Leicester College Board of Governors

Leicester College is directed and governed by its Board of Governors and the Chair of Governors, Jonathan Kerry. The Governors are volunteers drawn from the communities that Leicester College serves, and they are responsible for setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring college performance.

All documents relating to the governance of Leicester College are available under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Our governors

John Allen 
Member since 2017 | Chair of Curriculum, Strategy and Quality Improvement Committee

John has recently retired and moved to Leicester after a 42 year career in further education starting off as a science lecturer and then moving into management, and finishing as the Principal and CEO of Lincoln College, where he served for 14 years. He then served as Interim Principal in another local college and then worked for the FE Commissioner’s Office. John has served as a member or Chair on many educational and skills related boards both regionally and nationally and in addition, worked as a part-time Ofsted Inspector for many years.

Danielle Gillett
Member since 2016 | Chair of Finance and General Purposes Committee | Vice Chair of Curriculum, Strategy and Quality Improvement Committee

Danielle is an alumni of De Montfort University and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants with significant experience working with a wide range of businesses from a large plc to niche professional services consultancies. As director and FD of the EMB-Group, she helped build the business from start up to a +£10m group of companies selling market leading accreditation and risk management solutions and business improvement consultancy. She is a keen supporter and promoter of education and learning, being a founder member of the International Women’s Day Trust, a trustee of De Montfort University Students Union and a board member of their JV partnership with the University of Leicester, SULETS. She also sits on the board of the King Richard III Visitors Centre.

Verity Hancock, PrincipalVerity Hancock
Member since 2013 | Principal at Leicester College | Member of all Committees except Audit

Verity joined Leicester College in January 2013 from the Skills Funding Agency where she was the Executive Director for Capacity and Infrastructure. Since gaining a law degree from New College, Oxford in 1988, Verity has pursued a career in further education and previously worked for the City and Guilds of London Institute, the Training and Enterprise Councils and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). She held a number of senior positions within the LSC including Regional Director, East Midlands and National Director of Funding, Planning and Performance and served on the governing bodies of schools and colleges in London and the East Midlands.

Brigitte Heller
Member since 2017 | Member Finance and General Purposes Committee | Member of Student Liaison Committee | Member of Search and Governance Committee

Brigitte gained a Master Diploma with Distinction in Fashion Design, Accountancy, Municipal Law and Business Management at the Vienna College of Technology. She held senior posts with the Further and Higher Education Funding Councils for Wales and was Head of Post-16 Education and Training for South East Wales (ELWa). Brigitte was a magistrate for 20 years and subsequently took up the ministerial appointment to the All Wales Probation Trust Board. She recently served as a board member of Coleg Gwent and was heavily involved in merger negotiations. She recognises the great importance of further education and skills development to enable all learners to reach their full potential.

Andrew Hind
Member since 2011 | Chair of the Audit Committee

Andrew has had fourteen years’ experience as a teacher of English, Drama and Music, and thirteen years’ experience as a senior children’s services/local authority education manager. Reporting directly to Southampton’s Director of Children’s Services, he held responsibility for a £200 million revenue budget, a £40million capital budget and over 500 centrally employed staff. Andrew retired from local government in 2010 and now works as a consultant demographer.

Chan Kataria OBE
Member since 2017 | Member of Audit Committee | Member of Search and Governance Committee

Chan Kataria is the Group Chief Executive of emh group, which has a turnover of over £100m, around 20,000 homes in management, and a significant care and support business. The group is a major developer of affordable homes in the East Midlands region and leads the Quantum development partnership.

Chan has been in this role since 2004. Prior to this he worked for various local, regional, and national housing organisations. Chan is a Board member of the national PlaceShapers alliance and chair of the National Housing Federation regional Chief Executive’s forum.  Over the years, Chan has held non-executive positions on the Boards of various third sector and commercial organisations. He is an Honorary Associate at De Montfort University.

Jonathan Kerry

Jonathan Kerry 
Member since 2013 | Chair of Corporation | Chair of Search and Governance | Vice Chair of Finance and General Purposes Committee

Jonathan is the Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary of the Church of England Diocese of Leicester. Previously he was a member of the national senior leadership team of the Methodist Church, having strategic responsibilities for a wide range of work, including education and training, children and young people, equalities and diversity, advocacy and outreach. He is Treasurer of PROSTaid, the local prostate cancer charity, Chair of the St Philip’s Centre for Inter-Faith engagement and a board member of the Leicester Comedy Festival, having previously served as a trustee of a publishing charity and an international development agency which promotes learning and literacy.

zubair LambadaZubair Limbada
Member since 2015 | Vice Chair of Audit Committee

Zubair is currently Head of Financial Services at De Montfort University.  Previously he worked with an independent accounting and audit practice in Leicester where his main role was to lead the audit service. He also provided general accounting, business and tax advice to a varied portfolio of private businesses and charities. Prior to that he was Audit Manager at KPMG in their Public Sector team predominantly working within the HE and FE sectors. Zubair has significant external audit, internal audit and financial reporting experience and has a keen interest in Governance.

Roger Merchant
Member since 2018 | Co-opted Member of Audit Committee

Specialising in the not for profit sector, Roger has been an audit partner for 25 years, working with PwC, BDO and Hacker Young.
After graduating from Bristol University, he trained with a global accountancy firm in London where he was promoted to partner and helped to set up a new branch in Poland, before moving to the East Midlands 23 years ago.

Roger is also involved in a number of other charities and not-for-profit organisations including a museum, Leicester Business Voice and a care home group. He represents Leicester on the icaew Council.

Mandeep Singh 
Member since 2014 | Staff Governor | Member of Curriculum, Strategy and Quality Improvement Committee | Member of Audit Committee

Mandeep has been a member of staff at Leicester College since 2006 and currently holds the position of Programme Lead in the Curriculum area of Business. Mandeep is passionate about education, his interest and strong feelings about accessible education for all learners has led him to the FE sector.  As the elected and appointed Curriculum Staff Governor Mandeep views the College to be a pivotal part of the local community, both as a major employer and as a provider of a range of educational opportunities for young people from Leicester and beyond.  Mandeep aims to combine his range of experiences with his ability to be compassionate, enthusiastic and an approachable staff governor, who will thrive to make a positive contribution to many of the opportunities available to the College.

Caroline Tote
Member since 2017 | Member of Finance and General Purposes Committee | Safeguarding Lead Governor

Caroline is currently Director of Children’s Social Care and Early Help in the Education and Children’s Services Department at Leicester City Council. She is responsible for a range of services including including Early Help, Youth Services, Looked After Children, Fostering and Adoption Services and Safeguarding and Quality Assurance Unit including the LSCB Office.  Prior to this she was Strategic Manager, Child in Need Services at Northamptonshire County Council and has wide career of experience across social work and children’s services.  Caroline has also chaired the Regional FE Safeguarding Forum.

Tom WilsonTom Wilson 
Member since 2017 | Chair of Student Liaison Committee | Member of Audit Committee

Revd Dr Tom Wilson is Director of the St Philip’s Centre, an interfaith training and resourcing centre based in Leicester. The Centre works with people of all faiths and no faith to enable people to understand the impact faith makes on daily living and to encourage people to learn to live well together. He is married with two children and enjoys cycling, reading and hill walking.

Denise NewcomeDenise Newsome
Member since 2019 | Co-opted Member of CSQI

Denise has had a career in education spanning over 34 years. She spent over twenty years in special education working specifically with boys with social emotional and mental health difficulties. She was Head of Keyham Lodge special school for eight and a half years. After this she worked for three years as Vice Principal and then Acting Principal of John Cleveland College in Hinckley before moving on to the position of Principal at Babington Community College, now Babington Academy. Babington became the lead school in a multi academy trust which was set up by Denise in order to be able to sponsor two schools in Leicester following a request from the DfE. Learning without Limits Academy Trust has been in existence for just over two years and Denise is currently the CEO of the Trust.

Simon MeakinSimon Meakin
Member since 2019 | Member of Audit

After graduating from the University of East Anglia, Simon trained with the global accountancy firm EY, spending time at both their Nottingham and Bermuda offices. He has over 22 years experience working in the automotive sector for a number of the UK’s largest retailers, including the locally based Sytner Group. He moved to Leicestershire in 2008 and currently leads the finance team at Renault Trucks Commercials. Newly elected as a governor in July 2019 he has a particular interest in the ongoing improvement and success of the College’s automotive engineering department at Abbey Park.

Louisa PooleLouisa Poole
Member since 2019 | Member of Audit and CSQI

Louisa is a Fellow of the ICAEW with 23 years of experience in finance ranging from roles in practice through to industries such as manufacturing and financial services.  She has extensive experience in heavily regulated companies and in mergers and acquisitions. She was recently appointed CFO for Business Central Ltd, an acquisition and investment company, based in Leicester. Louisa has been a Governor at a primary school in Leicestershire previously and has a keen interest and in education and training across all ages. When she finds the time Louisa is up for a challenge. She’s climbed Kilimanjaro and walked the West Highland way.

Tim GrayTim Gray
Member since 2019 | Member of F&GP

Born in and schooled in Leicestershire, Tim has a business degree from Coventry University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1988 before moving into industry. Tim has held Board positions for 24 years in various international commercial businesses including construction, printing, and manufacturing before moving into telecoms system engineering as part of a management buy-out at Optilan. Over the last 21 years, Tim has focused on working with Private Equity and private investors managing growth and turnaround situations with a strong emphasis on process improvement, corporate structuring, cost, and cash control.

Naz Nurani
Member since 2019 | Student Governor | Vice Chair of Student Liason Committee | Member of CSQI

Najaha Nurani also known as Naz, is the current President of Leicester College’s student union. She has keen interest in health care and is studying towards her Health and Social Care BTEC Extended Diploma level 3.

Habiba Rashid
Member since 2019 | Student Governor | Member of Student Liason Committee