Ruth Farwell was Vice Chancellor at Buckinghamshire New University from January 2006 to January 2015, having previously been Pro Vice Chancellor at London South Bank University with a portfolio covering academic planning and quality. She now acts as an education consultant and in that capacity advises on academic governance and spent two years with the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership on their strategy to bring employers together with all sectors of education to enhance the work-related skills of young people.
Ruth was Chair of the representative body GuildHE for two terms of office until November 2013, and continued as a member of its Executive until she retired. During 2009 – 2015 she served as a member of the Board of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and also chaired HEFCE’s Teaching, Quality and Student Experience Committee. Other previous posts in public life have included service as a further education college governor and chair, and as a secondary school governor and chair. Currently she is a governor at Southampton Solent University and Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors at Pearson College London.
Ruth was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to higher education and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire in 2015. She was High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire in 2018-19.
Andrew Owen initially worked in the printing industry and studied at the London College of Printing at the Elephant & Castle, taking both technical exams and an HND in Business Studies.
He then spent 16 years in the food industry with Nabisco, the international cereal and biscuit manufacturer, qualifying as a CIMA accountant. Andrew was the UK Controller of their Grocery operations.
Andrew then joined the Dixons Groups and held various positions including Director of Financial Operations for over 10 years. For the last five years he was there, he was Group Risk Director, retiring from the Group in 2007.
Since then, he has worked as a Consultant in the retail industry, working largely for the British Retail Consortium on retail payment matters in the UK and Europe.
Steve Balmont is a long-serving professional pension trustee director with Law Debenture acting for the occupational pension schemes of many well-known organisations ranging from those with assets of several billions to other much smaller schemes.
He has been a member of various committees and working parties associated with occupational pensions including an FCA committee on actuarial practice, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association and most recently the Working Group responsible for the Pensions SORP. Steve has lectured and published articles on pension governance and related pensions matters.
Steve was born in South Wales and educated in the North West of England, graduating in Economics from Liverpool University in 1982. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and worked predominantly in public practice and, for a couple of years, for an Austrian investment bank in London. He joined Law Debenture in 2000.
He served for several years as an independent, co-opted member of the Audit Committee of London South Bank University before joining the Board of Governors in 2008. He currently chairs the Audit Committee.
His various interests include his musical son, his fashion designer daughter, rugby union (as a spectator since retiring from playing) and diverse interests in the arts, sports and travel. He lives in Kennington.
Dr Mee Ling Ng OBE
Mee Ling Ng is currently a Non-Executive Board member of Habinteg Housing Association which provides accessible homes to families and people with disabilities and promotes independent living. She was the Chair of Southwark Primary Care NHS Trust (PCT) Board from 2002-2010. The PCT was responsible for the commissioning and delivery of health care services in Southwark.
Mee Ling was a lay member of the Department of Health's Herbal and Traditional Medicines Regulatory Working Group. Other non-executive director appointments include being a Board member of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLAM); Lewisham and Guy's Mental Health NHS Trust Board and Her Majesty's Courts Service Board in the Ministry of Justice.
She was a Lewisham councillor for 16 years from 1986-2002. She was Deputy Leader (Partnerships and regeneration) for 4 years, chaired the Council's Social Services and Economic Development Committees . As Chair of Deptford City Challenge Board, the multi-agency regeneration company levered in over £400m for the area. She also led on behalf of the Council, the development of the international dance centre, the Laban Centre in Deptford. Mee Ling is also a Honorary Fellow of Goldsmith's College and a Fellow of the 48 Group Club, which promotes UK-China business relationships. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from LSBU in 2010.
She founded a number of local and national voluntary organisations active in the Chinese community and set up the first British Chinese theatre company. She remains a Trustee of one of these charities, Mulan Foundation Network. In 1994, she was privileged to be an election and peace monitor for 3 months in South Africa, leading up to the first free and democratic General Election, after involvement with the Anti-apartheid Movement for over 25 years.
After graduating from Manchester University with a BSc in Biochemistry and an MSc from Salford University in Environmental Science, Mee Ling worked briefly in Malaysia as an environmental scientist before returning to Britain. Her previous jobs include working with the Royal National Institute for the Blind and other charities, focusing on disability, mental health and helping people to return to education and employment. She also worked as an economic development manager in the arts and cultural industries and managed a number of EU funded projects.
Professor David Phoenix OBE
Professor David Andrew Phoenix, OBE, DL, DUniv, FAcSS, DSc is the Vice Chancellor of London South Bank University, he sits on a number of national bodies overseeing UK higher education such as Universities UK, National Centre for Universities and Business as well as MillionPlus. He is also a member of the Minister for Universities and Science Brexit advisory forum. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) for his contribution to medical research and education and recognised as an Academician by the Academy of Social Sciences for his work in areas linked to educational policy. In 2015 the Prime Minister appointed him as a trustee of the Science Museum Group.
With over 250 publications, Professor Phoenix is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Society of Biology, The Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications and the Royal Society of Medicine. Through these latter bodies he has engaged in a range of discussions regarding the skills agenda, especially related to employer requirements. In 2010 he was made an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to Science and Higher Education and appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 2015.
He has worked extensively overseas developing and leading on an overseas campus in Cyprus and a research institute in China. He was awarded an individual Excellence award by China’s Vice Premier in 2014 and was given the Friendship award (China) in 2016 by the Premier for his outstanding contribution to the country’s economic and social development.
Sue Daresafeguarding lead
Sue has worked in FE for over 30 years with 9 years as FE Principal and CEO. She has led improvement to Ofsted Grade 2, two mergers and substantial culture change, with an emphasis on leadership development and support, while maintaining financial stability.
Sue has an extensive knowledge of FE, Apprenticeships and HE including policy, funding, and curriculum as well as highly developed networking skills proven in leadership roles in the Learning and Skills Council, in partnership working with employers and other stakeholders in West Sussex, in Higher Education and in Adult Responsiveness. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.
While she worked as Principal of Northbrook College it had a full Ofsted Inspection in 2013 which resulted in grades for Teaching and Learning and Quality of Provision moving from a grade 3 to a grade 2 a year earlier than anticipated, while Leadership and Management was judged Outstanding. The College was in the top ten in the country for student achievement for two years running and gained an AOC Beacon Award for its innovative and outstanding work with employers and apprenticeships.
She was the Chair of FE Sussex, the member organisation of the twelve FE Colleges in Sussex, for four years and is a Trustee on two separate arts trusts for the locality. She was also Chair of the National Qualifications Advisory Group, which advised Government and the Skills Funding Agency on changes to qualifications and funding from 2012-2015, and Vice Chair of the Mixed Economy Group of FE Colleges with high volume HE provision from 2011 to 2016. Sue was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to education in June 2017.
Since retirement Sue has worked as an education consultant and leadership coach. In April 2018, Sue joined the Board of PROCAT in Basildon, a specialist college for Engineering focussed on apprenticeships. She is currently undertaking an interim Principal role at the National College Creative Industries.
Shakira Martin is the National President of the National Union of Students UK, representing 7 million students across Further and Higher Education. She is known for pioneering NUS' Poverty Commission, shining a light on the barriers still facing working class people accessing FE and HE. She is one of only a handful of people to hold the post from an FE background, and the first black women to have held the role in NUS' 96 year history. A proud alumni of Lewisham Southwark College, Shakira was undertaking a teaching qualification when she began her career in student politics. She was the Student President at her college and quickly made her mark on the national scene. She was elected the Vice President Further Education at NUS in 2015 and represented FE students in this role for two years prior to Heflin President. Shakira's campaigning credentials are well established with major wins under her belt on student representation, funding, and access. She makes regular local and national media appearances and is passionate about equality in education in terms of access and outcomes. As President she coined the phrase 'it's not just about getting in, its about getting on'.
Nigel Duckers is Programme Leader in Creative Media Production; he teaches students how to make film and television programmes, as well how to read and interpret media. Nigel has been responsible for Executive Producing over 50 student films – from documentaries, to dramas and music videos. As Course Leader he encourages student involvement in the community; recent projects, for example, have included promotional videos for Tooting Market and the Brixton Therapy Centre, and films for the Brixton Design Week. Nigel has also developed internships with Cactus Television on Saturday Kitchen and regularly taken groups to Sky Television. He is a strong advocate of e-learning, pioneering the use of virtual classrooms within the curriculum and has recently shaped a capital bid to acquire a multi-camera production facility for the college.
Nigel’s ‘first career’ was in film and television, where he graduated from a Researcher to a Director, making films for ITV, C4 and BBC. He also regularly wrote feature articles for The Guardian, is the author of a book on social change in the English countryside, and he often broadcast for The Food Programme on R4. Nigel has taught at a number of FE colleges for around 15 years. His degree is in English from Cambridge University and he took First Class Honours in the Higher Diploma in Education at Trinity College, Dublin.
Nigel lives in Brixton; he has been a Board Member of The Brix and is currently Secretary of the Friends of Hillside Gardens, a local park. He regularly travels to Ireland, where his son lives. His interests are: film and television, food and cooking, and gardening and growing; in which capacity he is happy to offload surplus potatoes in season.
Leslie Bortey, is studying on a BTEC L3 First Diploma in Health and Social Care and has met all the College’s Career Ready Standards. He ran a strong election campaign in 2016/17 and successfully became Student Union President. He is committed to leading a team that represents learners in improving their experience in the college. He has engaged the Student Union to deliver events and activities relating to diversity themes such as Black History Month and LGBT Month. The highlight of his Presidency to date has been to support the Lord Mayor’s Knife Crime initiative and organise an Anti-Knife Crime Conference where he gave an opening speech encouraging everyone to adopt a zero tolerance to knife crime. This was a thought provoking and inspiring event to get learners thinking about how they can all work together to tackle the rising problem of knife crime and keep young people safe on the streets.
Fiona MoreyExecutive Principal
Fiona is proud to be Executive Principal of Lambeth College, and part of the London South Bank University group, and places great value in the role the College plays in supporting those that live and work in South London. Fiona values the pioneering partnership with the LSBU Group and the vision to provide lifelong learning and continues to build on the vital role that the College plays in transforming lives.
Fiona has worked in Further Education in London and the South-East for over 25 years, initially as a Lecturer in Creative Arts and more recently in a number of senior leadership roles at Abingdon & Witney College and Aylesbury College, where as Deputy Principal Curriculum and Quality she supported the merger of Amersham and Wycombe College creating the newly formed Buckinghamshire College group (BCG).
While at BCG Fiona was a board member of Buckinghamshire Education and Skills Training, a partnership with Buckinghamshire New University, and was a board member of the Bucks UTC. Fiona is also a member of Laser Awarding Body Corporation and Chair of the Quality Committee. Fiona sits on the Education and Training Foundation Group for Technical Education and has recently visited Denmark as part of a Gatsby Foundation visit exploring vocational education models in Europe.
Fiona is undertaking postgraduate studies on Professional and Technical Education and is a member of the Society for Education and Training and the Chartered College for Teaching. Fiona is committed to supporting the continued professionalisation of the sector and raising the profile of Further Education and the role it plays in transforming lives.
Michael BroadwaySecretary to the Board
Michael is company secretary of South Bank Colleges. He is also the Deputy University Secretary of London South Bank University (LSBU), South Bank College’s parent company. He has a Master’s degree in Corporate Governance from LSBU and is an associate member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
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