New appointments on college’s governing corporation

New Telford College governors

Telford College has appointed a new chair of its governing corporation as part of a series of changes.

Gail Bleasby succeeds Paul Hinkins to become corporation chair, with Louise Biffin stepping up to become the new vice-chair.

Other new appointments to the board, replacing retiring corporation members at the end of their terms, are Kevin Barton, Manny Jhawar-Gill, and Stew Watson.

Gail has been part of the corporation since December 2017, when Telford College was created from the merger of Telford College of Arts and Technology, and New College Telford.

She is a former New College and University of Wolverhampton student who works as an integration programme manager for Telford life and pensions company Phoenix.

Her background is project and programme management, and she has also worked for Telford and Wrekin Council.

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Gail Bleasby

Gail said: “I’m delighted to be taking on the role at such an exciting time for the college, supported by such a talented and experienced team.

“The role of the corporation is to oversee the strategic direction and pace of the college, ensuring it remains focused on delivering a high-quality and economically focused curriculum.

“The college has an ambitious strategy to be an ethical skills eco-system for the Marches and West Midlands.

“Our governors have a passion for vocational and professional education and training, and a commitment to supporting the college ambition to build on the successes and use the strengths of collaborative working.”

Louise Biffin has been on the board since October 2019, and is an experienced finance leader and non-executive director who has operated in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years.

She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, holds a diploma in charity accounting, and is a member of both the Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners and the Institute of Directors.

Kevin Barton is an international education consultant who had a 20-year career as a teacher, and now works at policy and practice levels with schools and a wide range of organisations, including the Youth Sport Trust, YST International, Nike, and the British Council.

Manny Jhawar-Gill is a procurement and commissioning professional with more than two decades of experience in local government and the voluntary sector, working predominantly in the area of disability and mental health. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchase & Supply and holds a CIPS Level 4 Practitioner qualification.

And Stew Watson, a Chartered Surveyor, has worked within the construction and development industry for over 30 years. His career spans across Local Government, Emergency Services, Higher Education and the NHS.

Graham Guest, Telford College’s principal and chief executive who also sits on the board, said: “The corporation plays a pivotal role in shaping the direction of the college.

“The progress made by Telford College since the merger of TCAT and New College Telford has been recognised by Ofsted with our recently achieved Good rating, which followed an Outstanding grading for our financial health.

“We are an ambitious college, strongly focused on delivering the best possible outcomes for learners, and meeting the current and future needs of our local businesses.

“This is an exciting time for further education, and it is vital we work closely with our corporation to help create a workforce with strong academic, vocational and employability skills.”

  • Find out more about the college’s governing corporation here

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