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The Corporation comprises 18 members, one of whom is a member of staff (elected by the staff) and two who are student members (elected by Student Representatives). The Principal and Chief Executive is also a governor.

The external members (those other than the Principal and staff and student members) are drawn from a wide variety of community, business and professional interests.

Current board and committee memberships

Martin Cumella (Chair of the Corporation)

Member of the Finance & Resources Committee

  • Trustee of The Learning Revolution Trust
  • Managing Director of MCA Consulting
  • Former Senior Director of the Tribal Group
  • Founder and Chair of the Tribal Foundation

Paul Stephen (Principal & CEO)

  • Over 10 years in the FE sector, prior to which he was a Corporate Finance partner at Deloitte LLP
  • Treasurer, Youth United Foundation since 2013
  • Former senior post holder in three London FE Colleges, 2010-2017
  • Former Trustee, Howard of Effingham School, 2012-2016

David Surdeau

Vice chair of the Corporation and chair of the Finance & Resources Committee

  • Currently Interim CFO, Marks & Spencer plc
  • A vast array of senior financial experience, comprising leadership management in mergers and acquisitions
  • Group Planning, Treasury and Tax Director at Tesco plc
  • Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Homeplus and Tesco Polska
  • European Finance Director - Central Europe (Poland, Hungary, Czech Replublic and Slovakia)
  • MBA, FCMA and BA (Hons) Economics

Cllr. James Beckles

Member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee and Student Consultative Forum

  • Cabinet Member for Crime & Community Safety, London Borough of Newham
  • Project Executive, Ipsos Mori
  • Policy Officer (Education), General Pharmaceutical Council
  • Compliance Inspector, Care Quality Commission

Claire Helman

Member of the Curriculum & Quality Committee

  • CEO of Aston-Mansfield, a Newham based charity supporting children, young people and families

Lloyd Johnson

Chair of Staff Voice and member of Audit & Risk Committee and Student Consultative Forum

  • Trustee, Learning Revolution Trust
  • Chair, Newham Chamber of Commerce
  • Operations Consultant of a large franchise restaurant

Cllr. Revd. Quintin Peppiatt

Chair of Quality & Curriculum Committee

  • Trustee of the Learning Revolution Trust since 2018
  • Parish priest for St.Mary Magdalene’s, East Ham, and local councillor for the surrounding area
  • Chair of the New Vision Trust which manages four local primary schools
  • Chair of Governors of Vicarage Primary School
  • Former cabinet member for children services for over ten years

Lorraine Reader

Member of Finance & Resources Committee

  • Specialist real estate lawyer and Partner at DLA Piper

Danny Ridgeway

Member of Curriculum & Quality Committee, and Finance & Resources Committee

  • Currently enjoying retirement
  • Principal of Bexley College, June 2010 - August 2016

Pam Rowe

Member of Audit & Risk Committee

  • A hugely experienced Director of DPR Consulting Services Limited, delivering improvement and training services across the public and private sector
  • An author and a senior leader with a successful track record of transformation and performance improvement
  • Improvement partner in a range of local authorities, having coached leaders at all levels on achieving good leadership behaviours
  • A mentor to CEOs, Directors, Assistant Directors, Heads of Service and Team Managers
  • A coach for some of the DFE national innovation projects and now an assessor with the NAAS Social Work Accreditation scheme
  • Advisor to a local teaching partnership

Joanne Roxburgh

Member of Curriculum & Quality Committee

  • Career started as an English language teacher at an FE college in China in the early 1990s
  • A senior education advisor with over twenty years’ experience in digital learning
  • Currently a PhD student in Technology Enhanced Learning at Lancaster University
  • Spent 15 years working for education companies and institutions throughout Asia and the Middle East, developing new curricula and setting up new programmes
  • Worked for EF Education First as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Working closely with multinationals, such as Lego, KPMG and GSK, Ministries of Education, including the Maldives, the UAE and Oman, and non-profit organisations such as the International Olympic Committee and UNIDO in Iraq.

Trina Sarkar-Mohapatra

Member of Curriculum & Quality Committee

  • Career started in the field of Animation and gradually moved into Learning and Development
  • A learning architect with more than 12 years’ experience in Digital Learning and Learning Design
  • A rich understanding of implementing blended learning solutions and digital content whilst working for varied sectors including banking, audit, finance, academia and consultancy

Bobby Seagull

Member of Curriculum & Quality Committee, Finance & Resources Committee and Student Consultative Forum

  • Mathematician (Chartered Accountant)
  • Secondary School Mathematics Teacher
  • Writer - published his first book in 2019, ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers’
  • TV celebrity – University Challenge and Monkman & Seagull’s Genius Guide to Britain
  • Senior Associate in Audit, PwC
  • Equities Trader, Lehman Brothers/Nomura International

Irfan Umarji

Chair of Audit & Risk Committee

  • Chartered Accountant
  • Director of Finance and Operations at Impetus - The Private Equity Foundation

Mubin Ahmed (Staff Governor)

Member of Student Consultative Forum, and Staff Voice Committee

Richard Matovu (Student Governor)

Ammar Mahmoodi (Student Governor)

Also in this section

Governor roles

Role descriptions and specifications for Governors