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 – 12/10/2025
  • Committee Membership – Chair of Remuneration Committee, Search Committee, Capital Focus Group
  • Link Areas – Safeguarding
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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 – 06/10/2023
  • Committee Membership – Audit Committee, Capital Focus Group, Search Committee
  • Link Areas – Finance
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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
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Corin Crane

After graduating with a degree in English & Politics and a post grad in HR, Corin has worked for the TUC in Yorkshire and Humberside, Advantage West Midlands, Learning and Skills Council and Telford and Wolverhampton Councils. He was director of the Leicester & Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership with overall responsibility for around £200 million to drive regeneration and help local businesses grow, and is now chief executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce.

  • Date Appointed – 09/07/2019
  • Term Ends – 08/07/2023
  • Committee Membership – Audit Committee
  • Link Areas – Employer Engagement Apprenticeships
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Paul Birch

Paul is an experienced group head of human resources at Wrekin Housing Trust, with a demonstrated history of working in the housing sector. He is skilled in human resources, coaching, performance management, and organisational development.

  • Date Appointed – 05/11/2018
  • Term Ends – 04/11/2022
  • Committee Membership – Audit Committee, Remuneration Committee
  • Link areas – Human resources
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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 – 16/07/2022
  • Committee Membership – Audit Committee
  • Link areas – IT
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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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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
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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 
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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
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Charlotte Robinson

Student Governor

Charlotte is an A-Level Chemistry, Biology and Psychology student at Telford College and is one of the Corporation’s student governors. After completing her A-Levels at the college, Charlotte plans to study a degree in policing and then become a police officer and work within the sexual assault unit, as well as dreaming of becoming an author.

  • Date Appointed – 26/11/2020
  • Term Ends – 31/07/2022
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Keith Daniels

Student Governor

Keith is a Media student and a proud member of the Student Council. He is committed to helping to make Telford College a safer and great place to be for everyone and firmly believes in the saying “The future lies in our hands, so let’s shape it together”.

  • Date Appointed – 12/11/2021
  • Term Ends – 31/07/2023
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Martin Seymour

Staff Governor

Martin is a computer science lecturer who is local to Telford. He came to the college to study higher education courses in 2014 and then finished his teacher training at the University of Wolverhampton. His passion is teaching IT infrastructure, security, digital forensics, and Cisco networking. He 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 easier for both staff and students alike.

Martin is also a health and safety delegate for the college union and has a passion for mental health and wellbeing for everyone who attends the college.

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