This is Solihull Sixth Form College’s Local Governing Body, with profiles on each governor.
Jonathan Bridges (Chair)
I am Chair of Solihull Sixth Form College Local Governing Body and a Trustee of Summit Learning Trust. I am proud to work with the staff and students of this special place to do our best to ensure that everyone here has the aspiration, commitment to invest and respect for each other needed to fulfil their potential as learners and citizens. Our results show we are a high performing college and we are committed to learning, developing and improving as a college community to deliver more for our students in future.
I studied at the College in the early 1980’s and my son spent two happy and successful years as a student much more recently. Whilst he attended, I became a Parent Governor and after the College joined Summit Multi-Academy Trust I joined the Board of Trustees, providing a link between the College and the Trust leadership groups. I also Chair the Trust Board’s Risk and Audit Committee.
I retired from my career as a director in a major UK engineering company 3 years ago and when not active on College or Trust business I enjoy walking in the more remote parts of the UK and spending time with my family. I hold an honorary Research Fellowship at Bradford University in the Faculty of Engineering & Informatics and occasionally co-author research papers with more energetic colleagues.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I am the Student Governor on the LGB. I am the Chair of the Student Council and a large part of my role involves liaising between staff members and students. I express opinions in the view of the students, to ensure their thoughts are heard.
I am currently in Year 13 and am studying A level Law, History and Psychology. I find all of these subjects really interesting and they have prepared me with the skills necessary to advance to university.
I aspire to become a lawyer working within human rights in the future, and have applied to study Jurisprudence (Law) at Oxford in 2023.
I am Vice Chair of the Student Council and the Student Governor from Year 12. 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.