Leadership and management

Mike Carver has been Chair of the board of Hertford Regional College for seven years and board member for eleven years. In that time the college improved to “good” in July 2013. He oversaw a major capital development programme of over £70 million successfully completed over a four year period.

Mike is former Leader of East Hertfordshire District Council and a councillor for 24 years. He is an accredited member peer for both the Local Government Association and the Planning Advisory Service, undertaking work across the country. He is a highly experienced in peer reviews, facilitating, training and mentoring; all undertaken as a “family friend”.

Mike has coached Leaders of Councils, chairs of committees and worked with whole committees. Mike believes that the practice of teamwork is essential at all levels and in particular between the Principal and Chair, always keeping clearly in mind the differentiation of the roles and responsibilities between management and governance.

Kevin Finnigan is an experienced further education professional. He writes and delivers a variety of programmes on improving leadership and management for Colleges. He is also a College governor.

Kevin FinniganKevin was a Principal for eight years and a clerk to the corporation for three years. In his last Principal role he achieved outstanding for leadership and management and gained Beacon status for the College. He began his employment as a quality manager in paper manufacturing.

Kevin is a leader in the development of governance. He is a National subject specialist on governance for the AOC. He has delivered programmes on Finance and funding, quality improvement and chairing skills for governors. He has worked closely with Ofsted in developing inspection frameworks. He has worked with two Colleges to successfully improve the effectiveness of their boards.


Michael Gray since 1996 Michael has led consultancy, training, research and delivery projects for a range of organisations, including general and specialist FE colleges, land-based and sixth form colleges, work-based michael graylearning (both profit and non-profit organisations), the voluntary sector, adult and community learning, local authorities, offender learning and employer-providers. He works at all levels in organisations, from board to junior employee. Projects and assignments have also included training and organisational development for a major US IT company.

His approach is to work with clients, taking account of their resources, context and problems, leaving them with the capability to solve problems and ‘do it for themselves’.

Paul Hull has been involved in Leadership & Management and Coaching for over 22 years. The majority of this time has been working in and with FE colleges, helping managers hone the practical skills needed to thrive Paul Hullin challenging roles. Paul’s degree in Psychology translates into workable application during his training sessions and he prides himself on the interactivity he creates with groups. As a previous Advanced Skills Practioner he understands the need to translate his training to the job facing his delegates.  He has worked across the country with literally 1000’s of delegates and at last count Paul had worked with over 50 colleges.
He offers ILM qualifications in Leadership and Management and Coaching and Mentoring and is working with schools and colleges to recognise the skills of their mangers with this professional qualification.
Paul has worked with ACER for 10 years to support their management delivery programmes and is passionate about creating truly effective and interactive elearning courses to support face-to-face delivery.

Jenny Hunt has over 30 years experience across a wide range of educational settings. She provides research, consultancy and training, specialising in literacy, Functional Skills English, self-assessment, teaching and learning and coaching. Working with managers and practitioners Jenny strives to improve and develop the quality of delivery through coaching and resources that engage and motivate.

She is an experienced teacher and has taught in the primary, secondary, further and adult education sectors. She has worked at senior management level in further education, adult education, the BBC and UfI (learndirect). Jenny’s clients have included government departments, multimedia companies, teachers, trainers, broadcasters, businesses, educational establishments and work-based learning providers. Jenny has managed, trained and consulted on a variety of projects for organisations such as CfBT, LSN, LSIS, NIACE, DoE and Becta.

In particular she worked on the Quality Champions Programme, the Skills for Life Improvement Programme, the National Teaching and Learning programme and the Functional Skills Programme. She is currently working towards her Level 5 Qualification in Coaching and Mentoring to reinforce her established coaching experience. She has developed a range of self-assessment toolkits including for the NHS and LSIS. The latest one is for further education and skills and is linked to the new Common Inspection Framework. She was an ALI inspector for five years and has just completed ten years as a governor of Bedford College where she was chair of their Quality and Standards Committee.

Dr Beverley Morris leads consultancy teams providing support and challenge to private, public and voluntary sector organisations in the learning and skills sector. Her passion is to bring about effective, long-term change through creative learning and persistent management approaches.

With twenty years of teaching and management experience in education and skills, she now specialises in working with senior leadership and management teams to introduce strategic vision and operational plans that have a direct impact on the resilience, flexibility and success of teams and individuals. Beverley has been involved in the largest national improvement programmes in post-16 education (World Class Skills, Skill for Life Initiative, Organisational Health Checks), led on the largest individual college-based improvement programme (Year of Learning) and is currently introducing leadership and development programmes at the British Antarctic Survey.

Beverley is a qualified teacher, coach and mentor, delivering bespoke Level 5 management, mentoring, coaching, counselling and teaching qualifications.

Julia Pollock is an experienced trainer and qualified performance coach with 25 years’ experience in post-16 education, much of it as a senior manager, Assistant Principal (Teaching & Learning) and Deputy Principal (Quality & Curriculum). In collaboration with ACER; Julia has delivered training in leadership development and performance management to over 40 providers, including in-house training in 4 colleges preparing for inspection. As a former Deputy Principal, Curriculum Manager and Professional Development Coordinator for a network of colleges; Julia has extensive experience in quality improvement, innovative teaching and learning and staff development. Her dedication to innovation in CPD won her a STAR award for Workforce Development in 2010. Julia is a graduate psychologist currently working as a consultant and interim senior manager in colleges and for the NHS as a lay member on Mental Health Act panels, as well as Chair of patient group; Healthwatch. She originally qualified as a performance coach with LSIS and ILM and has recently completed a postgraduate diploma in coaching psychology with Leeds Beckett University. In the last 3 years she has worked in GFE and SFC interim roles in Quality and Curriculum, Quality Improvement, Student Progression, Staff Development and HR, supporting Principals in management restructures, post-inspection recovery plans and improvement of English and maths results. Julia is currently working with Durham University as a researcher, looking at the changes to science teaching in schools and colleges.

Sheila Selwood MBE, is an experienced trainer, with over 25 years experience of educational governance. After working in primary and secondary school governance and business management, Sheila worked as Director of Governance at West Herts College from 2004 to 2014 during which time the college and its governance went from recovery to outstanding. She has worked with colleges and individual clerks and governors for a number of years, supporting improvement both in practice and in knowledge. This work has included peer mentoring, inductions for clerks and governors, recruitment strategy and board self assessment workshops and guides, external board assessment, and supporting boards in recovery.  Sheila is currently an independent governance advisor, working with a number of colleges and their clerks across the country.  She also works as a National Subject Specialist with ETF/AoC, is the Coordinator of the ACER Clerks Network, and is a newly appointed governor at Bedford College.

Tracey ThompsonTracey Thompson has been one of ACER’s leading management development facilitators since 2008. She has a B.A. honours degree in English from Goldsmiths’ College, London and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She has held management positions in organisations as diverse as the Medical Research Council, Arcadia and British Aerospace and has tutored on over 20 management development projects on behalf of ACER. She has also owned her leadership and management development business, Azure Management Services Ltd., since 1994. Tracey is also a qualified Myers-Briggs Step 2 Practitioner and has led extensive management programmes on behalf of Business Links Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Tracey takes a practical approach to management and leadership development rather than a theoretical one and encourages groups to explore approaches that can be applied immediately.