountant working at the Home Office. In voluntary roles Rob was a Samaritans volunteer at Southport Branch for 11 years, during which time he served as Branch Director, Treasurer and Trustee. He was a member of the national Samaritans Charity Audit & Risk Committee for 4 years.
Rob has also been a Trustee of Southport YMCA. He has previously been a governor at primary and secondary schools. Rob is an experienced and dedicated member of the Governing Board, undertaking a range of roles during his time as a Governor, including Vice Chair of the Corporation, Chair of the Governance Committee, Vice Chair of the Resources Committee, now serving as the Chair of the Resources Committee as well as supporting and driving the Link Governor Scheme as the Lead Link Governor.
Roderic is the Director of Evaluate Consulting and has a substantial career background in exam boards and qualification regulation, including working for AQA and JCQ. He is an inspirational strategic leader, experienced in leading teams and organisations through periods of transformational change. Skilled in the planning and delivery of large-scale, complex corporate programmes, including cultural, structural and technological change, he is able to communicate a compelling vision while understanding that any vision can only be achieved through people. Passionate about working with teams in relationships of trust, empathy and mutual accountability, engendering confidence and a sense of empowerment in individuals and building a supportive and collaborative team ethos.
Having graduated from the University of Liverpool, Susannah worked for 9 years in a variety of marketing and PR roles before entering the world of Further Education in 1997. She continued in a Senior Management role until she opened Remedy Lord Street in Southport in July 2015 and the Churchtown venue in December 2017. She is passionate about three things in life: firstly the ability of FE to transform people’s lives on a regular basis; secondly the future of Southport and thirdly fabulous craft made drinks and truly great coffee served with a smile!
Susannah is heavily involved in the town on a voluntary basis, currently Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, she is working locally, regionally and nationally on the economic future of our town centre, she co-ordinates Southport Pubwatch and also sits on the Marketing Southport Board.
Become a Governor
At Southport College we have an active board of governors who play an important role in the ongoing development of the College. Governors are from the local and wider community with a range of skills, knowledge and experience to help the College take forward its strategic objectives.
We value and promote equality and diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity for all and, when a vacancy arises, appointments are made on merit, also taking account of the need to fill any identified skills gaps.
Any person wishing to become a Governor should write to Lisa Farnhill, Clerk to the Corporation, for further information and an application pack:
Our parent governor plays an important role in the development of the College bringing his understanding, skills and experience to the College to help drive it forwards and meet its strategic objectives.