Meet the governing body

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Gail Bleasby

Chair of the Corporation

Born in Telford and a former New College and University of Wolverhampton student, Gail currently works as an integration programme manager for life and pensions compact ReAssure in Telford. Her background is project and programme management. Gail has also worked for Telford and Wrekin Council and holds an MSc in strategic management.

  • Date Appointed – 21/12/2017
  • Term Ends – 1N/A
Gail Bleasby headshot

Joanna Perch

Clerk to the Corporation

Born in Manchester, raised in Hayling Island, of part English, part Jamaican heritage, Joanna has spent the last 15 years living, working and raising a family in New York. Having returned home to England, permanently, she and her family have made Telford their new home. She brings with her over 27 years of administration experience having overseen a wide variety of essential functions. Accustomed to optimising productivity, efficiency and service quality across various sectors within diverse environments, her backgrounds have been in the New York construction industry, UK government and mental health charitable services.


Graham Guest

Principal and Chief Executive Officer

Graham Guest is the CEO and principal of Telford College, formed in December 2017 from the merger of New College Telford and Telford College of Arts and Technology. Graham was appointed in March 2017 and led what has been described as a seamless merger. He has experience of working at a senior level at a number of colleges around the country, and also ran his own successful private training and consultancy business.

  • Date Appointed – 01/05/2017
  • Term Ends – NA
Graham Guest

Louise Biffin

Vice Chair of the Corporation

Louise is an experienced outcome driven finance leader and non-executive director having operated in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years. Experienced at executive and board level, she is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, holds a diploma in charity accounting, is a member of the Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners and the Institute of Directors.

  • Date Appointed – 07/10/2019
  • Term Ends – N/A
Louise Biffin headshot

Ruth Matthews

Ruth taught business and languages in further education colleges in Staffordshire and at Staffordshire University. She was qualifications manager for a leading awarding body where she managed teams of examiners assessing GCSEs, A levels and vocational qualifications. She now works as a freelance consultant providing services to professional institutions, regulatory bodies and examination boards. She has written a number of textbooks and teaching resources for critical thinking examinations.

  • Date Appointed – 07/10/2019
  • Term Ends – 06/10/2023
  • Committee Membership – Remuneration Committee, Search Committee
  • Link areas – Assessment and achievement 
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Chris Pallett

Chris has worked in globally renowned tech companies for more than 25 years, most of those leading his own award-winning technology services provider (Bespoke Computing Ltd) to help businesses achieve more through adoption of good technology strategy. He regularly speaks with the local business community on the business end of IT; enabling businesses to learn about technology, and how the application of tech in real-world scenarios can add value to every business.

  • Date Appointed – 17/07/2018
  • Term Ends – 16/07/2026
  • Committee Membership – Audit Committee
  • Link areas – IT
Chris Pallett

Kevin Barton

As an international education consultant, Kevin Barton works at policy and practice levels with schools, government agencies, NGOs and organisations, including the Youth Sport Trust, YST International, Nike, and the British Council, as an expert trainer, bespoke consultant and author of resources. He has a particular interest in physical, creative and cultural education and leadership. Kevin had a twenty-year career as a teacher, subject leader and senior leader in schools throughout England, including a nine year period at a secondary school in Telford from 1999-2008. From 2011 to 2016, Kevin held a senior national leadership role in an educational trust which used the power of physical activity and sport to improve wider education outcomes for young people and schools. Prior to this, he was the national adviser for Physical Education at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, England’s national governmental agency responsible for the development of the National Curriculum and for the regulation of national qualifications and examinations. He led the organisation’s work in Physical Education, including the development of a new National Curriculum and assessment framework applied in schools throughout England. Kevin was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Exeter from 2012 to 2016, working within the Graduate School of Education, with a particular interest in student-led school transformation, working with colleagues at the University to improve teachers’ skills as researchers and to support schools in developing enquiry skills in teachers and students.

  • Date Appointed – 13/12/2021
  • Term Ends – 12/12/2025
  • Link area – Curriculum and quality 
Kevin Headshot

Stew Watson

Stew has worked within the construction and development industry for over 30 years and brings substantial public and private sector experience. His career spans across Local Government, Emergency Services, Higher Education and the NHS. He has worked in Scotland, the North-East and the West Midlands. Stew also holds a BSc (Hons) degree, a Masters degree and has been a Chartered Surveyor (MRICS) for over 20 years. He has a background of successful delivery of capital works programmes, from concept to completion and specialises in business case assessments, securing of funding and building of successful project teams.

  • Date Appointed – 13/12/2021
  • Term Ends – 12/12/2025
  • Committee Membership – Capital focus group
  • Link areas – Capital and estates
Stew Headshot

Karina Saini

Student governor

Karina is an A-Level Business, Economics and Fine Art student, with aspirations to study Economics at university in the future. She believes that students play a key part in college innovation. She is passionate about helping others to voice their thoughts and opinions, and ultimately to enjoy their time studying here.

  • Date Appointed – 16/12/2022

  • Term Ends – 16/12/2024

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Manny Jhawar-Gill

Manny is a procurement and commissioning professional with over 23 years of experience in local government and the voluntary sector. She has worked across the spectrum of the commissioning cycle to benefit multiple client groups, predominantly in the area of disability and mental health. Manny has experience of working at programme level to lead health and social care projects, more recently working in the area of housing commissioning to bring financial investment to Telford and Wrekin for the benefit of vulnerable adults and young people.

  • Date Appointed – 13/12/2021
  • Term Ends – 12/12/2025
  • Committee Membership – Search Committee
  • Link area – SEND
Manny Headshot

Martin Seymour

Staff governor

Martin came to the college to study on a higher education course in 2014 and then finished his teacher training at the University of Wolverhampton. His interest in IT infrastructure, security, digital forensics, and networking has now taken him from teaching computer science into the role of Network Manager.

Martin wanted to become a staff governor with the aim of moving the college forward digitally and hopes his input on today’s digital world can make life more secure easier for both staff and students alike. He also has a passion for mental health and wellbeing for everyone who attends the college.

  • Date Appointed – 11/03/2022
  • Term Ends – 10/03/2026
Martin Seymour Headshot

Shannon Marsh-Lloyd

Student governor

Shannon is an A-Level Psychology, Photography and Geography student with a passionate drive to make the world a better place, no matter how small. After completing her A-Levels she aims to study a degree in Psychology and travel the world with her dog Sandy! She is committed to making college a warm, welcoming place for everyone and firmly believes that all voices are equal and should be heard. She is looking forward to working with everyone.

  • Date Appointed – 16/12/2022

  • Term Ends – 16/12/2024

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John Abbot

Staff governor

Before joining the college in 2014 John previously worked as the Assistant Studio Manager of Ealing Studios as part of the Operations Team working directly with both national and international production companies to produce a wide range of films, television shows and commercials.

Starting his teaching career with Telford College in the Creative department John delivered both Art & Media to a wide range of students working at L1, L2, L3 and HNC/D. In 2020 John moved into the Foundation department and now works as Curriculum Team Leader for the Princes Trust programme.

Alongside his teaching qualification John also has a BA in Film & Television Studies and an MA in Digital Film Making and Photography.

  • Date Appointed – 16/06/2023

  • Term Ends – 12/06/2027

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