Meet the Local Governing Body Governors — Solihull Sixth Form College

Meet the Local Governing Body Governors

This is Solihull Sixth Form College’s Local Governing Body, with profiles on each governor.

Martin Sullivan

I am the Principal of Solihull Sixth Form College and am proud to lead an institution with such an inclusive culture, where staff and learners are cared for and their diversity celebrated.

I have been teaching since 1994, when I graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an Honors degree and PhD. It was during this time that I found my true passion for education. I have been in a leadership position since 1996 and a senior leader for over 17 years.

I have worked in post-16 education for the majority of my career. I am dedicated to ensuring that all students achieve their potential and committed to opening them up to all the opportunities that education can offer. I am particularly keen to improve the lives of students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Away from teaching, my hobbies include Rugby, Music and Films.

Colin Graham

I am Interim Chair of Solihull Sixth Form College Local Governing Body and a Trustee of Summit Learning Trust. I also chair the Trust Board’s Risk and Audit Committee.

As a trustee of Summit Learning Trust, I have been lucky enough to visit the College a few times and experience its unique atmosphere. I am so proud to take on the role of Chair. The College provides all learners with a supportive environment that allows them to fulfil their potential and leaves them superbly positioned to make the transition seamlessly into further education or work.

I have lived in Solihull for the past 25 years raising three daughters during this time. We are so lucky to live in such a great area that provides such good academic opportunities for our young people. As a high performing institution, the College plays a vital role for students across Solihull and surrounding areas, offering an incredible variety of subjects to all. Whatever areas you want to study, the College seems able to provide it.

I retired in 2021 after 35 years in financial services. I spent my career working in the UK and US specialising in M&A, business development & client management. I have an MA in Computer Science and an MBA in Finance. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am a bit of a fitness freak who also loves to travel, scuba dive and read when not entertaining my two small but very demanding dogs.

Sarah Baker

I have worked for SFE Music Services in Birmingham schools as a vocal coach and music specialist for nearly thirty years. During that time I have seen the vital importance of positive educational experiences and I have seen first-hand the pressures and demands that are placed on staff and students alike. I have been inspired by good teaching practise, and have worked in diverse schools which has given me a broad perspective of the different ways schools run and how this affects their learning outcomes. I was a member of the Staff Forum for SFE for a year and was able to contribute to policy making, as well as communicating between my colleagues and SLT, and believe this valuable experience further equips me for the role of parent governor at the College.

As a mum of four, I have significant experience from a parent’s perspective, and know how important it is that the learning environment is positive and affirming for everyone connected with it. With family experience of dyslexia, ADHD and ASD, I am particularly concerned that students with specific needs are cared for and supported. Inclusion and diversity are essential components of a thriving, supportive community.

Two of my children have attended Solihull Sixth Form College and I know that this period in a young person’s life is a crucial stepping-stone for creating opportunities in adult life. My eldest has gone on to study at PhD level and her experience at the College played a significant part in developing her academic rigour and self-esteem. I am grateful for the support and encouragement the College has given my teenagers, and am pleased to have the opportunity to make my own contribution in my role as Parent Governor.

Sandra Shingler

I am an accounting technician by profession and have worked in Finance with the Department of Education (DfE) since 2010. I am currently a Deputy Finance Business Partner for Academies and Maintained Schools in the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). I feel my experience as a Department for Education employee gives me an insight into education and financial funding within education settings. The DfE actively encourages staff to become Governors and I have their full support.

I was successfully elected as Parent Governor for the Local Governing Body at Solihull Sixth Form College in January 2019. As a parent of one former and one current Solihull Sixth Form College student, I speak to my children about their Sixth Form experience and pass on issues and praise from them to the LGB; which helps with governance and provides useful student feedback. I have enjoyed attending Local Governing Board (LGB) meetings as a Parent Governor and have reviewed board papers, challenged College Leaders, attended events in College and established productive working relationships with senior leaders and board members. I was therefore delighted to become a Trust Appointed Governor in January 2021 and to take on the important role of Safeguarding Link Governor.

Caroline Sweeney

I am the Staff Representative on the Solihull Sixth Form College Local Governing Body. During my 12 years at College, alongside being the SENDCo (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator), I have been Curriculum Leader for a variety of cross-College teams, including Academic Coaching, Student Development and Counselling. As SENDCo, I work closely with the College’s Exams Department and lead on Exams Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments for those students with SEND. I hold a Level 7 Diploma in Dyslexia Assessment and Intervention and am passionate about the importance of excellent education and learning opportunities for all.

I previously taught English at GCSE and A level and was Head of Sixth Form Centre at a large FE College. I have also been an examiner for both GCSE and A level English. Prior to entering teaching, I have been both a police officer and an Executive Officer in The Training and Enterprise Council and Learning and Skills Council, where I supported young people in accessing youth training and further education courses. It is a pleasure to be part of the LGB and to contribute to the strategic vision and continuous improvement of the College.

This position on the LGB allows me to understand the intricacies of what makes Solihull Sixth Form College such a good place to study and how I can contribute to maintaining its excellency and high results!

Angela Vossen

I am Managing Director of a large intradisciplinary health care clinic specialised in chronic pain which I founded with my husband. I direct and manage all non-clinical aspects of the business from operations to regulatory compliance, from HR to Marketing. Prior to founding and running our business I taught undergraduate Politics and Political Philosophy at the University of York. I was then a Senior Strategy Director working for bluechip advertising and marketing agencies in London on client accounts ranging from international charities and financial institutions to FMCG and retail accounts. During this time I won the Marketing Society Grand Prix for my agency’s work taking Green & Black’s from a niche organic brand to a premium grocery brand subsequently bought by Cadbury’s parent brand.

My son attended the College for two years during and after the pandemic, during which time he was diagnosed with additional needs. This gave me significant insight into the challenges faced by young people, their families, and schools and colleges, when mental health and additional needs requirements arise. I would very much like to continue to build on the excellent work the College already does in this area and support every young person in achieving their potential.

As the mother of 5 children (2 step-children) ranging from 10 to 20 years old, each with very unique personalities and learning styles, I also have experience of the ways in which many different schools and colleges have met their needs to a greater or lesser extent, and how they have engaged with parents. My career experience, from small business entrepreneurship to blue chip business strategy and client management, gives me practical knowledge about careers and the skills employers are looking for. I am an Ambassador for Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce. I am also a trained Parenting Group Leader and run parenting courses in the borough on behalf of the local parenting team.

I volunteer for Barnardos. I enjoy theatre and arts exhibitions, walking (with or without my two dogs), food and wine, and personal development. I am passionate about supporting young people and parents to achieve their personal potential and have beneficial family relationships. I attend courses, undertake personal development, and read widely around related topics.

Hana Mian

I am Chair of the Student Council and the Student Governor from Year 13.

As a current College student, I am excited to represent and speak for my peers as part of the LGB.

I am currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Geography A levels and hope to study Medicine at university.

I moved from a girls’ grammar school to Solihull Sixth Form College, and I am enjoying the independence that the College offers, along with the greater diversity in the student body.

Denisa Corlan

My name is Denisa Corlan and I am the Vice Chair of the Student Council and the student governor from Year 12.

I am looking forward to being a member of the Local Governing Body and driving the quality of provision for students and influencing the strategic direction of the College.

I am currently studying Mathematics, Psychology and Politics A Levels and hope to study Law or Psychology at University. I enjoy the opportunities and freedom that college brings and hope to make the most of my time here!