HELEN BIRCHENOUGH - CHAIR
Helen read English at universities in England and the USA and then joined JWT, a London Advertising Agency, where she developed an interest in brand strategy. She went on to head up a team at the Michael Peters Group working on a raft of international brands. After marrying Simon and having three children Helen left salaried employment to focus on family and to build her business as a brand planner. She joined the board of Salisbury Playhouse in 2002 and chaired a capital campaign to raise £1.4m needed for a new rehearsal room and community and education space; and was Chairman of the board from 2009 – 2012. She was a Governor of Chafyn Grove School for eleven years and now is proud to serve as a trustee of The Aegeas Salisbury International Arts Festival and also The Wiltshire Community Foundation. She became a Governor of Wiltshire College in 2010 and Chair in 2013. From early personal experience Helen discovered the difference that inspired teaching can make, so to be part of an organisation that is sincerely committed to realising the potential in every learner and that really can change lives is for her both important and exciting.
MARK LELLO - VICE CHAIR
Mark has been a governor of the college since 2012. He is currently the Managing Partner of Parker Bullen LLP, a firm of solicitors with offices in Salisbury, Wiltshire and Andover, Hampshire but which serves clients across the UK and internationally. After graduating with a law degree from the University of Sheffield, he later qualified as a Solicitor and Notary Public. He also gained a masters degree in law from the University of Bristol and postgraduate qualifications in Corporate Finance from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and in Trade Marks law from the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. He has enjoyed a continuous career in law since graduating, specialising in company, commercial and intellectual property law, gaining huge experience with top City and regional law firms before joining Parker Bullen in 1996. He is committed to the delivery of excellent professional services to clients both by Parker Bullen but also through InnovationsHub, a grouping of fellow professionals in allied areas with a similar service ethos which he set up in 2013. In addition to his work as a governor, Mark is a keen yachtsman, chairs a book club called Dissectors and plays keyboards for a rock band.
AMANDA BURNSIDE - EX OFFICIO (PRINCIPAL)
Carolyn became a governor of Wiltshire College in 2013. Carolyn began teaching in Nottingham after graduating from York University with a joint degree in History and Education and completing her teaching qualification at Newcastle-upon-Tyne University. She taught English, Mathematics and History and supported the inclusion of children in schools in Nottingham before moving to Dorset to lead the Special Educational Needs Advisory Team. She moved to the new Bournemouth Council in 1997 to become a school inspector with the particular lead for inclusion. In 2002 she became Head of Inclusion and Achievement with responsibilities including school standards, safeguarding in education, attendance, behaviour support, ethnic minority and traveller achievement, SEN/LDD and the Youth Service. As a joint commissioner for CAHMS, a member of the LSCB and Children’s Trust Board and the lead business unit for a joint authority Youth Offending Team she has had significant experience of partnership working to improve outcomes. She took up her post as Director for Children’s Services in Wiltshire in December 2006.
James has been a governor of Wiltshire College since 2013. An accountant by profession, having qualified with one of the top 20 UK firms, he has worked subsequently in both the private and public sectors including a spell at the Audit Commission.
He is a partner at Fawcetts Accountants, based in Salisbury where he advises small and medium sized businesses in all aspects of accounting, tax, business and financial planning. His interests include cricket, golf and renovating old houses.
Jack Wills has over 35 years experience in the Learning and Development (L&D) sector. His experience covers being a practitioner, the founder of a successful group of L&D companies and developing business globally.Following a successful career as an Army officer, where he ended as an instructor at the Army Staff College, Jack started a group of companies producing training videos and software.
During 2005/6 Jack disposed of his main companies to concentrate on international consultancy activities. He is often to be seen as a speaker and chair at international L&D conferences. Jack is married to Shelagh, a Secondary Teacher.
KARL SIMPSON, CBiol., FRSB
Karl began his career as a research scientist (becoming a Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory) before moving to the biotechology sector in 1985. He was responsible for supporting several successful start-ups (Oxford Glycosciences, Antisoma, BioInvent) as well as national/regional strategies in the life sciences (UK, France, Malaysia, Ontario (Canada). Karl has personal IP in vaccines licensed to industry majors. He was a member of the WHO polio eradication committee. His consulting company Bénézech - Simpson was the base for all these activities until he joined the University of Southampton in October 2009 as Director of Health & Pharma Strategy. In that role Karl was charged with monitoring life science research in Southampton and mapping capabilities against corporate needs or possible spin-out potential. In 2014 he left the University to launch the Wessex Life Science Cluster, federating five universities, the NHS system and some 250 research-active companies. Karl continues to work in vaccines as a consultant to leading companies and as Director of the Wessex Institute for Vaccines and Infectious Disease. In addition to his wage-earning activities, Karl has been a mentor for students, early career academics and aspiring business persons.
VENETIA SUMMERS - STAFF GOVERNOR
Venetia has been staff governor of the college since 2015. She is the Curriculum Manager for Animal Care & Equine and is based at the Lackham campus. Venetia is qualified and experienced in both animal care and equine and worked outside of the FE sector prior to joining the college, including in the Mounted Police, as the owner of a Sport Horse Centre and roles at NEC, Xerox, IEE and Fiat Auto. Venetia is committed to strengthening the students learning experience with the support of local businesses and employer engagement.
(Air Vice-Marshal) Martin Clark has been a Governor since 2015. He has served for over 35 years in the Royal Air Force as an engineer officer, where he has enjoyed working in a wide range of front-line and HQ jobs associated with large aircraft and fast jets, becoming the technical air safety regulator for Defence in 2012. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and of the Institute of Engineering and Technology; he is also President of the RAF Ice Hockey Association and a newly appointed trustee of Alabaré, a charity that provides care and support to vulnerable children and adults.
Martin has an MBA and been fortunate to operate at or around Board level over his last few appointments. He leaves the Royal Air Force in 2016 and is keen to develop his understanding of the further education sector and to help make a difference. In his spare time he is a keen supporter of Bath Rugby and tries to keep fit by cycling and skiing.