Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Meet Our Leadership Team - Sandwell College

Ken Ellis
Chair of the Governing Board

Ken Ellis, Chair of Governors, speaking from lectern

Ken is a retired Sandwell Head Teacher. During his career Ken has worked in a number of teaching roles and has extensive educational experience particularly in the schools sector, as well as serving on a number of governing bodies. Ken joined the Board of Governors in August 2015 and serves as Chair of the Board of Governors and as a Chair of the Learners, Quality and Curriculum Committee and is a member of the Finance & Strategy Committee, Remuneration Committee and Search and Governance Committee. Ken is the Safeguarding Link Governor.

Graham Pennington
Principal & Chief Executive

Graham Pennington Principal

Graham holds a BSc Hons and MSc in Economics, is a qualified accountant and has over 25 years’ experience of the FE sector working in a variety of roles, previously as Senior Vice Principal and then as Deputy Chief Executive of Salford City College, one of the largest colleges in Greater Manchester. Graham was part of the leadership team that successfully undertook a three-college merger in Salford to form the new Salford City College. Graham was instrumental in the creation of the Salford City College Academy Trust and chaired the Trust from its inception until leaving the College to take up the post of Principal at Sandwell College in 2014. As Principal & Chief Executive Graham has worked with the Governors and the Senior Leadership team to improve quality, recognised by Ofsted in 2017 when the college was graded as ‘Good’. He has successfully led the development of the College’s ambitious growth plans, increasing the number of young people who learn and train at the college exponentially. He has led the successful merger with Cadbury Sixth Form College, secured a wide range of valuable strategic partnership opportunities for the college and established an on-going sound financial base on which its further development can thrive.

David Holden

David Holden Vice Principal

David is a qualified teacher and has a degree in Economics as well as an MSc in Management from Aston University. David has almost 30 years’ experience in the FE sector working at a range of different colleges in a wide variety of roles; he has held senior leadership roles as Assistant Principal and then Vice Principal and has managed and developed curriculum at a large inner city college, South Birmingham and Hastings College, as well as Sandwell College. David has extensive and successful experience of curriculum management and quality improvement. David was the College’s Ofsted nominee at the last inspection; the College achieving an improvement from Ofsted to a Good rating. David also led on the recent successful merger with Futureskills, the Local Authority’s Apprenticeship arm. David is currently leading on the College’s Academy Trust programme.

Julia Stevens

Julia Stevens Campus Principal

Julia is an Ofsted Inspector and has worked within Further Education for over 20 years. She has experience as a teacher of both A Levels and Vocational subjects in both Computing and Information Technology. Julia has worked at manager and director level, before becoming Centre Principal for Cadbury Campus. She also brings a depth of experience in teacher training and management development courses. Prior to beginning her teaching career Julia worked for several multinational companies in both technical and managerial roles. She has a degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Information Technology.

Dr. Matt Lamb
Central Saint Michael’s Campus Principal

Matt Lamb Campus Principal

Matt is the Centre Principal for Central Saint Michael’s and has led the Sixth Form Centre from its set-up in 2012 to its current success welcoming over 900 students and securing its reputation for quality. Matt has been teaching for over 20 years in colleges and universities and has been a highly successful manager leading both academic and vocational provision. Matt was educated at Universities in Bristol, Birmingham, London, Worcester and Oxford, has an honours degree in Politics and History, and several higher degrees including a PhD. As well as teaching Matt is involved in politics as local councillor, cabinet member and parliamentary candidate.

Simon Griffiths
Executive Director of Strategy & Development

Simon Griffiths Executive Director

Simon joined Sandwell College in 2016 to work in a range of projects and innovations across curriculum areas including leading on the College’s merger proposals for Cadbury Sixth Form College. Simon works with our external stakeholders including the ESFA, WMCA, LEPs, Chambers and Local Authorities to position the College so we are able to support their strategies and to access grant funding to develop our infrastructure. Prior to joining the College, Simon graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA (Hons) in Geography and entered the Civil Service working for the Department for Education for 19 years, most recently as the Regional Director for Post-16 Education in the West Midlands and brings extensive policy and political knowledge to the College.

Becky Beaty
Executive Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development

Becky Beaty Executive Director

Becky is responsible for Human Resources and Organisational Development and joined the College in 2018 having served the education and skills sector in both public and private sector settings for over 12 years in a range of senior HR roles. Initially specialising in recruitment and people development she is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, holds an honours degree in French & Linguistics, a Masters’ degree in Human Resource Management and is licensed to practice the delivery of psychometric testing and profiling.

Roland Barrett-Price
Director of Estates, Development & Capital Projects

Roland Barrett-Price Director

Roland Barrett-Price BSc (Hons) MCIOB is responsible for the Estates and Facilities operations, including the Estates strategy and Capital development plan and its delivery for the College Group. He has over 25 years’ leadership experience, managing operations, people and projects within both the private and public sectors. Prior to joining the College, Roland worked for major residential developers, construction contractors, and as a real estate and construction consultant for a number of Midland-based Universities, providing expertise in capital delivery and procurement, having devised and delivered Estates Masterplans valued in excess of £400m. Roland was educated to degree level in Nottingham and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Building.

Roxana Pal
Director of Funding, Data & Examinations

Roxana Pal Director

Roxana joined Sandwell College in 2013 as Director of Funding, Information Services and Examinations and has overall responsibility for all MIS functions and is responsible for ensuring full compliance on data returns made to external funders. She has 15 years’ experience of working in the FE sector, in various MI related functions. Prior to joining the FE sector, Roxana trained in modern foreign languages and worked in local government and private industry outside the UK.

Nargis Bostan
Assistant Principal

Nargis Bostan Associate Principal

Nargis joined the college in 2012, and she is responsible for Early Years, Computing, Business, Hair and Beauty. Nargis started her career in ESOL and Early Years. Currently Nargis chairs the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee and makes an immense contribution to supporting staff and students. Her external roles include Director of RES Rights and Equality Sandwell, Vice-Chair of IMAN Interfaith Muslim Action Network. Nargis is also Chair of Governors of Shireland Hall Primary Academy & George Betts Primary Academy.

Angela Tombs
Assistant Principal

Angela Tombs Assistant Principal

Angela started with the college in 2012 as the Head of Department for Creative Industries and Performing Arts. She went on to manage a number of other curriculum areas before moving into Student Services. She has a long and varied career, starting in the NHS as a Nurse; studying Fine Art and for a Masters in Art and Design History; working in the Arts then teaching in both HE and FE over the last 26 years. She is happiest when supporting learners to achieve their potential and was delighted when the College received an Outstanding from Ofsted in 2022 for Personal Development and Behaviour and Attitudes. Her team are passionate about removing the barriers to learning faced by our young people.

Rachael Aston
Assistant Principal

Rachael Aston

Rachael joined the College in 2019 as Director of Quality, working across its multiple sites with Curriculum and Professional Support Teams. She started her career in a large Further Education College in 2001 as a full-time teacher and over her 20+ years of working in the sector has successfully led Quality, Teaching and Learning and Curriculum Teams in various leadership roles. Rachael has a proven track record for operationally and strategically leading quality improvement activity to achieve positive impact on the learner journey and has worked closely with Awarding Organisations for over 15 years as Quality Nominee, Specification Writer, Centre Quality Reviewer and External Quality Assurer.

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