Corporation of Yeovil College

Further education colleges are incorporated bodies which are each controlled by a corporation (also referred to as a governing body or board of governors). A corporation is a collective, strategic decision-making body which is responsible for:

  • determining the educational character and mission of the college;
  • overseeing college activities;
  • ensuring the effective and efficient use of college's resources, the solvency of the college and the safeguarding of its assets;
  • the appointment, pay and conditions of The Principal, other Senior Post Holders and the Clerk; plus setting a framework for the pay and conditions of all other staff
  • publishing arrangements for obtaining views of staff and students on a range of matters.


The Corporation of Yeovil College has a determined membership of sixteen, including two staff Governors and two student Governors. All Governors are unpaid volunteers recruited from the communities which the College serves. The Corporation works closely with the Principal, other Senior Post Holders and College Managers.


Sam Best (Safeguarding Lead Governor) :

Sam joined the Corporation in July 2013 and became the Lead Safeguarding Governor in October 2015. CEO at South Somerset Association for Voluntary & Community Action (SSVCA) between 2006 and 2016, Sam has helped steer the organisation through many changes.


Sam has over 20 years experience in the public sector mainly working within the disability and mental health fields; supporting individuals back into paid work and specialising in access for disabled people in the work place. She has also been Managing Director of her own property development company. Actively involved in the voluntary sector and community development in South Somerset for over 12 years; Sam was the Chairperson of her local village hall in Henstridge for over 7 years and is dedicated to community development and championing the good work of the voluntary sector.

As a Governor Sam is particularly interested to learn more about how the college can support students with additional needs and how we can encourage those who find it hard to navigate the further education system, to integrate more easily.



Ken Comber (Vice Chair of the Audit Committee)

Ken was appointed as a Governor at the beginning of January 2016 and for a number of years prior to this he served as a co-opted member of the Corporation’s Audit Committee. Ken is the Head of Communities at Yarlington Housing Group. Before his current role at Yarlington, Ken was the Assistant Director for Corporate Services, in charge of HR, IT, Legal and Health & Safety teams. Before that he was an Audit Manager for many years. Ken has lived in Somerset nearly all his life and in Yeovil for the last 28 years. He enjoys watching football and is a season ticket holder at Yeovil Town FC.


Jacquie Dean (Chair of the Corporation) :

Prior to retirement, Jacquie was Deputy Chairman Northcliffe Newspapers and the Managing Director of Western Gazette Media. A career in regional media, particularly in Dorset and Somerset gave her an intimate understanding of the communities served by Yeovil College. Living in Martock, Jacquie spent 10 years in local Government, was involved in local amateur dramatics and founder Chair of the local tennis club. She was a member of the fundraising committee for the building of the Yeovil Hospice and was involved in fundraising for Yeovil Hospital. She is a season ticket holder at Yeovil Town Football Club. She went to school in Yeovil and attended Yeovil College in the mid-1960s. She was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of Yeovil College in 2004. In retirement, her interests revolve around her family, particularly her grandchildren, walking and gardening.

‘I became a Governor of Yeovil College and its University Centre in 2009 and have been Chair for 3 years. As my knowledge of the Sector has grown, so has my enthusiasm. The quality of the training and education the College offers to our students, their overall college experience and the part the college plays at the centre of the community is paramount. The college is fortunate in having a Chief Exec and Management team of the highest calibre and a dedicated and highly skilled staff. The close relationship with our many business stakeholders and local government has undoubtedly helped the development of the College. Our students never fail to impress with their successes both locally and nationally. I am very proud to be involved in your local College’.


John Evans (Principal) :

John has been Principal of Yeovil College since January 2014. After graduating from Garnett College, Roehampton with a Cert Ed, John embarked on his career in Further Education, starting as a lecturer in Motor Vehicle training at Farnborough College, Hampshire and then continuing on to a similar role at Bridgwater College in 1989. John went on to successfully develop the College Motor Vehicle department before becoming Head of Technology at South Devon College in 2003. His previous role was as Vice Principal of Swindon College. John was instrumental in developing and leading continued improvements at all three colleges, which were later rated "Outstanding" by Ofsted. In February 2013, John as nominee led Swindon College to become the first college in the country to be awarded all grade 1s for all aspects of the new Ofsted Common Inspection Framework. John's passion is delivering innovative teaching and learning and ensuring all learners have an outstanding experience. He has spoken at numerous national conferences on how to become an outstanding college. He has also taken on the additional role as an Ofsted inspector across the country since 2011.

John, who was born in Bridgwater and has lived most of his life in Somerset, feels he has a close connection to the area and understands the role that an inspiring and outstanding college can play in the local and business community.


Dave Gladding

Dave is a retired Somerset County Councillor and former member of South Somerset District and Yeovil Town Councils. He has been a Governor of Yeovil Hospital, Chair of Somerset County Council Pensions Committee and a member of the Exmoor National Park Authority. He read Economics at University College London and served with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment. Retired from a civil service career based in Whitehall (with the Board of Trade, Department of Transport and HM Treasury), Dave enjoys walking, reading, painting and military history. He is married to Linda Jones and has two children and five grandchildren.





Mark Lawrence (Secondary Education Lead Governor) :

Mark was appointed as a Governor in September 2016 and became the Lead Governor for Secondary Education. Mark has worked at Buckler’s Mead Academy since 2002 and has served in a number of positions, including Geography classroom teacher, Year Coordinator and Head of Subject. When Buckler’s Mead School became an Academy in 2011, Mark joined the Senior Leadership team as an Assistant Head teacher, and currently holds the role of Deputy Head teacher with responsibility for Key Stage Four.

Mark was born in Yeovil and raised in Crewkerne, and has stayed close to his roots in the South West. Mark’s interests include Sport and Film, and he spends most of his spare time with his young family.


Debbie Matthewson (Equality and Diversity Lead Governor) :

Debbie joined the Corporation in March 2015 and became the Lead Equality and Diversity Governor in October 2015.

Originally from Hampshire, Deb moved to Somerset with her husband due to job relocations and has now lived in the area for 27 years.

As the Head of Education and Training at Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Deb has a particular interest in work based learning and developing the skills of all learners, opening up access to higher education.

Deb has worked closely with City and Guilds developing new qualifications and linking with other employers to encourage apprenticeships in the local area, supporting smaller business in the sector of health and care access learning and development for their staff.


Jagtar Ner :

Jagtar has been co-owner and director of Yeovil based Intelligent Enterprise Products since April 2011. IEP specialises in cloud based software systems. He has been a Corporation committee member since March 2014. Jagtar graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering in 1988 and moved to Yeovil to work as a Software Engineer with Aerosystems International, now part of global defence company BAESystems. During his 22 years, Jagtar held many roles including project management and sales and travelled extensively. Jagtar is married with two children and is heavily involved in local charities close to his heart.


Paul Roy (Lead Governor Finance and Chair of the Audit Committee) :

Following graduation in Accounting & Finance from the University of West London in 1989, Paul began his career working in Financial Services for companies such as Abbey National, GE Capital & Aon. He moved with his family to Somerset in 2002 and joined Screwfix eventually becoming Director of Finance.

Paul was appointed as a Governor in 2016 and recently as Chair of the Audit Committee.

Paul enjoys any form of sport, both playing and watching. He is married with one teenage daughter and loves travelling to as many far flung destinations as time and finances allow!


Scott Roy (Chair of the Remuneration Committee) :

Scott retired as Managing Director of Aerosystems International Ltd in 2009. He holds a First Class BSc in Electrical Engineering and began his career at GEC Avionics in 1968, where he was involved with the design and development of flight control systems. He later worked for Computing Devices of Canada and Westland Helicopters. Scott has been a Governor at Yeovil College since 2005. He is actively involved with the Yeovil Innovation Centre and chairs the Strategy Board. Scott enjoys adventurous holidays, walking and community involvement.



Peter Thomas (Vice-Chair of The Corporation and Teaching and Learning Lead Governor) :

A former Vice-Principal of a Further Education College in Essex, Peter retired to Somerset in 2007 with friends to form a small community and create a garden which has been opened to the public under the National Gardens Scheme since 2012, raising money for charity. He was appointed as a Governor at Yeovil College in December 2008, served as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee for several years, and is now the Lead Governor for Teaching and Learning. He became Vice Chair of the Corporation in July 2015. Peter joined the South Somerset Citizens Advice Bureau as a Trustee in 2013.