Meet the Corporate Team
Dr Paul Phillips CBE Ph.D D.Litt Ed.D
Principal and Chief Executive
Dr Paul has overseen a dramatic transformation at Weston College since being appointed Principal in 2001.
He has driven the College from below-average academic results and a poor financial standing to Ofsted 'outstanding' status and a national reputation for excellence.
Under his leadership, the College has won a wealth of prestigious awards, including TES 'College of the Year' and 'Overall FE Provider of the Year', numerous Association of Colleges Beacon Awards and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2018.
Dr Paul has also received extensive recognition for his individual efforts and achievements. 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 further and higher education. Most recently, Dr Paul was named FE Leader of the Year at the 2019 TES FE Awards.
Dr Paul has worked at four further education colleges over 22 years. He has a wealth of experience and a history of academic excellence in maths, economics, law and statistics.
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 £60 million. The Group is now spread across five key sites, including a University Centre – one of the first of its kind in the UK.
Dr Paul’s work is extensive in the sector. He has been appointed to the role of ‘National Leader in Further Education’ (NLFE) – one of just seven national appointments – and to the Advisory Board to the FE Commissioner. He represents South West colleges regionally, as well as being a member of the National Board, and also writes for some of the leading national journals in education.
Dr Paul’s work has been recognised by both Bath Spa University, where he received an honorary Doctor of Letters, and the University of West of England, Bristol which awarded him a Doctorate in Education.
Dr Paul’s great interest – the SEND agenda and inclusivity of learning – led to the College being the first in the United Kingdom to open an 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 saw the College achieve ‘Gold’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework assessment.
Dr Paul also represents the Principals' Professional Council in the South West and is an active supporter for the sector, known for his robust approach and always placing the learner first.
Group Director/Deputy Principal - Curriculum, Quality and Student Experience
Dave Trounce's portfolio of responsibility includes the development and implementation of the 16-19 curriculum, the improvement of teaching, learning and assessment practice and the effectiveness of learning resources (including LibraryPlus facilities). After graduating from Brighton University with a BSc (Hons) Sport Science and a PGCE, Dave started his teaching career in the Secondary sector as a PE teacher.
He demonstrated his management potential as a Head of House and was quickly promoted gaining valuable management experience as a Head of Year. He secured his first post within the FE sector in 1999 and has since then developed extensive management experience in a range of roles including Curriculum Manager, Head of Faculty, Head of Quality and Interim Head of Student Services. Committed to developing the student experience, Dave has established a strong track record of quality improvement at both curriculum and College level resulting in a significant rise in student attainment.
Group Director/Vice Principal - Curriculum Innovation and SEND
Jacqui has led teams at various levels for the NHS as well as being a highly experienced teacher across curriculum areas from entry level right through to degree students. She delivered both regional and national systems of support for students with learning difficulties and disabilities, and has taken the lead in setting-up programmes and courses for 400 full and part-time Key stage 4 students (years 10 and 11) within Further Education.
Currently, Jacqui is arranging collaborations with local schools, the Local Authority, employers and universities, and has been helping develop new models of learning, as well as championing the STEM agenda. Her expertise in the SEND agenda and inclusivity has led to the College achieving national recognition of its work in the field.
Group Director/Vice Principal - Higher Education
Anthony started at Weston College in 1989 as a Lecturer in Creative Arts. During his time at the College he progressed to become Head of Faculty of Creative Arts, during which time he spearheaded the College’s successful introduction and development of its university level provision.
As well as involvement in the development of Loxton Campus, Anthony was appointed Director of Higher Education in 2007. Since this appointment Weston College has seen significant growth in the amount and breadth of higher education on offer, and in 2011 the College received an outstanding report from the Quality Assurance Agency, identifying that it had the highest number of points of “good practice” awarded to any college nationally.
Anthony holds a First Class Honours Degree in Three Dimensional Design and the History of Art, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Designers. He has also carried out work for a number of institutions including: UCE Birmingham and the University of Bath. His entrepreneurial and rigorous approach to the development of HE curriculum is unsurpassed within the FE/HE field.
Group Director/Vice Principal - Chief Operating Officer
Pete joined the Weston College Group in 2017, having spent many years in senior finance roles in the public sector, firstly with North Somerset council and more recently the Planning Inspectorate.
In addition to managing the Finance function at a time when the the financial environment in which the College operates has never been more dynamic, Pete also has responsibility for exams and management information where he is implementing change at all levels.
As well as being a fully qualified accountant, Pete also holds a Master's Degree in Accounting from the University of West of England. Away from work, Pete is a keen sportsman, with a particular love of rugby and cricket.
Group Director/Vice Principal - Prison Education, HR and Reputation
Andrea’s current portfolio of responsibility includes oversight of all human resources, management development, recruitment and staffing matters across the Weston College Group. She also has responsibility for the Offender Learning contract and oversees the OLASS Senior Management Team, providing vocational education services to prisons across the South West region. She works closely with the Commercial Division, ensuring that the College is maximising its commercial, business growth and training services opportunities. Andrea is also the College lead for all internal and external reputational matters.
She is CIPD qualified and a graduate in International Business and Modern Languages, working in Germany and the Middle East before establishing a career in the recruitment and HR sector.
Group Director/Deputy Principal - Business Engagement, External Liaison and Growth
After moving to Bristol in 2005 to join the Higher Education Funding Council, Jo Watson has spent the last nine years focused on improving the skills system to meet the needs of employers and learners in the West of England in further and higher education. Jo has played an active role in working with a wide range of national and regional employers to create highly innovative and engaging skills programmes to meet business needs and prepare learners for successful careers.
As a Group Director at Weston College since 2014, Jo has led teams to secure large skills contracts with employers and public funders. Jo sits on a number of Boards, including the European Structural and Investment Fund Committee and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills Planning Group. She has a breadth of experience and insightful nature that is crucial to the advanced strategy of the College in terms of growth and development.
Jo holds a postgraduate diploma in strategic management as well as a degree in German literature from the University of East Anglia.