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Meet the Governors

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Nigel Bayford - Chair

Nigel Bayford - Chair

Committee membership: Finance and Estates, Remuneration (Chair), Search (Chair)

A Land Surveyor & Cartographer originally from London, Nigel moved to Aberdare in 1974 to work on Spoil Heap Investigation Surveys post Aberfan disaster.  Nigel is now retired following a successful 29 year career in Sales and Marketing of Land Surveying and Geo-Positioning Instrumentation with Leica Geosystems. Leisure interests include membership of The National Trust, architectural and industrial heritage, travel, the visual arts and walking.

Dr Paul Smart - Vice Chair

Dr Paul Smart - Vice Chair

Business Member

Committee Membership: Employment Policy (Chair), Remuneration, Search

Having graduated with BSc and PhD in Engineering, Paul commenced his career in the gas and steel industries.  He subsequently join the UK manufacturing plant of an Internal Cosmetics company where he work as both a Production Manager and Head of Human Resources.  He then took a role in the company’s headquarters as UK Human Resources Director for Operations, Supply Chain, Finance and IT.  After 37 years with the company Paul has now retired but still works part-time as the company’s Pension Liaison Manager and as a Pension Fund Trustee.

Catherine Thomas - Community Member

Catherine Thomas - Community Member

Committee membership: Audit, Employment Policy

Catherine is an HR professional working at the University of South Wales. She has worked in Higher Education for seventeen years, having previously worked in the private, voluntary and public sectors.

Sheila Davies - Business Member

Sheila Davies - Business Member

Committee membership: Finance and Estates (Vice-Chair)

With over 25 years as an experienced  Director in the fields of local and regional government, strategic planning, economic development and strategy, Sheila  recently retired as Regional Director for Cardiff Capital Region City Deal, where her  remit  was to organise and prepare for the implementation of the £1.2bn Deal (the largest in the UK) between UK Gov't, Welsh Gov't and the ten South East Wales authorities, to drive forward the economic growth of the region.

Mark Harding - Community Member

Mark Harding - Community Member

Committee membership:   Audit (Vice-Chair), Curriculum & Quality Committee (Chair) Remuneration, Search

Mark started his Education career in 2003 as an Engineering Assessor/Tutor at Gorseinon College.  At that time Mark had completed an Engineering apprenticeship and qualified as a teacher. Since qualifying, Mark’s career evolved from teaching Engineering, IT, English and Maths to becoming a curriculum leader at Gower College Swansea in 2009.  During this period Mark studied part time evenings at Cardiff Metropolitan University to attain an MA in Education. In August 2011, Mark gained employment at Coleg Gwent as Manager for Essential Skills holding responsibility for literacy, numeracy and wider employability skills across all of its five campuses. In 2015, Mark was promoted to the post of Head of Skills having responsibility for the Maths and English curriculum across the College. Mark is also governor at Aberdare Community School.

Karen James - Staff Member

Karen James - Staff Member

Committee membership: Finance and Estates

Karen has worked at the College for nearly 20 years, starting as a tutor in Health and Social care. For the past seven years, Karen has been the Campus Director at the Nantgarw campus.

Andrew Diplock - Business Member

Andrew Diplock - Business Member

Committee membership: Audit, Employment Policy

Andrew has worked for many companies in both corporate and SME sectors, built a business from start up to a successful exit. He now devotes his time to helping other businesses start and grow as both an angel investor and business advisor. He also advises Welsh Government as a member of the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales.

Dave Bull - Business Member

Dave Bull - Business Member

Committee membership: Audit (Chair), Employment Policy, Search

Chris Bradshaw - Local Authority Member

Chris Bradshaw - Local Authority Member

Committee membership: Curriculum and Quality Committee.

Chief Executive of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

Margaret Lippard - Business Member

Margaret Lippard - Business Member

Committee Membership: Audit, Employment Policy

Margaret has a legal background having work in a series of small law firms - in Central London in human rights, in rural Somerset in agricultural affairs and in Cardiff in conveyancing and probate.  She became a foster parent, taking up social work in the Rhymney Valley.  After subsequent forays as an outside caterer and working for a national charity she spent ten years as a health services commissioner and manager.  Margaret has also been active in local school PTAs and Communities First  programmes. She was invited to join the steering committee setting up the charity Right from the Start twenty –five years ago and has been involved ever since, being Chair for the last ten years.

Edward John Hope - Community Member

Edward John Hope - Community Member

Committee Membership: Audit, Employment Policy

John is currently the Operations Director of Follow Your Dreams, a national charity that supports children with learning disabilities. He joined the charity as a volunteer after retiring from his role as Head of Faculty of Business, Management and General Education at the College and is now back working full time. Other interests include chair of the Caerphilly youth rugby District, and trustee of New Tredegar RFC.

Sian Farquharson - Community Member

Sian Farquharson - Community Member

Committee membership: Curriculum and Quality

Siân has worked in Post 16 education for over 20 years and most recently been a Senior Leader in a very successful FE College delivering full time Post 16 provision, A ‘levels, vocational and Apprenticeships. She has worked in both England and Wales with the majority of time spent in Wales. During her time in Wales from 2006 – 2012 she was Head of Work Based Learning at Coleg Llandrillo.  Sian is currently Challenge Advisor at the Education Achievement Service (EAS) for South East Wales with a specific focus on Post 16 Challenge and Support.

Peter Wright - Business Member

Peter Wright - Business Member

Committee membership: Finance and Estates

Peter has worked in the Financial Services Sector for over 40 years across the UK with a specialism in supporting small and growing businesses. He was previously Head of Investments at Finance Wales. He now fulfils a number of consultancy/ NED roles, including being the Entrepreneur in Residence at Coleg y Cymoedd as well as being a Governor.

Karen Phillips - Principal

Karen Phillips - Principal

Committee membership: Curriculum and Quality, Employment Policy, Finance and Estates, Search

Robert Evans - Community Member

Robert Evans - Community Member

Committee membership: Curriculum and Quality

Cllr Joy Rosser

Cllr Joy Rosser

Committee membership: Finance and Estates Committee

Cllr Joy Rosser was elected to the Council in 2012 and has subsequently served as a member on Scrutiny Committees, Licensing Committee, Glamorgan Archives, and South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority.  She joined the Cabinet in 2015, initially with responsibility for Prosperity, Wellbeing and Communities and since 2017 has held the portfolio for Education and Lifelong Learning.  A member of Central South Consortium Joint Education Committee and currently is chair of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s School Budget Forum, Central South Consortium’s Advisory Board and the LA Governors Committee, Joy is also Governor of two Primary Schools.

Cllr Rosser has worked in the private and public sectors and has over 30 years experience of working in the Voluntary Sector and was employed as Finance Manager for a Community Arts charity for 21 years.  Since retiring in 2016, she has continued to advocate for the arts, and is extremely active in her community.  She founded Trealaw Village Trust in 2009 and utilising her wealth of experience of fundraising and managing community activities, continues to raise funds for art projects for all ages and abilities.  In 2011, in recognition of her advocacy and volunteering roles she was a finalist in Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council’s celebrations to mark the centenary of International Women’s Day.

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