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.
John brings a wealth of experience to the governing board through a range of high-profile roles and senior roles within Peterborough City Council and other Boards and committees.
John joined the College’s Governing Board in 1977 and became Chair of the Governing Board in 1980. He enjoyed a longstanding career as a councillor and has worked for Peterborough City Council from 1979 until he retired in March 2021. During this time John held many key roles within the council, including Leader of the Council and Deputy Mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. He was also Mayor of Peterborough in 1995/96.
John’s contribution to public service was recognised in the 9196/97 New Year’s honours when he received an OBE.
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.
Sandie has over 25 years experience of managing a range of different charities. Her main focus is with disability Peterborough to gain equality for disabled people and to tackle injustice.
Sandie sits on a number of different boards including GPP, SCOPE, Disability Action Alliance and is also a director at the Cresset and Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services, attending regular meetings with the government Office of Disability Issues. Sandie’s first job when coming to Peterborough was carrying out educational research for Cambridge County Council and then trained in counselling with the Westminster Pastoral Foundation and specialised in Youth Counselling
She originally trained as a drama teacher and is an active member of a local amateur dramatic group.
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.
Jonathan has worked in the Voluntary Sector for over 25 years; most of that time has been spent at YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. Having worked for two Government Departments, Jonathan joined the YMCA in a Housing Role specialising in accommodating 16-25 year olds with medium to high needs. It also involved a role on the YMCA’s National Housing Committee. Following this, he took roles covering Youth Programmes, Health & Fitness, Operations and Development. In 2005 he became CEO at YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough. He gained a Certificate and a Diploma in Management Studies from Anglia Ruskin University.
Currently, Jonathan serves on the County’s Health & Wellbeing Board and the Safeguarding Board as a Voluntary Sector representative. He also acts as a Trustee to a small local Community Development Charity. He was asked to be part of the UK’s Department for Education Task Force on School Exclusions representing the whole Voluntary Sector. He is currently Chair of the YMCA’s Chief Executives Network and on the YMCA’s World Urban Network Executive Council.
Jonathan remains passionate about Children and Young People & about the role the VCS can play in supporting, enabling & inspiring them to reach their full potential. Away from work he enjoys walking and is an avid reader.
Adrian’s career has involved working in the public, not-for-profit and private sectors, including developing and leading an organisation in South Yorkshire that created opportunities for people to take up employment and training, and the taking up post as Director of the Academy for Community Leadership, an EU-funded neighbourhood renewal programme that delivered substantial social and economic regeneration across South Yorkshire. Adrian has also been a company director for a social enterprise that supported vulnerable people who were struggling to pay their household bills.
Employed by Peterborough City Council in 2006 as Neighbourhood Director for a Government-funded neighbourhood management programme, Adrian has held a number of senior posts in the council since then, and is now the Service Director for Adults and Communities with responsibility for Adults Social Care, Housing, Community Safety, Youth Offending and Youth Service, Social Policy, Community Development and Community Cohesion.
Clare has over 40 years of Local Authority experience of working with children, young people and families in a variety of different roles in Early Years, Children’s Social Care, CAMHS, Education, and Special Education Needs.
She is a registered social worker with Social Work England SW07654.
Clare recently returned to city to live in the village she grew up in after living and working in a racially diverse inner-city area for over 40 years.
She recognises that oppression and discrimination that features in many people’s lives that can prevent and exclude children, young people and their families from achieving and reaching successful education, work and life opportunities. She is passionate about ensuring that all children and young people have the best possible education and social opportunities to support good employment and lifestyle outcomes for their future.
Tom is the Chief Executive Officer of Opportunity Peterborough, the city’s economic development company. He is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the company, and for driving the sustainable, inclusive, economic growth agenda of the city through promotion of the city as attractive business location, supporting business growth, and delivering youth-focussed skills development programmes.
Tom joined Opportunity Peterborough in 2014 from Cambridgeshire County Council’s Growth & Economy Unit where he was responsible for inward investment, as well as making significant contributions to strategic programmes such as the development of the Cambridgeshire Child Poverty Strategy, and the design and delivery of the DCMS BDUK broadband roll-out.
Before starting his economic development career, Tom spent 9 years in a variety of sales, marketing, and relationship management roles within a range of private sector businesses including distribution, IT network solutions, and executive recruitment.
Tom holds an MSc Development Management, an Executive MBA, and is a Member of the Institute of Economic Development.
Tom joined the college’s governing board in 2020, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of business and employers’ needs and local skills gaps.
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.