Executive Team, Board of Governors and Co-optees

Our Executive Team, Board of Governors and Co-optees bring a wealth of experience and expertise. Their remit is to drive LTE group to excel in its mission and outcomes for our learners, working closely with stakeholders, colleagues and communities.

Between them, the team have decades of experience in leadership, education, business and communications. Engaging leaders from across our Group ensures that they draw on an exemplary range of complementary skills and expertise. 

John Thornhill

Chief Executive

John joined us as CEO in 2012. His previous roles included director and CEO positions within BT Group. John has also held a number of non-executive positions, most recently four years on the board at Manchester Metropolitan University. He leads LTE group, shaping the strategic and operational direction of the organisation, ensuring we deliver against national priorities, remain financially sound and do so in a way that aligns with the strong values and social mission of the organisation.

Peter Cox

MD Novus, Exec lead for MOL and Group lead for bids & tenders

Peter is the Managing Director of Novus and the Executive lead for MOL. Novus is the Group’s national organisation dedicated to working within the justice sector and MOL is a leading provider of professional training courses. In addition, Peter holds executive responsibility for Group strategic business development priorities. Since joining us in 1994, Peter has held a range of positions across the whole organisation including business development and college Vice Principal roles.

Reporting directly to Peter:

  • Barbara McDonough – Novus COO
  • Mark Oldfield - Director of Business Development
  • Pat Walker – Director of Performance (Novus)
  • James Dean – Head of Commercial Operations (MOL) 
  • Joanna Moonan – Head of Partnership Relations (MOL)
  • Paul Rogers – Head of Learning and Innovation (MOL)

Rob Cressey

Group Finance Director

Rob joined us from leading housing association, The Guinness Partnership. Previous roles include finance director positions with a private work-based learning provider and a global testing organisation. Rob is responsible for audit, financial governance, and operational financial matters, including embedding new financial systems and processes.

Linda Dean (Designate)

Managing Director of Total People

Linda joined us from NCG, Linda has held a variety of senior operational roles in the private sector, in government, in the third sector and in the public sector over the past 25 years .  Linda as Managing Director of Total People, oversees apprenticeship development and delivery with a significant focus on ensuring this is aligned to the external environment.

LTE group a trading name of The Manchester College. We are governed by The Manchester College’s Board of Governors.

Jennifer Foote MBE

Company Secretary and General Counsel

Jennifer is responsible for corporate governance and legal oversight. She has extensive experience of public sector, charity and education governance. As Company Secretary she ensures effective governance of the Group and its trading subsidiaries. Her General Counsel role encompasses responsibility for legal operations, including some compliance areas.

Jennifer was awarded an MBE for services to further education in 2017.

Gary Hughes

Group Marketing and External Relations Director

Gary is an experienced marketing and communications leader within the education sector, with senior strategic marketing roles at several universities including Coventry University, Leeds Trinity University and Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to this he was Group Marketing Director of Hays plc, along with several commercial marketing roles within corporate and services companies. At LTE Group, Gary is responsible for leading on all aspects of marketing, communications, commercial engagement, public affairs and policy. 

Lisa O'Loughlin

Principal of The Manchester College

As Principal of The Manchester College, Lisa oversees college-based programmes, curriculum development and quality improvement. She ensures these meet our strategic plan objectives and our mission, visions and values. Lisa keeps us responsive to the external environment and proactive in identifying and meeting our learners’ and customers’ needs. 

Paul Taylor

Chief Operating Officer

Paul joined us from Electricity north west where he was HR Director. Paul previously held senior HR roles at organisations including Barclays and BT. Paul leads on HR, IT, Health and Safety, Change and Transformation, Student Records and Management Information, with a focus on developing a shared services approach.

Cllr Sue Murphy CBE


Sue has been an elected member of Manchester City Council since 1995. She is a Labour and Co-operative Party Councillor, representing Brooklands Ward in Wythenshawe. She is also Deputy Leader of the Council, and has held that position since 2010. Her current responsibilities include Public Service Reform, international links, social inclusion and equalities. Previous portfolios include Finance and Resources, and Employment and Skills. 

Sue is also Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association and a member of their Leadership and Executive Boards. She is also chair of Trustees of MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health), a director of CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) and Chair of Trustees of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, the appeal set up after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena.

Sue brings extensive experience across key areas: the regional skills sector, public sector reform and the devolution agenda. Sue was made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours 2016 for her political and public service.

Sue is also a member of the Local Government Association's Resources Board and leads on European Funding for the LGA, as well as Employment and Skills. She is also chair of trustees of MASH (Manchester Action on Street Health). 

Previous jobs include working for a newspaper, and for a Member of the European Parliament.

Jenifer Burden

Jenifer is the Director of Programmes for the Science & Engineering Education team at the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. At Gatsby she focuses on programmes to support the delivery of technical education in the further education and training sector.

Prior to joining Gatsby, Jenifer was inaugural Director of the National STEM Centre in York, which provides resources and professional development for teachers and tutors of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She has previously worked at the Centre for Innovation and Research in Science Education at the University of York, with a focus on science curriculum development, and the Association for Science Education.

Jenifer studied Genetics & Cell Biology at the University of Manchester, completed a PGCE at Manchester Polytechnic (as was), and taught for 12 years in secondary schools in the North West of England.

Christine Carroll

Christine was elected to the Board of Governors in December 2012 and is a staff governor on behalf of the support staff in the college.

She has worked continuously in Further Education since 1987 first starting with the Open Learning sector and then to the Guidance and Welfare Service in August 1994 and is currently employed as Lead Adviser in the North District of the College based at Harpurhey. A Unison (Nalgo) member since 1987.

Christine served as a local Councillor with Manchester City Council representing the Miles Platting and Newton Heath ward from 2000 until 2008, and was also a member of the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Authority.

She has also been a governor at two Manchester primary schools and a Director of the East Manchester Credit Union.

Kenneth Clark

Ken has had a career in servicing and maintaining a variety of electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment, spanning over 30 years. He has held positions as instrument technician, engineer, regional service supervisor to service manager. Ken has worked with Blue Chip companies such as Hoover UK and Rank Xerox with equipment as diverse as office electronic equipment to x-ray crystallography test equipment used to test the characterisation of advanced materials.

Later, Ken went in to technical training with positions including regional technical training manager, and then into the education sector as a tutor in Offender Learning. He is still working in Offender Learning in the role of trainer.

For the last nine years Ken has developed the schemes of work to fulfil the needs of different awarding bodies. He has taught woodwork, health & safety and currently he is teaching renewable energy. Ken is teaching, assessing and internal quality assuring in the Offender Learning sector.

For ten years Ken was a voluntary member of the management committee for a local registered charity supporting the needs of people with epilepsy and their carers, and for fifteen years he was a voluntary trustee and chief ranger for The Ancient Order of Foresters Friendly Society, prior to their incorporation.

Cllr John Hacking

John is currently the Senior European Officer for Network for Europe, a regional network supporting the Third Sector to access funds from Europe. John has extensive experience in the Third Sector; in particular in the areas of community regeneration, learning and skills, and employment creation. He is currently a Director of the Third Sector National Learning Alliance and is a member of the National Council for Voluntary Service European Funding Advisory Group. Prior to his current role, he was managing director of a social enterprise in Manchester providing workspace for small businesses. 

John is a volunteer with the Chorlton Arts Festival and is on the management committee of the Chorlton Beer Festival.

Philip Johnson

Philip was previously a senior partner in the Deloitte UK firm. Philip retired in 2007 after being a partner for 30 years, specialising in audit, mergers and acquisitions. He was an elected member of the Deloitte UK Board of Partners and the first chairman of the firm’s Audit Committee.

During the two years 2002 to 2004, Philip had the primary responsibility for integrating the clients, partners and staff of Arthur Andersen UK (AA) into Deloitte, and chaired the board sub-committee responsible for converting Deloitte into Deloitte LLP. He was head of Quality and Risk Management for the UK audit practice of Deloitte from 2003 until his retirement from the firm in 2007.

Philip was the President of the Federation of European Accountants (FEE) during 2011 and 2012. He was also a member of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group (IAASB CAG) and the International Ethics Standards Board Consultative Advisory Group (IESBA CAG). Philip is currently a member of the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in the US.

From May 2007 to April 2015, Philip was a non-executive director of Yorkshire Building Society, where he also chaired the Audit Committee. He is a seconded member of the Audit Committee of Wellcome Trust and is a non-executive director of Lakeland Limited, a retail kitchenware company based in the Lake District. He also chairs the board of governors of Cheadle Hulme School, a large independent day school in Cheshire and is a trustee of the Rugby Football Foundation, the charitable arm of the Rugby Football Union.

Philip Lanigan

Philip is currently Group Finance Director of Styles & Wood Group ltd. The Group provides a fully integrated range of property services to customers across the UK. 

Prior to joining Styles & Wood, Philip has been a Finance Director for a number of North West based companies. Philip is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.

Philip served as a local councillor on Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council from 1994-2000, and was a regional committee member for Manchester & District Housing Association from 1993-2003.

Barry Lynch

Barry retired as Chairman and CEO of The Sutton Group after spending 38 years building up the group and employing more than 800 people. The group has moved away from its footwear manufacturing base and is now one of the country’s leading retailers under the ‘Wynsor’ banner, whilst their import companies supply most of the top UK stores. 

After his retirement Barry retained the Chair of The Riverside Charitable Trust Ltd, which is responsible for donations to local and national charities as well as being a major shareholder of the group. 

Until retirement, Barry was a Fellow of both The Chartered Institute of Secretaries and The Institute of Directors. 

Barry is a Liveryman of The Worshipful Companies of Pattenmakers in The City of London and is also a Freeman of the City of London. 

Barry is also a governor of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School where he Chairs the Buildings and Health and Safety Committees. 

Kate Macdonald

Kate graduated from Manchester University in 1982 with a degree in English language and literature. She then undertook a sabbatical role in the students’ union before becoming a volunteer with the Probation Service. 

In 1986, Kate returned to university to train as a probation officer and qualified with a CQSW in 1988. In 1989 she was awarded an MA (econ). 

Kate’s career was in the Greater Manchester Probation Service for the next fifteen years where she held a variety of roles before becoming District Manager responsible for Stockport and Trafford. 

In 2003, Kate moved to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council as Head of Youth Offending Services. Here she was successful in achieving significant performance improvement before taking up the post of Head of Youth Offending in Manchester. Kate had lead roles in areas such as gun gang crime, safeguarding and reducing the use of custody. 

In May 2011, Kate moved to the voluntary sector where she was Chief Executive of the Young People’s Support Foundation, a charity working with youth homelessness.

Adrian Mills

Adrian is the General Manager at BBC North. He is based at MediaCityUK, home to some of the BBC's biggest brands, including BBC Children’s, BBC Sport, Dragon’s Den, Radio 5 live, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, and BBC Breakfast. 

Adrian began his career directing Play School, Record Breakers and The Really Wild Show for BBC Children’s. He then spent 15 years in Toronto, Canada, where he was CBC TV’s Head of Children’s and Daytime Programming, Managing Director of CBC online and Executive Director of Programming for CBC Radio. Adrian returned to London in 2004 and became Chief Executive of LGT, creating online resources for gifted children. He rejoined the BBC in 2009, becoming Chief Adviser to BBC Children's and BBC Learning, and Executive Producer for CBeebies and CBBC.

An International Emmy Award winner, and Vice Chair of the World Summit on Media for Children Foundation, Adrian is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Malcolm Sugden

Malcolm is a chartered management accountant. He has operated at a senior financial level within major North West businesses, including United Utilities and as Finance Director for Electricity North West.

He is currently Deputy Chair at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust and a director of Electricity North West (ESPS) Pension Trustees Ltd. In addition, he has considerable experience as a governor in both the primary school and sixth form college sectors.

John Thornhill

Chief Executive

John joined us as CEO in 2012. His previous roles included director and CEO positions within BT Group. John has also held a number of non-executive positions, most recently four years on the board at Manchester Metropolitan University. He leads LTE group, shaping the strategic and operational direction of the organisation, ensuring we deliver against national priorities, remain financially sound and do so in a way that aligns with the strong values and social mission of the organisation.

Pauline Waterhouse OBE

Pauline is the former Principal and Chief Executive of Blackpool and The Fylde College. The college was designated Outstanding by Ofsted, and is one of the UK’s largest for further and higher education.

Pauline is driven by a passionate belief in the power of education to transform the life chances and economic prospects of individuals and their families. She has led and engaged in many initiatives to increase participation and to raise standards of education and training. These included strong involvement with the government’s National Challenge initiative, and the subsequent academy programme, both as a Trustee and a Chair of Governors.

Pauline led the initiative to develop a University Centre in one of the country’s most deprived communities in the North West – including raising capital funding and working as design champion for the project. The establishment of the University Centre led to significant growth in student numbers and it is now one of the UK’s largest providers of higher education in a college setting.

Pauline is engaged in a range of activities that span each phase of education from primary through to higher education. She is a trustee of EMLC, an educational charity involved in leadership development and school improvement services as well as being a Director of an expanding Multi-Academy Trust. She is also a Board member of the University for the Creative Arts. Pauline is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Pauline was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2010 for services to education.

Monica Brij

Monica is a partner at Nabarro LLP. She specialises in commercial property and has some 15 years of experience in this field: more particularly in complex real estate and development projects.

Monica began her legal career in London, working at Linklaters and Macfarlanes before relocating to Manchester in 2007. Monica studied at The Queen’s School Chester, The University of Cambridge and York Law School.

Paul Candelent

Paul has over 30 years' experience in property and construction, and has held leadership positions in both the client and consultant parts of the industry. This experience includes business unit leadership, property development, construction project management, site acquisition and property facilities management.

He has worked extensively in both the public and the private sectors, and is able to combine a commercial approach with an understanding of public sector procurement.

Paul Chisnell

Since early 2009, Paul has been the Executive Director of Finance at the Adactus Housing Group, the Group is one of the country’s leading developers of affordable housing and has a focus on maximising efficiency through innovation. Since 2013 Paul has been a board member of Adactus Housing Group Limited and Beech Housing Association Limited.

Paul has a strong commercial and financial background through previous management roles and directorships with a range of independently owned private equity backed businesses in the North West of England. Paul is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, initially building his career with Deloitte Haskins & Sells/Coopers & Lybrand, PKF and Horwath Clark Whitehill, more latterly in the corporate finance arena.

Between 1994 and 2007 Paul was a director and trustee of Wigan & Leigh Crossroads Care Scheme, a local provider of domiciliary respite care for carers, where he provided commercial/financial advice and support to the scheme management.

Paula Cole

Paula is a solicitor and is currently a partner in the Manchester office of Squire Patton Boggs LLP.  Paula specialises in employment law and advises employer clients across a wide range of sectors including Higher Education, Charities, Construction and Manufacturing businesses.

Paula is a Trustee of the Alder Hey Family Trust which owns and runs the Ronald McDonald House at Alder Hey Hospital providing free accommodation to the families of children being treated in the Intensive Care and High Dependency units of the Hospital.

Frances Done CBE

Frances Done is a Chartered Accountant whose career has spanned public, private and third sectors.

Frances served as Chair of the Youth Justice Board between 2008 and 2014. The Youth Justice Board was responsible for overseeing the youth justice system in England and Wales and commissioning the secure estate for young people held in custody. 

Frances was also Chief Executive of Manchester 2002 - the Organising Committee of the successful XVII Commonwealth Games - which generated a significant economic, sporting and cultural legacy for the city of Manchester. 

From 2003 to 2006 Frances was Managing Director for Local Government, Housing and Criminal Justice at the Audit Commission with responsibility for the Commission’s audit and inspection work in relation to local government in England.

Between 1991 and 1998 she served first as Director of Finance and later Chief Executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council. 

Louise Durose

Louise is General Counsel, Diesel International for MAN Diesel & Turbo, one of Germany’s oldest engineering companies. She is based at their UK headquarters in Stockport and is responsible for legal services to the aftersales business worldwide which has annual revenue of €1 billion and operates in over 80 countries.

She chairs the Employer Skills Advisory Board at the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the British Hallmarking Council.

Makile Moyana

Makile is currently studying for her Degree in Business Management at The Manchester College. She works part-time as an investment administrator and personal assistant to the sales director in a student property investment company.  

Makile has at least 12 years’ experience in the transport and logistics industry, starting as a filing clerk and, more recently, as a team leader and PA to senior management. After losing out on a business manager’s role due to lack of qualification, she was inspired to pursue studies in business management.

In her first year of study at the College she was nominated for our HE Student of the Year award for her commitment, determination and exceptional grades.

In her spare time she is involved in community outreach initiatives. She has previously been a voluntary teaching assistant at her children’s school. Having enjoyed delivering training programmes to colleagues she went on to gain a Preparing to Teach in Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) qualification.

Barbara Rollin

Barbara is currently a partner at Shoosmiths Manchester Office, a top 10 law firm with 11 offices nationwide. She has specialised in real estate work since qualifying in 1988 so has a wealth of real estate Experience.

Prior to joining Shoosmiths in 2015, Barbara was head of commercial property at a top 100 law firm in Leeds responsible for management of the largest department in the firm. She also set up and ran the firm’s legal apprentice programmes and was training partner responsible for recruitment of the firm’s graduate intake each year.

Andrew Simpkin

Andrew is a solicitor and was previously a partner in Pannone LLP Solicitors n Manchester. 

Andrew specialised in commercial property, tax and public sector issues. He served periods on the board of management, principally as finance director of the firm. He originated quality standards for the legal profession; and in particular Pannone was the first firm in the world to achieve ISO 9001. From 2007 to March 2010 Andrew was a consultant to Pannone LLP. 

Andrew is a former non-executive director of fashion internet retail company Boohoo.com. He was a founding trustee of the Louise Da Cocodia Trust. 

He is currently a governor of Chethams School of Music and a board member of Arawak Walton Housing Association. 

Peter Winter

After 27 years in industry in a range of commercial, project management, production and engineering roles, plus three years in the Foreign Office as Counsellor at the British Embassy, Tokyo, Peter moved into Higher Education in Manchester. Recognised as a leader in the higher education enterprise field, culminating with the appointment as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) at Loughborough University.

In 2009 he moved to the NWDA to take the lead on innovation across the Northern Way (the three northern regional development agencies).  Following the decision to close the NWDA, Peter took the position as a Director at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton; he subsequently moved back to the North West to join MMU.  Peter has recently been appointed Chair of Solutions SK, the Stockport based services company.

Other appointments of note include; Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (also Vice Chairman of the Academic Accreditation Committee and Chair of the Institutions membership panels,) Member of the Institute of Directors, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.