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The Bedford College Group Board of Governors

Buchanan Centre

Our governors come from a wide range of backgrounds and carry out their duties as governors mainly through Board meetings or Committee meetings.

The membership details of each governor are given below and where the governor has provided more information you can follow a link to read about their background.

If you need to contact a governor please do so by emailing or calling Rachel Nicol, Director of Governance and Clerk to the Corporation on 01234 291003.

The Chief Executive is automatically offered a position on the Board of Governors.

Staff governors are elected for two year terms by the College staff, staff from any site or any job role are eligible to stand. Student governors are chosen by the student body and are appointed for a one-year term.

Allan Schofield

Allan Schofield (Chair of the Corporation)

Allan has been a governor of Bedford College since July 2014 and is currently the Chair of the Corporation appointed from 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2023

Before retiring in 2018 he ran a small consultancy – The Higher Education Consultancy Group – working on assignments for more than 80 universities and colleges, as well as on projects for main stakeholder bodies in UK higher education and overseas for several international bodies.

Major projects Allan has worked on include leading numerous governor development and support activities in post-16 education; undertaking substantial policy review work for HEFCE; and in 2009 being commissioned by the Government and the Association of Colleges to lead a review of the governance of the whole of the FE sector in England, which lead to the production of the FE Code of Governance.

He lives locally, and interests include travel, classical music, and wine. He also Chairs the North Bedfordshire Arts Society.

Sheila Selwood MBE

Sheila Selwood MBE (Vice-Chair of the Corporation)

Sheila moved into education over 30 years ago, initially as a primary school Finance Secretary and a secondary school Business Manager, also clerking both respective Governing Bodies. In 2004 she joined West Herts College as Director of Governance, which had just received poor inspection and audit outcomes.  Over the next 7 years, the college and its governance went from satisfactory to a sustained outstanding.

During this time, she also worked as a national and regional associate, delivering governance workshops, inductions, one to one support and qualification programmes. This work continued in her roles as an independent governance advisor and regional associate for ACER and AOSEC.

Sheila has also been Vice-Chair of the National Clerks Network, Chair of the ACER Clerks Regional Network, and a member of the AoC Governor Council. In 2015 she was awarded an MBE for services to Further Education.

Sheila joined the board of Bedford College in August 2015 and is currently the Vice Chair of the Corporation appointed for a 2-year term from 1 August 2021.

Her free time activities include swimming, walking, rock music and travelling whenever she can.

Ian Pryce CBE The Bedford College Group

Ian Pryce CBE (Chief Executive & Principal)

Ian has been Principal & Chief Executive of Bedford College since 1998, having joined the College in 1996 as Finance Director.  He was previously a regional Finance Director at the Further Education Funding Council and has also worked as a Director or Senior Manager in retail, electricity generation and local government in Liverpool, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Northamptonshire.  He is a member of the accountancy body CIPFA, a Councillor of City & Guilds, a member of the Information Authority, and a member of the advisory board to the Skills Funding Agency.  He was one of the founder members of the 157 Group and was awarded a CBE in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Sharon De Leonardis (External Governor)

Sharon De Leonardis (External Governor)

Throughout her career, Sharon has been responsible for all aspects of business from developing, managing budgets, people management to promotion of events. Having set up the successful 2Step Dance Company, Sharon has kept close links within the community.

In 2018 Sharon started Spectacularts, an organisation which specialises in events to the local community bringing together diverse ethnic groups and the promotion of diversity.

Having joined the Bedford College Board in 2019, Sharon is driven in providing students with a memorable College experience, her work is driven and committed to the needs of other people and creating opportunities for them.

Sharon is married with teenage children. She spends her free time expressing herself through her portraiture as a self-taught artist and dancing whenever she gets the chance.

She likes to bring the best out in people she meets, tapping into her positivity for life does certainly imprint on whoever she encounters, empowering them to be the best they can.

Richard Dimbleby

Richard Dimbleby (External Governor)

Richard joined The Bedford College Group in May 2018 for a 4-year term.  He is currently the chair of the Quality Standards and Achievement Committee and a member of the Governance Committee.

Richard has wide experience of teaching and management in Further and Higher Education in the UK and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has taught English, communications, education and management.  He was Principal at Strode College in Somerset and Principal & Chief Executive at The Bournemouth and Poole College.

Richard has also been a part-time college inspector and a consultant for the Association of Colleges and has been a Governor at the Arts University Bournemouth and at Weymouth College.

Outside education, Richard was a Director and President of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a Trustee of several charities. He is also co-author of four books on communication, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts


Raj Randhawa

Raj has been a Bedfordian since arriving from the Punjab district of India in 1966 and has experienced the Bedford education system from primary school, to College and then to the University of Bedfordshire.

Raj’s career as a self-employed electronics engineer has allowed him to work with people from diverse cultures around the world and all walks of life and on major projects for some of the world’s leading space, communications, aerospace and defence companies.

Outside work Raj is heavily involved in community voluntary projects and since 2015 has been the elected General Secretary of Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha & Community Centre in Bedford (a not for profit registered charity). Raj is an active promoter of inclusion and diversity through community cohesion projects. He worked with, and organised, volunteers during the pandemic to support health care workers and vulnerable people.

Raj is committed to charity work and fundraising for different causes, including the construction of a school in the Andes (Peru). He looks forward to working as a Governor of the Bedford College Group to develop the education system for the Group’s communities, serving the next generation.


Luke Ferebee

Luke joined as a Governor of the Bedford College Group in 2021 for a term of 4 years and is a member of the Audit Committee. Prior to the appointment at the Bedford College Group, Luke was an external Governor at Milton Keynes College, and was a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

An Audit Assistant Manager at KPMG, he has several years of experience delivering assurance services to a variety of private, listed, and public sector corporations in London and the surrounding regions, including colleges and universities. He is a Chartered Accountant, and member of the ICAEW.

Outside of work, Luke enjoys various sports, often regular runs and ski trips to the French alps.

Mark Lawson (External Governor)

Mark Lawson (External Governor)

Mark completed an Engineering Apprenticeship with Hunting Engineering and educated in Mechanical Manufacture at Bedford College. Before moving on to a career in Environmental Test Engineering and Test Facility Management, he is now a Functional Leader with focus on Employee Development and Engagement.

As Head of Engineering Technical Facilities at Lockheed Martin, Mark oversaw the development of the apprenticeship scheme. They now employ 20 apprentices and he is responsible for their in-company training and education currently delivered at Bedford College.

Mark is the winner of the 2016 Lockheed Martin UK Excellence Award in Full Spectrum Leadership and was included within the Manufacturer Top 100 2017 report which recognises inspiring individuals in the UK, these awards recognise his commitment to early careers and work in improving employee engagement.

He is driven by helping Bedford College ensure that students receive the best experience possible while at Bedford College.

Mark is married with a step-daughter, his interests are Rugby, Darts, MotoGP, live music and playing the guitar.

Cliff Wragg (External Governor)

Cliff Wragg (External Governor)

Cliff joined the Corporation of The Bedford College Group in July 2019 for a 4-year term.  He is currently a member of the Resources Committee.

Cliff’s career has been spent in the university sector, where he has served as an HR Director, (with a keen interest in staff development) and then as University Secretary and Clerk to the Board.  Subsequently, he has worked as a freelance management consultant, working with universities around the globe.  He developed and ran a benchmarking programme for university management with Commonwealth universities, as well as carrying out a range of consultancies dealing with HR, change management and governance issues.

Cliff chaired a national Association for University Administrators, and is now an Honorary Life Member and Fellow of the AUA.

Outside of work, Cliff has for many years been an ITF and LTA licenced tennis official, both as an umpire and as a referee (including having umpired at many Wimbledon Championships).

Vinod Tailor MBE DL (External Governor)

Vinod Tailor MBE DL (External Governor)

Vinod has extensive experience in financial services, corporate and commercial financing with emphasis on business development and fundraising. He has managed and developed key banking relationships in diverse regulated markets in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa. Operated at board level, advising on onshore and cross border business strategy.

Vinod has extensive experience in managing key strategic relations hips, multi-jurisdictional experience spanning 32 countries over 44 years, blue chip investment/commercial banking experience, proven experience in building new client bases and client retention strategies with institutional, retail and professional client segments, UK and cross border regulatory experience and board and senior stakeholder experience.

Vinod has been The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, He is Deputy Lieutenant of Bedfordshire. He has been awarded an MBE for his work during COVID. Vinod knows the County well having worked with many voluntary sectors and charities across the Bedfordshire.

Dennis Buckley (External Governor)

Dennis Buckley (External Governor)

Dennis joined the Corporation of the Bedford College Group in August 2020 for a term of 4 years and is a member of the Audit Committee. He is a veteran of the financial markets having worked in banking and finance for over 48 years, mostly in the City of London together with stints in the UAE and Los Angeles and extensive business travel within Europe and Asia.

He is still active in working with, and arranging finance for, companies located in Germany and Spain from his office and home in Central Bedfordshire.

His experience over the years has covered a wide range of commercial and investment banking products, and one of the reasons he was prepared and pleased to become a Governor of the Corporation of the BCG is his desire to assist the younger generation in their quest for a career.

Alan Carvell (External Governor)

Alan Carvell (External Governor)

Alan joined the Bedford College Group in 2019 and is a member of the Resources Committee.

Alan is a Northamptonian by birth and having completed schooling there went on to get an M.Sc. (Finance) from a London Business School which eventually led him to the City. Having begun as an analyst for a traditional UK stockbroker, following breweries and hotels, when the UK had huge breweries, his career later took him to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia & Germany. Alan left all that behind him nearly a decade ago and since then has got involved with private companies looking for finance and as a consultant to a global head-hunter for investment banks.

Alan is also on the Board of the Bedford College Services company, a subsidiary of The Bedford College Group.

Outside this, Alan is a churchwarden and likes gliding when he can.

Luisa Vecchio (External Governor)

Luisa Vecchio (External Governor)

Luisa completed an undergraduate degree in psychology before deciding to move into education. She qualified as a primary teacher and taught in mainstream primary schools before moving into special education. Luisa is now Deputy Headteacher at The Chiltern School, a large area special school in south Bedfordshire. She leads on the Quality of Education across the school including; monitoring teaching, learning and assessment and curriculum design and delivery. Luisa is also a Specialist Leader in Education, providing consultancy, support and training for local schools and is responsible for the Special School Outreach Service for the south of Central Bedfordshire.

Luisa is passionate about improving outcomes for all children and young people and is committed to ensuring that all students receive a quality education regardless of their life circumstances.  She lives in Bedford and wants to give back to the community that welcomed her family generations ago.

Amanda Wagstaff (Staff Governor)

Amanda Wagstaff (Staff Governor)

Amanda has a background in Special Educational Needs and is a Team Leader in Additional Learning Support based at the Bedford Campus, she joined the board in 2020.

In her role as a British Psychological Society registered assessor and manager within the Additional Support team she maintains communication across the group to secure professional relationships with learners, staff and stake holders to ensure a consistent contribution to the positive learning experiences of all learners. Amanda promotes the ethos of The Bedford College Group and protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, regarding inclusive learning and access to support for those with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Amanda supports learner retention and achievement by outlining reasonable adjustments to secure independent opportunities for learners to build upon their knowledge, skills and resilience in preparation for their chosen progression route.

In her spare time Amanda likes to spend time with her family and friends and walking her two Miniature Dachshunds.

Melissa Peacock

Melissa Peacock (Staff Governor)

Elissa has worked for Bedford College within the Hair and Beauty department for twenty eight years. It has been her privilege to work with a dedicated team and to be part of the evolution of Bedford College Hair and Beauty department into its current prime spot-on Bedford High Street.

Her current role as an Advanced Practitioner allows her to maintain the student contact and teaching role she enjoys, whilst work across the college, interacting with a wide section of the staff population.

She has been a consultant for several Awarding Bodies over the years, and maintains close business relationships with local beauty businesses, many of whom are owned by students who qualified in the industry under her tutelage.

She is passionate about inclusion, equality and diversity in both education and the wider society and takes an interest in sustainability and environmental issues.

Abigail Stevens (Student Governor)

Abigail Stevens (Student Governor)

Abigail has been a student at the college since September 2020 and became the student governor of Shuttleworth College in January 2021. She is currently studying animal management during her time here and is also a resident at the college, “we have all kinds of fun and ideas that I help pass onto the board!”