The college is privileged to have a team of experts on our governing board bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to maintain corporate governance across the organisation.
Here’s a brief overview of each of the members of our governing board.
Claire Higgins MBE is the Chief Executive of Cross Keys Homes.
Claire is also the Vice Chair of the Board of PlaceShapers, holds the Chair of Homes for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and is a member of the board of Evera. She is also involved with a number of other partner organisations. Claire is Chair of City Culture Peterborough,
In 2021, Claire was awarded an MBE for services to housing in recognition of a career dedicated to bringing affordable homes and support to the communities who need them.
Kevin originally qualified as an engineer, working in the manufacturing sector before entering further
education as a teacher. He has over 36 years of experience in the further and higher education sector, having held positions in educational management for more than 20 years.
He held the position of Executive Director for a large general further education college before leaving to establish his own training company, delivering apprenticeships and bespoke training courses to several large blue chip companies across England. He also operates a further and higher education management consultancy. He has provided curriculum and quality support to several awarding bodies and the Quality Assurance Agency.
Kevin holds an executive MBA from Cranfield University.
James is a director and the general manager of Peterborough Workspace Limited, which is a not-for-profit organisation that has been successfully supporting local entrepreneurs, start-ups, micro and small businesses since 1991.
Based in Woodston, Peterborough, it has been home to more than 400 businesses and start-ups; providing space and support as they start, grow, and establish themselves.
As part of his work at Workspace, James also organises and hosts business networking events, start-up programmes, workshops, events, and webinars.
Prior to his current role, James spent almost 20 years in the local media and publishing industry primarily managing marketing, sales and circulation functions across the Midlands and East Anglia for three of the UK’s larger local media organisations.
Whilst having experienced work in larger corporate organisations, it is James’ knowledge, experience, insight and passion of the start-up and small business world that adds value to the college’s board of governors.
John was born and raised in Dogsthorpe, leaving Lincoln Rd Secondary School with no real qualifications. However, he experienced first-hand, the transformative power of further, adult and higher education on someone’s life chances and career opportunities. Having left school at 16, he started as an apprentice at Hotpoint in Fletton, and became the Company’s youngest Senior Engineer at just 23, qualifying with a BSc in Engineering at 25 and achieving Chartered Engineer status at 26.
From there he moved into R&D, joining PERA, the National Centre for Manufacturing Research, where over a 28 year career, he rose from Engineer to Director, Managing Director and finally Chief Executive, building an international technology business across Europe.
He is now Managing Director of TWI Global, a technology development company, headquartered in Cambridge, with laboratories all over the world, developing materials and components for satellites, fighter jets, nuclear reactors and new hydrogen energy systems for cars, planes and homes.
Along the way he found time to devise the strategy and lead the team that recently raised £75m to establish the ARU Peterborough University, funding its first three buildings opening in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Jonathan started in Local Government at Cambridgeshire County Council as a graduate trainee in 1999 and qualified as a chartered accountant in 2003 working across Social Care and Children’s Services.
Jonathan joined Peterborough City Council in 2007 as Assistant Director: Resources for Children’s Services, delivering an ambitious £190 million schools capital programme to support the rapidly growing population in the city and commissioning services.
In 2011, he added the challenge of leading the education department and Peterborough was the most improved Ofsted authority in 2013/14 and was judged by Ofsted in March 2014 as having an effective school improvement service – only the second authority nationally to receive a positive outcome in this type of inspection at first inspection.
He moved to Northamptonshire in 2015 as Assistant Director – Education before moving to the Department for Education in August 2016 as Deputy Director for the
Regional School Commissioner for the East of England and North East London. He led on intervention in underperforming schools across the region.
In February 2018, he took up the exciting role of leading Education across both
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – overseeing 350 schools and a combined budget of around £1bn.
Professor Ross Renton is the Principal of ARU Peterborough, a new university for Peterborough. Professor Renton was previously Senior Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Worcester, where he held strategic responsibility for key aspects of the student experience, widening participation, employability, international and a range of partnerships and resources.
His experience has included being a designated Widening Participation Expert for the Office for Students, Co-Chair of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE), Chair of Widening Participation for GuildHE and a main panel member of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Subject Pilots.
He is also a Visiting Professor at the Open University, and was previously Dean of Students at the University of Hertfordshire
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