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A native of Middlesex, Ro came to Devon in 1964. She is married to a local farmer and they have three adult sons, one of whom attended the College’s Food and Fashion Department. Three grandchildren have also benefitted greatly from time spent at Petroc.
Ro was elected as a Parish and District Councillor in 1976, serving 15 years on the North Devon District Council and 27 years on the Fremington Parish Council.
She chaired a number of NHS organisations both locally, Devon wide and nationally for 26 years, between 1980 and 2006.
Ro’s other interests include being a member of the Westward Group Board, Church activities (she is currently churchwarden of St. Mary’s Bideford), equine sports, choral singing and is an enthusiastic member and past President of the Rotary Club of Barnstaple.
Interim Governance Advisor
Jane joined Petroc (North Devon College) in 1996 and was one of the first non-teaching members of SMT. Prior to retirement Jane was the longest serving member of the current SMT, she has been through two full Ofsted inspections, one monitoring and one short inspection. Before joining Petroc, Jane worked for Devon library services as Head of Administration and took her administration qualifications at Petroc.
During her time at Petroc she has held Senior Management roles in a variety of non-teaching roles, including Corporate Services (department administration, funding, registry, rooming and exams), College Information Services, Human Resources, Estates, Customer Services, Risk Management, Audit and was Head of the Brannams Campus.
In her spare time, Jane can mostly be found spending time with her grandchildren, and reading. Jane also loves to travel, especially weekend breaks to European cities.
Principal and Chief Executive
Diane joined Petroc in November 2011 as Vice Principal/Director for Finance and Funding and was appointed Principal in 2015.
Diane is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) and was elected to the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) board from January 2018. She started her career with Deloitte and has held senior finance roles in private sector engineering and service companies.
Diane has worked in the education sector since 1997, when she qualified as a teacher, with a PGCE in Mathematics. Diane has experience of teaching on a wide range of programmes including industry focused qualifications such as Accounting Technician (AAT), HND/C in Business and CIMA. Prior to joining Petroc, Diane was Finance Director at New College Swindon; she has also worked for two of the Government’s Further Education funding agencies.
Born in Buckinghamshire, Lindy moved to Bideford as a child, attending local schools. After leaving school, she joined TE Connectivity formally known as Tyco Electronics and AMP of Great Britain where she progressed, over a 20 year period, from shop floor to Plant Manager.
A former student of the college, Lindy gained her qualifications whilst working full time.
In 2013, Lindy joined Condition Monitoring Group (CMG) based in Torrington as Operations Manager. Through both TE Connectivity and CMG Lindy has a long relationship with the College with both firms using the College for Engineering Apprenticeships, Business and Leadership Development.
Lindy is an active member of the North Devon Manufacturers Association and is a local STEM Ambassador. Married with two boys aged 13 and 10 she enjoys supporting them in their chosen sports and volunteers as a race Commissaire with British Cycling. Other interests include a lifelong love of horsemanship and skiing holidays with the family.
Academic Staff Governor
Lee started his working life in the Royal Signals serving in both the UK and Germany before moving back to North Devon. He then worked in various employment such as Jewellery repairs and Beach Lifeguarding before completing a level 3 Music Technology Diploma at North Devon College and a BA (Hons) Degree in Music Production at Leeds College of Music. He then went on to work as a sound engineer before becoming a Lecturer at the college and has now been employed at Petroc for the past 10 years.
His current role sees him teaching Music Technology and Performance related subjects between Level 2 and Level 6 as well as being involved as a school liaison with all the feeder schools' Music Departments. He has a strong passion for music and has been an active musician playing in various bands throughout his adult life and enjoys seeing student’s progress through the college and into the working world of which some have now become successful musicians, technicians and music managers. He has also enjoyed watching the progression of the Factory from its humble beginnings to become an 800 capacity venue, which is not only one of the biggest working venues in the South West giving students a unique working experience, it is also a facility where young people in a remote area can access and learn all about the industry they want to progress in without having to move to a City.
Lee’s interests include producing music, playing gigs, surfing and surf life saving and he maintains his Beach lifeguard qualification so he can help out with coaching on surf ski’s whenever possible. He currently lives in Barnstaple is married and has three boys that will soon be applying for courses at Petroc.
Kevin moved to Devon from the South East in 1986 to work with Mid Devon District Council. A Cockney by birth, the move to the West Country was the 7th council Kevin had worked for. During 30 years with Mid Devon Kevin carried out a number of different organisational and management roles, culminating with 5 years as Chief Executive.
Other roles and interests include trustee and treasurer for Devon Communities Together, Tiverton Rotary Club, travelling and walking. Kevin is married with 6 grown up children and one grandchild.
Dr Ruth Williams moved to the South West in 1973 to study for a degree in Chemistry at Exeter University. She went on to gain a doctorate in chemistry from Exeter and was then employed first as a researcher and academic in Chemistry, moving into Adult Education in the 1988 where she led the development of Exeter University Access to Higher Education courses in Science and Technology, in partnership with the Further Education sector including Exeter, Cornwall and Weymouth Colleges. In 1991, she joined the academic staff of the Open University to manage the delivery of their science programme in the South West region (some 2000 students and 100 tutors) and to contribute to the production of new modules in chemistry and analytical sciences. She continued active research in collaboration with Exeter University until the closure of their Chemistry department in 2005.
More recently, as Programme Director for Analytical Sciences, she was responsible for the development of work based learning modules in analytical sciences, involving employers including South West Water in the design of these modules. She is a Fellow of both the Higher Education Academy, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). Ruth has served as an external examiner for Plymouth University (BSc Chemistry) and Staffordshire University (BSc Forensic Science), and was a governor on the Board of Somerset College until the College’s recent merger with Bridgwater College.
Iain lives in Braunton, is married to Merry and they have two sons. He currently leads the Strategy and Performance Team at North Devon Homes, and before that he worked for the University of Exeter and the National Foundation for Educational Research. He is a passionate believer in the transformative power of education and is keen to continue to contribute to education in the place he lives. Iain is also a musician who has released a couple of albums, and gigs regularly in a band. He enjoys surfing and cycling and is also a member of Croyde Baptist Church.
Jenny was born in North Devon and studied A-levels and Business Studies at North Devon College (now Petroc). After a brief spell in the private sector, she joined North Devon Council and then moved onto Torridge District Council where she qualified as an accountant. She is now Head of Paid Service, known elsewhere as Chief Executive. Jenny is keen to provide young people of the area with the same opportunity she has had to live and work in North Devon.
David has spent most of his life working in media, starting with selling advertising space and ending up running commercial operations across Asia Pacific for the Economist Group. He studied German and Law at Edinburgh University and used that grounding to move into business – this is why he is passionate about education. David co-founded The Kaleidoscope Trust – a charity which lobbies for LGBT rights – and is a trustee of North Devon Sunrise and sits on Fremington Parish Council. In his spare time he loves walking his dog, Archie, on the beach.
Safeguarding Support Staff, Level 3 Trained in Safeguarding and Child Protection, North Devon campus.
Telephone: 01271 852494
Dr Steve Richardson
Steve lived in Essex until attending university at St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in London, where he completed an intercalated BSc Honours course in Physiology in addition to his medical degrees. He has worked for short periods of time in Bangladesh and Israel. In 1977 he took an 18 month break from clinical medicine to become the first full-time Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship Traveling Secretary to medical schools in UK and Eire. After specialising in Paediatrics, in 1983 he and his wife Elaine moved to Malawi to live and work for 6 years, initially as school doctor in Kamuzu Academy (nicknamed “The Eton of Africa”), then as Public Health Doctor for an agricultural project, and finally as Lecturer in Community Health at Lilongwe School for Health Services and Consultant Paediatrician at Kazmuzu Central Hospital.
The family returned to the UK in 1989 for Steve to complete an MSc in London. They have lived in Essex, Staffordshire, Gibraltar and Bristol. Steve took up a Consultant Paediatric post at the North Devon District Hospital in 1992, where he looked after children and young people with cancer and leukaemia. For the last 20 years he has developed skills in medical aspects of developmental disorders (such as autism and ADHD), adoption and fostering; and in child protection and safeguarding. He retired from medical practice in 2016.
Steve and Elaine have two adult children, both of whom attended North Devon College; and two grandchildren. They are active members of Grosvenor Church and are home-group leaders. Steve’s interests and hobbies include choral singing (classical, barbershop and folk), theatre, family history and fishing.
Originally from Maidstone, Kent, Chris attended St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School in Bristol and Plymouth University where he studied Computing and Informatics.
Chris has worked in the Financial Service and Telecoms industries and is currently Director of Customer Experience at BT. Chris has worked at Orange, EE and BT for 17 years and has held a number of senior positions including Director of Service Management, Senior Business Partner and Head of Tools and Technology, all with a Technology focus. Chris is also a member of the BT Board for the South West of England.
Outside EE / BT, Chris is a board member of the Open Roads Community fostering Digital Transformation across the telecoms industry and until recently was a board member of ITSMF, the industry body for IT Service Management.
Chris and his family have lived in North Devon for 5 years.
Mark was born and educated in the South West before joining the British Army in 1985. Mark served 24 years in the regular Army, spending the first ten years in Aldershot as an operational detachment commander. He then transferred into the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, working as an outdoor education instructor in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Canada and North Devon.
On leaving the regular Army Mark moved to the Middle East with his family, working for the Ministry of Education as a regional training manager in the United Arab Emirates. After several years working abroad Mark returned to North Devon and a position with the Reserve Army as a recruitment officer.
Mark is a great believer and supporter of life-long learning. Over the years Mark has attended several courses at Petroc including Plumbing and Building. Academically, Mark Studied Sports Science at Manchester University in the mid 90s, and since returning to the UK has completed an MSc in Human Resource Management and is currently studying for an MA in Educational Leadership and Management with the University of Nottingham.
With the aim of ‘escaping to the country’ Maxine recently moved from the South East to North Devon. She is thoroughly enjoying settling into her new life and exploring all that the county has to offer. Maxine started her working life in investment banking in the City of London before moving on to working in the education sector.
For the past 15 years Maxine worked for a large Academy in Hertfordshire and in recent years was the Head of Year 13, a role she was very proud to hold and is keen to continue to contribute to education. At the Academy Maxine was a Designated Safeguarding Officer and, in particular, supported the learner mentoring and mental health provision. Also, she developed the Post-18 Information, Advice and Guidance opportunities on offer to support the Young People with making aspirational destination choices. Maxine now works for the Education Centre at RMB Chivenor.
Married with two sons, in her spare time Maxine enjoys walking, reading and researching her ancestry. She also loves to travel especially touring with her caravan many areas of the UK and Europe.
Student Union Governor
Abbey is on the Business with Enterprise programme at our North Devon Campus. She is a former Ilfracombe Academy student, and lives just outside Barnstaple.
After completing her course at Petroc, Abbey hopes to go to a specialist college to pursue a career in agriculture, after being inspired by her surroundings at home in Kentisbury.
Alongside her studies, Abbey is actively involved in the #iwill campaign, which brings together hundreds of organisations from all sectors to embed meaningful social action into the lives of young people across the UK.
Abbey would like to invite students to get in contact with her if they have any questions or issues they would like her to raise.
Posted 2 days ago