The Governing Body | Weston College

The Governing Body

The College’s Governing Body is known as Weston College Corporation.

Weston College was incorporated as a Further Education Corporation by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

The statutory Instrument and Articles of Government set out the responsibilities of the Corporation and the Principal and provides the framework within which the Corporation must operate. The main responsibilities of the Corporation are:

  • The determination and periodic review of the educational character and mission of the institution and the oversight of its activities
  • Approving the quality strategy of the institution
  • The effective and efficient use of resources, the solvency of the institution and the Corporation and safeguarding their assets
  • Approving annual estimates of income and expenditure
  • The appointment, grading, suspension, dismissal and determination of the pay and conditions of service of the holders of senior posts and the Clerk
  • Setting a framework for the pay and conditions of service of all other staff.

Governors receive no remuneration and contribute their collective experience and skills to the Corporation in a non-executive capacity.

The Clerk to the Corporation is responsible for the preparation of agenda and papers; for ensuring that meetings are minuted and that the Governing Body and its Committees operate within the requirements of the Instrument & Articles of Government.

Meet the Governors

The Weston College Corporation comprises up to 20 members and represents a variety of business, community and local authority interests, as well as student and staff representatives. The Principal is also a Governor of the College. In addition, external members may be appointed to governing body committees to provide specific expertise.

Steven Bashford

  • Member of the Governing Body

Stephen is Head of Economic Development at North Somerset Council, leading the delivery of a range of projects and programmes covering inward investment, skills, business engagement, visitor and rural economy, and strategy development. He has over ten years’ experience in the field of economic development, working for a range of public sector organisations across the South West region in both strategic and delivery roles.

Mark Canniford

  • Member of the Finance Committee
  • Lead Governor for Safeguarding and Prevent

A highly successful local retailer, Mark sits on North Somerset Council and the Town Council. He provides an important community link in his role as a Governor.

Chris Carter

  • Vice Chair of the Corporation
  • Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Member of the Search Committee
  • Member of the Remuneration Committee
  • Member of Capital Projects Working Group
  • Member of the Inspirational Futures Trust

Previously a solicitor in Weston -super-Mare, Chris provides an invaluable legal perspective to support the work of the Corporation.

Tim Cowley

  • Chair of the FE Governance Committee

Tim is an experienced operational and strategic manager in both the private and public sectors. He has developed specific training provision for the Department of Work and Pensions. His legal and commercial background is a valuable source of support to the Corporation.

Gemma Day

  • Member of the Finance Committee
  • Lead Governor for Sustainability

Gemma is Managing Director of an enabling developer with significant expertise in construction and capital investment. She has a background in HR and recruitment.

Jude Ferguson

  • Chair of the Corporation
  • Chair of the Remuneration Committee

  • Member of the Finance Committee

  • Member of the Search Committee

  • Member of the HE Governance Committee

  • Chair of Subsidiary Boards

  • Lead governor for Looked After Children and Care Leavers

Jude is a Senior Manager who has worked in education and guidance services in both the public and private sector. She was formerly the Partnership Development Manager for Connexions, West of England. Jude is also currently Chair of the joint Audit Committee for the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable for Avon and Somerset.

Andrew Leighton-Price

  • Chair of the Audit Committee

Andrew has vast experience within the IT industry and runs his own technology business. He has been a Governor at Herons' Moor Academy since it opened in 2003 and has been its Chair of Governors for the last 7 years.

Jo Midgley

  • Vice Chair of Corporation
  • Chair of the HE Governance Committee
  • Member of Remuneration Committee

Jo is a senior leader in the university sector and is the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Student Experience at the University of the West of England. Jo supports the Corporation by using her leadership, management, strategic planning and marketing skills.

Maxine Park

  • Member of the FE Governance Committee
  • Member of the HE Governance Committee

Maxine is an academic Staff Governor member and undertakes valuable work in the College as a Curriculum Co-ordinator for Access to Higher Education.

Dr. Paul Phillips CBE, Ph.D D.Litt Ed.D​

  • Member of the Finance Committee
  • Member of the Search Committee
  • Member of the Capital Projects Working Group
  • Member of the FE Governance Committee
  • Member of the HE Governance Committee
  • Member of the Sponsorship Committee
  • Member of Audit Committee
  • Member of Subsidiary Boards

Dr Paul joined Weston College in 2001. Since then, the College has undergone a dramatic transformation, progressing from below average academic results and poor financial security to achieving Ofsted 'outstanding' in 2013 and being named 'College of the Year' and 'Overall FE Provider of the Year' by the Times Educational Supplement. He has driven the College to gain a national reputation, which includes winning a large number of Association of Colleges' Beacon Awards and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2018.

Dr Paul has worked at four further education colleges over 22 years and has a wealth of experience and a history of academic excellence in maths, economics, law and statistics. In 2011 he was awarded an OBE for his services to Further Education and the voluntary sector followed by a CBE in 2017 for his work in both further and higher education at a national as well as local level.

His responsibilities for the Weston College Group include the overall management of the College and the strategic direction of the organisation, which has seen its annual turnover increase from £9 million in 2001 to more than £50 million.  The Group is now spread across five key sites including a University Centre – one of the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Dr Paul’s work is extensive in the sector. He was appointed to the role of ‘National Leader in Further Education’ (NLFE) in 2017, one of seven national appointments, and also to the Advisory Board to the FE Commissioner. He represents the South West colleges regionally as well as being a member of the National Board and also writes for some of the national journals in education. His work has been recognised by both Bath Spa University where he received an honorary Doctor of Letters and University of West of England, Bristol where he was awarded a Doctorate in Education. His great interest in the SEND agenda and inclusivity of learning led to the College being the first in the United Kingdom to open a autism spectrum residential training facility, which won a Beacon Award in 2018. Similarly his vision for a university centre within an urban town model and development of this led to the College achieving ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework assessment. 

Dr Paul also represents the Principals' Professional Council in the South West and he is an active supporter for the sector known for his robustness of approach and always placing the learner first.

Ian Porter

  • Member of the Audit Committee
  • Chair of the Capital Projects Working Group
  • Lead Governor for Health and Safety

Ian is a Town Councillor and has significant links with the local business community. He previously chaired the North Somerset Planning Committee and supports the Corporation regarding construction and planning matters.

Sheila Smith

  • Member of the FE Governance Committee

Sheila is Director of Children & Young People’s Services for North Somerset Council and is a social worker by profession. She has worked in a number of councils as well as spending some time as an inspector with Social Services Inspectorate (now part of Ofsted) in London and the South East.

Sheila joined North Somerset Council in early May 2010 from Cornwall where she was Deputy Director for Children’s Services.

Donna Turner-Kot

  • ​​Member of the FE Governance Committee

Donna is an award winning entrepreneur and Chief Executive of n-ergy group ltd, which she established in 2007 to provide training, employment support and recruitment services to offenders and ex-offenders UK-wide. Donna has a proven track record in strategic management, sales, training, quality assurance, audit and continuous business improvement. She is a member of the national Board of Kidney Research UK.

Fiona Waters

  • Chair of the Search Committee
  • Member of the FE Governance Committee
  • Member of the HE Governance Committee

Fiona is our non-teaching Staff Governor and has worked at Weston College for over 20 years, currently as College Registrar, and formerly within Student Services. Fiona represents the Corporation as a Trustee of Priory Community School and as a Governor there, with specialist responsibility for mathematics and pastoral services.


Joanne Philpott

  • Clerk to the Corporation.

Student Governors

Weston College has two Student Governors which represent the College's further education and higher education student body.

Miguel Fonseca

  • HE Student Governor

Miguel studies Lens Based Media BA (Hons) (top-up) at University Centre Weston in partnership with Bath Spa University.

Committees and Meetings


The Governing Body currently operates the following statutory committees:

  • Audit Committee
  • Search Committee.

The following committees have also been established:

  • Finance Committee
  • FE Governance Committee
  • HE Governance Committee
  • Remuneration Committee.


The Corporation meets on a bi-monthly basis, with two development ‘away days’ each year, and the Finance Committee meets bi-monthly.

Meetings of the FE Governance Committee, HE Governance Committee and the Audit Committee take place three or four times a year.

The Search Committee meets as required to consider the appointment of new members and review the contribution of individual Governors on an annual basis.

The Remuneration Committees meet a minimum of once a year to review the performance and pay and conditions of senior post holders.

Becoming a College Governor

What does it involve?

The role of a Governor is interesting and varied and encompasses the following legal responsibilities:

  • Contributing to the strategic direction of the College
  • Determining the educational character and mission of the institution
  • Ensuring effective and efficient use of College resources
  • Ensuring the solvency of the institution
  • Approving the Quality Strategy of the College.

Your commitment:

  • Attending bi-monthly meetings of the Corporation
  • Reading papers in advance of meetings
  • Participation in discussions and debates
  • Gaining experience through membership of Corporation committees
  • Participation in training events
  • Attending our many varied social events.

What sort of people become Governors?

We are looking for dedicated people from all walks of life that can bring a variety of skills and experience to the role and have the qualities to support the College in its goal to become ‘outstanding’. Attributes may include:

  • An understanding of, and interest in, education
  • The ability to work as a member of a team
  • Ability to think forward and to be pro-active
  • Specific expertise, e.g. financial or audit knowledge.

I’m interested - what do I do next?

If you are interested in becoming a College Governor please get in touch with Linda Burlison on 01934 411442.

The Search Committee will give consideration to your application and will invite you to meet with them for an informal discussion.

If there is no vacancy on the Corporation at that time, but you are the type of person we are looking for, your details will be kept on a waiting list until a vacancy arises. If there is a vacancy, and you are the person we are looking for, a recommendation will be made by the Search Committee. The recommendation will be considered at the next meeting of the Corporation and your appointment confirmed. You will be provided with an induction pack and dates of forthcoming meetings.

You will then be ready to embark upon your new role as a Weston College Governor. The Clerk to the Corporation and the Chair will be on hand to support you every step of the way.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Apply or find out more