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. Sam has vast experience of working in the voluntary sector having been CEO at South Somerset Association for Voluntary & Community Action (SSVCA) for 10 years to 2016 and more recently as Operations Manager for a local mental health charity. Sam has helped steer both organisations through many changes.

Previous to this, 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 her local community; Sam was the Chairperson of her local village hall in Henstridge for over 7 years and is now Chairperson of the PTFA at her sons school; dedicated to community development and championing the good work of the voluntary sector.

As a Governor, Sam is particularly interested in ensuring the safeguarding and wellbeing of our students and how the college can support students with additional needs to integrate more easily.

Ken Comber (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 recently retired as the Head of Communities at Yarlington Housing Group. Before that role at Yarlington, Ken was the Assistant Director for Corporate Services; in charge of HR, IT, Legal and Health & Safety teams. Prior to that he was an Audit Manager for many years.

Ken now works part-time at the Hub, a charity in Yeovil that provides employment and independence for people with learning disabilities and autism and that supports them to live full, active and meaningful lives.

Ken has lived in Somerset nearly all his life and in Yeovil for the last 31 years. He enjoys watching football and is Chair of Chard Watch CIC which supports adults who, because of such issues as mental health, homelessness, drug and/or alcohol misuse, are socially isolated and face barriers within their community and surrounding areas.

Jacquie Dean (Chair of the Search and Governance Committee) :

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 understanding of the communities served by Yeovil College. She was admitted as an Honorary Fellow of Yeovil College in 2004 and became Chair of the Board of Yeovil College 5 years ago. ‘The quality of the training and education the College offers to our students and the part the college plays at the heart of the community is paramount. Our students never fail to impress with their successes both locally and nationally.’

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.

Lee Harwood :

As a lifelong resident of Yeovil and a former pupil of the College Lee was thrilled to be asked to join the Corporation in June 2018. Lee is Finance Director at Bradfords Building Supplies and prior to that has held a number of senior finance roles in the construction industry. Before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he also served in the Royal Navy as a Warfare Office for 8 years. Lee enjoys spending time with his young family, supporting Yeovil Town Football Club, coaching his sons’ football team and running ultramarathons.

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.

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.

Sam Leigh

Sam is a member of the Executive Board at Yarlington Housing Group and is responsible for all of the customer services and operations that serve the 23000 customers across Somerset, Bristol and the South West. Sam has been in the housing sector for 3 years and has recently taken Yarlington through a significant business transformation programme, which has enabled the move to a digital proposition for both customers and colleagues.

Prior to this Sam has over 30 years of experience within the private sector; holding executive positions at Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Barclays Bank. Sam’s career spans across leading large scales teams both onshore and offshore in strategic operations, as well as leading significant organisational change and business transformation programmes which in turn drove large scale improvements in customer experience, financial performance and regulatory requirements.

Sam is the founder and Trustee of the HLF charity that supports young transgender people and their families. She is also a Board member of i2a, a business located in Yeovil that supports people back into work through training and support.

Sam is local to Yeovil having lived in the area for 40 years and having members of her family attend the college. She is clear that education is the key to people having choice and social mobility at all ages and is delighted to have joined the Corporation.

Netta Meadows :

Netta joined the Corporation in June 2018 and brings over 18 years of public sector experience. After finishing her Law degree (LLB Hons) in 1999 Netta started her career in Local Government; working initially in Social Care, where she put in place services for both vulnerable adults and children. She has worked on large scale change projects, as well as developing a shareholder function within the public sector. She has worked for a number of Local Authorities in the South West, undertaking roles in commissioning, procurement, service improvement and change management. Netta is currently the Director of Strategy & Support Services for South Somerset District Council where she is responsible for strategic planning, performance, communications, projects/programmes finance, HR, Legal, ICT and democratic services.

Netta has lived all her life in the South West, and moved to Somerset 20 years ago. She is involved in community initiatives that raise money for local charities, and loves to travel.

David Mills :

David is Chief Operating Officer of Yeovil Town Football Club and is also Chairman of Yeovil Town Community Sports Trust.

He is keen to help build awareness of the impressive range of the College’s activities by using his experience in business, marketing and community relations – skills built up during three decades in the shopping centre industry. David is a former Chairman of Yeovil Town Ladies FC. In this role helped Yeovil successfully bid for a place in the Women’s Super League and to win four major national FA Awards. Living in Yeovil, David has long been an advocate for the Town and has previously been Chairman of Yeovil Town Centre Partnership and President of Yeovil Chamber of Trade.

David was appointed to the Corporation in October 2017.

Jagtar Ner (Vice Chair of the Audit Committee) :
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.

Scott Roy (Chair of the Remuneration Committee) :

After a 40 year career in the Aerospace Industry, Scott retired as Managing Director of Aerosystems International Ltd (BAE Systems) in 2010. Scott has been a Governor at Yeovil College since 2005. He is a Trustee of the Motivation Charitable Trust and a Director of CME Ltd, a locally based manufacturing business creating innovative automation solutions.

Peter Thomas (Vice-Chair of The Corporation, Chair of the Quality and Assurance Committee, 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.