The College is an independent Further Education (FE) Corporation, established by the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. This Act removed all further education colleges from local authority control on 1 April 1993. Such colleges are also established as charities but are exempt from the requirements of the Charities Act.
The powers of the Corporation may be summarised as:
provide further and higher education
supply goods or services in support of the provision of education
provide secondary education to 14–16 year olds in schools/academies
conduct an educational institution
subscribe for or acquire shares in or securities of a company
acquire and dispose of assets
borrow & invest money
The Corporation also has powers to enter into contracts and make other arrangements in support of its main powers.
The College is administered under the Instrument & Articles of Government which set out the rules for the constitution and operation of the Corporation. The Board has also approved Standing Orders which include the Policy on the Selection of Governors.
Funding for the College is provided by the Education & Skills Funding Agency whose function is to ensure that government funding is distributed to the organisations who provide further education and skills training in England. Funding is also received from the Office for Students, who distribute public money for teaching and research to universities and colleges.
Joanne Henney, Chair of Governors
Joanne has been the Chief Executive Officer at Nugent since early 2023, a registered charity based across the Merseyside region which focuses on supporting young people and vulnerable adults with access to education, health care and wider support through schools, care homes and social work services, where she has worked since 2019. She is an experienced senior leader and board member who has worked in a range of roles in the public, private and charitable sectors throughout her career whilst also leading services for Government relating to the criminal justice system and immigration. Prior to her appointment as the CEO Joanne held the roles of Chief Governance Officer and Deputy CEO.
She was awarded the Trusted Executive of the Year in 2022 and was the first female winner of this accolade since 2019.
Joanne currently holds a number of non-executive positions, including Chair of Governors for Kirkby High School and the Chair of Trustees for the homeless charity, Emmaus Merseyside; a role which also means she sits on the wider Trustee Board of Emmaus UK.
Joanne lives in Liverpool and is also a foster carer.
Penny Haughan, Vice-Chair of Governors
Penny is the Deputy Vice Chancellor & Provost at Liverpool Hope University, a role that she has undertaken since the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a number of senior leadership roles at LHU over the past 20 years, Penny has gained a great deal of experience as a strategic leader with a focus not just on the academic aspects of her role but also student support and experience.
Having begun her career in various academic posts in other universities across Merseyside, Penny was appointed as the Dean of Science & Social Sciences at Liverpool Hope in 2005 with responsibility for the strategic development of a range of subjects, reporting directly to the Vice Chancellor and playing a key role in the wider development of the institution. As Dean of Students and latterly, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Student Life & Learning, she has led the development and improvement of the student experience (pastoral and academic).
She is also responsible for external relations and corporate communications and led the redevelopment of the University’s quality assurance processes, achieving a TEF gold award.
Penny is a member of the University’s Council, Vice Chair of the University Senate and also sits on a range of other boards including estates and IT, operational leadership, academic committee. She is the founder and chair of the Voice for Student Support & Wellbeing Services Committee.
Externally Penny has been the Chair of Governors at a local community primary school, supporting them through two Ofsted inspections.
She lives in Warrington.
Carol is currently Group Head of Health, Safety & Environment at Cygnet Healthcare. She is a Chartered Health & Safety specialist with over 20 years of professional experience. For the last 15 years she has held senior, strategic leadership roles in a range of organisations in the housing, nuclear, marine, construction, education and healthcare sectors.
Within her leadership roles she has been responsible for designing and leading the implementation of health, safety and risk management policies and procedures. Through this, Carol has gained an in-depth understanding of regulation, compliance, reporting and risk management as well as Special Education Needs Development and safeguarding.
Carol is a former student of the College and lives in Liverpool.
Ali Mohammed Amirkhalili
Ali lives in West Kirby and is a director of ILA Consultancy. He is an experienced audit and risk management professional who began his career in academia as a tutor and lecturer in Scotland and Stoke-on-Trent before moving into industry.
Over the last few decades, Ali has held senior, strategic roles for a range of commercial organisations, including Boots, Alliance Boots (owners of the Boots and Halfords brands) and the Very Group.
He has a range of strategic expertise and has been responsible for the design and implementation of financial contract and risk systems that are used in 1700 individual stores in the UK and across Europe. Ali’s experience with the Very Group included the oversight of risk management in a £1.4Bn revenue company, its e-commerce platforms and their outsourced delivery provision.
Following a career break, Ali now provides consultancy support to a number of clients with a focus on audit and risk assessment.
Paul is the founder and chairman of Dalehurst Limited. He is an experienced & qualified CIMA finance professional and strategic leader, who has overseen the financial functions of a range of well-known organisations including Heinz, Wine Cellar and John West Foods as their finance director and/or CFO.
Through such roles, Paul has gained a range of strategic expertise and been instrumental in the turnaround and organisational restructuring of the Wine Cellar organisation. He has first hand experience of fostering new workplace cultures, having led the redesign of the organisational values and staff strategy of John West Foods.
After these senior commercial roles, Paul has established an affordable housing business based across Liverpool.
Paul has a range of board experience and led John West Foods Risk, Audit and ESG Committee, leading the organisation to become recognised for its sustainability efforts.
He lives near Crosby.
Karen is Chief Financial Officer at Maximus Minerals Ltd and Chief Financial Officer at Ensco 2308 Ltd. She is an experienced, qualified finance ICAEW professional, who also has expertise in risk management and fraud.
In her earlier career, Karen gained both domestic and international accounting experience with well-known organisations such as DHL and Johnson & Johnson before shifting her career focus into forensic accounting, fraud risk management and investigation. Through this work she gained experience of the education sector through her support of university and college clients.
Karen has since built a successful executive career over the last 13 years with a focus on internal audit as well as continuing the themes of fraud risk management and cyber security.
She is currently a non-executive member of the board of South Liverpool Homes and the University of Essex respectively, where she sits on the Audit & Risk Committees of both organisations.
Karen lives on the Wirral.
Philip is the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Student Experience), at Liverpool John Moores University, where he has held a number of senior roles since 2012. His subject background is sport, dance, physical and outdoor education.
Through his roles on the LJMU senior leadership team he has gained a wealth of strategic experience. Before being appointed as a Pro-Vice Chancellor he led the Centre for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL), the School of Education, Leisure and Sport Studies and the Faculty of Education, Health and Community.
Philip’s first project as PVC related to strategic initiatives, where he oversaw a £180m estates strategy, established new faculties and led successful Quality Assurance Agency reviews before taking on responsibility for the student experience. Philip has since helped LJMU achieve a grading of ‘Good’ in its Ofsted inspection, which included ‘Outstanding’ for Degree Apprenticeships as well as a Teaching Excellence Framework Silver award (Gold for student outcomes).
He lives in Liverpool.
My previous experience as a Student Governor and SU President at Wirral Met College is strongly motivating me to apply for the role of Governor. I see this role as an opportunity to contribute my skills and knowledge of further/higher education sector and utilise them in the betterment of the College’s learning and engagement. Through this role I can make a difference in the educational and training needs of our local community.
Through previous experiences and current role as the President of BioMedical Society at the University, I have developed excellent communication and mentoring skills. The position of College Governor will allow me to enhance further my strategic thinking and problem-solving skills in a live setting.
As a Student Governor I have gained practical experience of board level dynamics and decision making and developed strong evaluation skills. I am immensely passionate to serve as a Governor for the College as this position will allow me to learn from the Senior Executive Team and other members of the Board. It will also provide the opportunity to share ideas and find innovative solutions to enhance student learning and engagement, career progression and inclusion.
I have been in the Internal Audit profession for over 30 years primarily with MIAA and currently hold the position of Regional Assurance Director working from our Liverpool office.
MIAA provides Assurance and Advisory Services to the NHS across Cheshire and Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire and South Cumbria with over 60 core clients. MIAA also provides services to other public sector and third sector organisations, e.g. Charities, Local Authorities, Housing Associations etc.
Within my current role I am responsible for the overall delivery of audit plans to 17 NHS organisations supported by 4 Senior Audit Managers and a team of 14 directly employed auditors to whom I provide leadership and mentoring recognising that success can only be achieved with a strong team ethic. Our work culminates with the delivery of a Head of Internal Audit Opinion to each client to support the organisation’s statutory Annual Governance Statement which is a public facing declaration re: governance and control. I am also currently working with housing associations, social enterprises etc to provide assurance services. Whilst working within corporate policies and procedures my role is a senior leadership role which allows me to set the strategic direction of my region and via membership of the organisation’s Senior Leadership Team contribute positively to wider corporate direction.
I also directly deliver work to my clients and have developed a specialism in project assurance and supporting organisations in this role as they deliver major systems and infrastructure changes. Recent examples being supporting organisations in changes to key financial systems, patient administration systems and the delivery of major capital projects, e.g. new hospital builds etc.
17 years of experience within the property (commercial), development and regeneration industry on a nationwide basis. Good commercial skills and contacts within the business community. Born in Birkenhead and live in Heswall.
I am an experienced senior manager in Children’s Services at Wirral Council. I currently have strategic and managerial responsibility for two key post 16 service areas, (a) 14-19 services (including Apprenticeships) and (b) Adult Learning.
I am also responsible for the delivery of two large key strategic employment and skills programmes funded by ESF and DWP.
In addition to my work in the borough I also have a cross Liverpool City Region employment and skills remit, including chairing the LCR Participation and Skills Strategy Group. This group feeds into the Employment and Skills Board and LEP.
In terms of skills that may lead lend themselves to role as governor with the college I have the following; budget management and planning, commissioning and procurement, quality assurance in the context of learning and skills, curriculum planning (adult learning), project management etc.
Outside of my working life I have also been a serving school governor. I have been a school governor for over 6 years and have responsibility for the Curriculum and Standards Committee.
I would really welcome the opportunity to join the college as it travels on its journey to outstanding.
Gill Banks, Principal & CEO
I’m Gill Banks and I am the Principal and CEO.
I have been involved in education since the 1990s starting first as a teacher before moving into management and leadership roles at colleges across the Liverpool City Region and further afield. In 2014, I joined Knowsley Community College as Deputy Principal then Principal before being appointed interim CEO at Coventry College. For the past three years I have worked at the City of Liverpool College as the Deputy Principal. Prior to my career in education I worked for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and in the Travel and Tourism sector.
Phil Jones, Vice Principal of Quality
I'm Phil Jones. I started working for the College as an Assistant Principal for STEAM and was appointed as Vice Principal for Quality in 2019. I am a big advocate for apprenticeships, having started my career as an Apprentice Engineer. After completing my apprenticeship, I gained 18 years experience in the commercial vehicle industry before going on to work in further education.
Chrisine Carter, Vice Principal of Curriculum
I'm Chris Carter. I started my journey with the College as a 17 year old student and later returned in 2006 to complete my Certificate in Education whilst volunteering within the Childcare and Early Years department. As a huge advocate for the College and the values that it represents, I have progressed from a teaching role into various management positions and have since become a Vice Principal in Curriculum.
Kevin Williams, Vice Principal of Finance
I’m Kevin Williams. I bring a wealth of experience as a senior leader across education, health, social care, housing and regeneration sectors. Since entering the field of further education in 2014, I have provided permanent and interim consultancy support in many FE colleges including as Finance Director/Vice Principal at Knowsley Community College, Wigan & Leigh College, Craven College and West London College, as well as Interim Principal at Harrogate College.
Ste Bailey, Assistant Principal of Student Support & Foundation Learning
I'm Ste Bailey. I have worked in further education for over 20 years, initially teaching English, maths and employability to students with learning difficulties and disabilities before moving into management. I have previously worked in various roles in the NHS and voluntary sector, supporting adults with mental health difficulties, learning disabilities and physicial disabilities. My current role focuses on leadership responsibilities in all aspects of student support, foundation learning, safeguarding and equality, diversity and inclusion. I am most passionate about removing barriers and improving people's life chances and wellbeing through education.
Lesley Venables, Clerk to the Governors
Lesley is the Governance Professional at the College and has been in post since 2017. With over 25 years’ experience of governance and its associated disciplines, gained in the education sector, she has provided advice and support to a number of public and private sector organisations, working with boards and senior management to improve standards, raise aspirations and design and implement good governance practices.
She established her own corporate governance consultancy in October 2014 and has been engaged by a wide range of education providers throughout the UK, including primary, secondary, multi-academy trusts, university technical colleges, free schools, further education, universities and an awarding body. Her career includes a number of turnaround situations, where her expertise has made a significant contribution.
In addition to her role at Wirral Met College Lesley is also the Head of Governance at Walsall College in the West Midlands.
She is professionally qualified in FE governance, is a qualified company secretary and member of the Chartered Governance Institute and Institute of Leadership & Management.
Ryan Morris, Adminisrator to the Governors
Ryan has a dual role as the Administrator to the Governors and Finance Assistant, whilst also studying towards his ACCA Chartered Accountancy Qualification.
Amelia Jones, Student Governor
Amelia is in her second year at the College and is currently studying Level 3 Travel and Tourism.
On her appointment as Student Governor, Amelia said: "I’m excited to put the voice forward of my fellow students and create exciting opportunities for us all to get involved in. I’m particularly passionate about sport and I would like to provide more opportunities for students to keep active and try out new activities through the Students’ Union.”
Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Training in Education
Masters in Television Production
Bachelor's in Communications
Stephen Sewter joined Wirral Metropolitan College in 2014 having graduated with an undergraduate degree from the Liverpool University in Communications and his Masters in Television Production from University of Chester. He worked in numerous roles in education and the public sector and as a freelance camera operator and editor before pursuing his teaching qualification at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Beyond the classroom, he is an advocate of integrating of technology into learning.
Interests, Projects & Publications
Research interests include the impact of Ai on society, educational inequality and media representation.
Memberships with Professional Bodies
Society for Education and Training (SET)
Post Graduate Certificate in Education in the Lifelong Learning Sector
BA History and Sociology
Christian has over 10 years experience teaching adults on Further Education and Higher Education courses, from introduction courses up to final year of degree. His main teaching responsibility are on BA Sociology with Criminology (accredited by the University of Chester), where he teaches Year 2 and Year 3 modules, as well as supporting students through his role as a Personal Academic Tutor.
Interests, Projects & Publications
Christian's areas of sociological interests include social identities, subcultures, digital studies and sex work.