Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson Chair of the LTE Group Board , member of the Group Operations Divisional Board, The Manchester College Divisional Board, UCEN Manchester Divisional Board, Investment & Estates Strategy Group, Remuneration Committee, and Governance Committee.

Philip was previously a senior partner in the Deloitte UK firm, having 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.

In 2002, Philip had primary responsibility for integrating the clients, partners and staff of Arthur Andersen UK into Deloitte. From 2003 he was head of Quality and Risk Management for the UK audit practice of Deloitte until his retirement from the firm.

Philip was the President of Accountancy Europe (formerly 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). From 2013 until 2019, Philip was 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 was a seconded member of the Audit Committee of Wellcome Trust for 9 years from 2008 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, is a member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, a trustee of the Rugby Football Foundation, the charitable arm of the Rugby Football Union, and a member of the RFU Audit Committee. 

Philip has recently been appointed as chairman of the Audit Quality Board at Grant Thornton. 

John Thornhill
John Thornhill Chief Executive Officer

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 is a member of the Remuneration Committee . John 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.

Lady Rhona Bradley DL
Lady Rhona Bradley DL Member of Novus Divisional Board, Governance Committee and Safeguarding Link Governor

Rhona has over 25yrs experience of working in the criminal justice system with the National Probation Service in Greater Manchester and Cheshire, and in local government youth justice services in the region.

She has recently retired after 14 years as the Chief Executive of the charity ADS (Addiction Dependency Solutions) which has provided innovative substance misuse services in the region for almost 50 years. Rhona continues her involvement with the charity as a trustee of the Board.

Before joining ADS Rhona was seconded by HM Inspectorate of Probation to work for what is now the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as a service inspector, conducting statutory inspections of Youth Offending Teams and local authority Children’s Services.

Rhona is a non-executive director of Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and is also a non-executive director of a large national housing association, Home Group, where she chairs the Clinical Governance Committee.

In addition Rhona is a trustee of a national homelessness charity, Pathway, which seeks to secure NHS healthcare services for homeless people.

In 2010 Rhona was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester.

Cllr Garry Bridges
Cllr Garry Bridges LTE Group Governor and member of The Manchester College Divisional Board

Garry is Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council and Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People. In his time as Executive Member of Manchester’s Children’s Services, Manchester has been recognised as “Good” by OFSTED for the first ever time and Garry’s political leadership was highlighted by successive OFSTED inspections as a key strength of the service.

Garry sits on the Greater Manchester Children’s Board, contributing to work looking at the response to the challenges posed by missed learning opportunities from the pandemic which he has raised with local MPs and with Government Ministers. On the back of this lobbying, he is now leading a project to provide additional investment in educational psychology and speech and language therapy for those schools who have seen the biggest impact for children post-pandemic.

As well as work in Manchester, Garry attends the Local Government Association Children’s Board and has contributed and spoken on policy issues for a range of organisations. He is also an LGA Peer Mentor for Cabinet Members for several local authorities across the country.

Garry previously worked for the late Tony Lloyd MP in Manchester Central before working for his successor Lucy Powell MP, running her office in Manchester which he has done since 2012.

Jenifer Burden MBE
Jenifer Burden MBE Member of The Manchester College Divisional Board

Jenifer is a Director of Programmes for the 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 and taught for 12 years in secondary schools in the North West of England.

Jenifer was awarded an MBE in the 2020 New Year’s Honours list  for services to education.

Paula Cole
Paula Cole Member of the Audit & Risk Committee, Remuneration Committee, Novus Gower and Novus Divisional Board

Paula is a member of the LTE Group Board, Novus Divisional Board and the Audit and Risk Committee.  Paula is also chair of the Remuneration Committee and Novus Gower.

Paula retired as a solicitor in 2022 having spent the majority of her career as a Partner in a number of Manchester city centre law firm's where she specialised in Employment law.

Paula is also a Governor of Bridgewater School in Worsley and a Trustee of The Joshua Tree, a charity which provides support for the emotional well-being and mental health of children and families affected by childhood cancers.

Anika Ephraim
Anika Ephraim Member of Novus Divisional Board

Anika is Managing Director of Grafmarine, an engineering company developing advanced clean power generation systems. Prior to this she was the MD of Elfab, part of Halma a FTSE100 company.

Anika spent a large part of her career working for oilfield services companies, Schlumberger and Weatherford, progressing through a variety of roles in field operations, field operations management, sales and general management. She has lived in Scotland, Nigeria, Romania and USA, and had the privilege of visiting more than 30 countries during her extensive travels. 

She is a Trustee of Wargrave House Charity, which raises awareness of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and supports children and young adults with ASD and their families.

Anika has a Design & Manufacturing Engineering degree from University of Central Lancashire, and a joint MBA degree from IE University, Madrid and Brown University, Providence. 

Nicholas Garbett
Nicholas Garbett Staff Governor

Nicholas has worked in mainstream and custodial education since 2012 as Head of Music in secondary education, and teacher of music technology within the FE sector. Nicholas currently works for Novus as a Staff Training Development Technologist, focusing on developing and driving high quality digital learning content to improve the standards of teaching and learning across the organisation. His current work includes a flexible on-demand digital training offer which operates within all Novus prison colleges. He currently advises on digital CPD strategies within the organisation and takes an active role in the planning and development of the LTE Group annual Teaching & Learning Conference.

Nicholas has held various posts on committees of musical organisations and is a conductor, composer and published arranger.

Philip Lanigan
Philip Lanigan Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee, Director of Total People Ltd and MOL Divisional Board

Philip has been Finance Director for a number of North West based companies, including National Nuclear Corporation Limited, Cardpoint plc and Styles & Wood Group plc. Philip is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, and a member of the Institute of Taxation.

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.

Dame Ann Limb DBE DL FRSA
Dame Ann Limb DBE DL FRSA LTE Group Governor | Chair of The Manchester College Divisional Board

A Mancunian by birth, Dame Ann describes herself these days as a ‘philanthropist, mover & Quaker’, trying to navigate her way through life by doing least harm to people and planet. 

Ann’s teaching career in Further Education began at Wythenshawe College in 1976, whilst she was undertaking her PhD at the University of Liverpool. She enjoyed a successful career in the sector in Manchester and Derbyshire before becoming a Principal & CEO – of Milton Keynes College in 1986 and then Cambridge Regional College in 1996. In 2001, Ann joined the civil service where she was responsible for the UK government’s flagship digital learning initiatives, learndirect, UK online and 

Ann is currently Pro Chancellor of the University of Surrey, Chair of the City & Guilds of London Institute and from 2015-2021 and was Chair of The Scouts, the UK’s largest youth engagement charity. She is the first openly gay woman to hold these roles.  Ann is also Chair of the UK Innovation Corridor, the country’s leading sci-tech region story from London to Cambridge, Chair of The Lloyds Bank Foundation, the charity arm in England & Wales of the Lloyds Banking Group, Deputy Chair of The Prince’s Foundation, a heritage-led regeneration charity founded by HM The King, and Vice President of the FE sector’s social justice charity, the Helena Kennedy Foundation which Ann herself set up in 1998,

In 2019, Ann was named #1 LGBTQ+ public sector role model in the OUTstanding List and one of the 50 most influential women born in the North of England in the Northern Power Women Power List.  In the 2011 Birthday Honours, Ann was awarded the OBE for services to education, in 2015 ‘upgraded’ to CBE for public service, and in Jubilee Honours 2022 ‘elevated’ to the rank of Dame Commander of the British Empire, DBE for services to young people, philanthropy and charity. 

Barry Lynch
Barry Lynch Chair of Total People Ltd, MOL Divisional Board and member of Novus Divisional Board, Group Operations Divisional Board and Governance Committee

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.

Tim Sargeant
Tim Sargeant Chair of Group Operations Divisional Board

Tim is Head of Product for Video & Live at the BBC.  He’s based at MediaCityUK, home to some of the BBC's biggest brands, including BBC Children’s, BBC Sport, Radio 5 live and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as around 700 of the BBC’s Design & Engineering staff.
Tim is a Chartered Engineer, and began his technology career working in Research & Development.  This included working on TV graphics and with European technology companies, broadcasters and universities in the early days of on-demand television.  After working in other roles, including project management and technical strategy, he was part of the project to build and establish the BBC at MediaCityUK in 2011.
He currently leads software and project engineering teams to transform production systems and processes so that the BBC remains at the forefront of digital media.  Those teams design and build everything from studios for Radio 6 music, through to the latest video streaming technologies used to cover live events, and web tools to help journalists translate global content to over 40 different languages.
Tim oversees the BBC’s engineering degree apprenticeship schemes.  In recent years, graduates from the scheme have been recognised with the Young Technologist Award from the Royal Television Society.

Malcolm Sugden
Malcolm Sugden Chair of Novus Divisional Board, Novus Cambria, member of Remuneration Committee, Governance Committee, Audit & Risk Committee and Novus Transforming Lives

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 Chair 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.

Professor Malcolm J. Todd
Professor Malcolm J. Todd Chair of UCEN Manchester Divisional Board

Professor Malcolm J. Todd is the Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University. He has over 20 years of experience in higher education, and he is a recognized expert in the fields of sociology, social science education, and research methods. He has published numerous articles and books, and he has presented his research at numerous conferences and workshops.

He is also a member of the editorial board of several journals, and he is a regular reviewer for funding agencies. He is a passionate advocate for student learning and success, and he is committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their careers.

Adam White (MRICS)
Adam White (MRICS) Chair of Investment & Estates Strategy Group

Adam currently leads the £1billion Airport City development scheme; and is also responsible for business development and investor relations across MAG Property’s £641m investment and land portfolio. Recent highlights include selling 45 acres of prime logistics land for a record price per acre; and building a pipeline of 4 hotels and 500,000 sq ft of offices on Airport City North.

Previously Adam was a Director in JLL’s Manchester office, acting across a broad range of markets advising corporates, developers, institutional funds, local and regional property companies and public-sector bodies. This work covered inter alia; disposing of and acquiring land and buildings; providing commercial input to large scale and standalone development projects; undertaking detailed financial appraisal analysis; and advising on delivery mechanisms.

Major projects include advising Legal & General on the acquisition of a 50% stake in MediaCityUK, the sale of the 19-acre ITV Granada site to Allied London and leading on the disposal of AstraZeneca’s 400-acre Alderley Park site in Cheshire.

Jilly Atherton
Jilly Atherton Member of Group Operations

Jilly is a HR practitioner, with extensive experience working for world-renowned international blue-chip FTSE100/250 and equivalent companies.  She has over 25 years’ experience across regulated services, manufacturing and research industries, with 14 years working at executive committee level, including as a statutory director and board member in nuclear research.  

Jilly currently works as Chief HR Officer for Victrex plc, a chemical manufacturer with strong sustainable credentials across medical transport and industrial sectors.  She has been a volunteer trustee and governor for over 11 years.  She flexes her time between Cheshire, Lancashire and the Lake District for work and fun.  

Ged Barlow
Ged Barlow Director of Total People Ltd, MOL Divisional Board

Ged is the former Chair & CEO of leading UK industrial research and process development centre C-Tech Innovation, a business he founded in 2001.  He now chairs the Cheshire Energy Hub, a group of energy intensive manufacturing companies and energy supply chain companies, all with significant interests in Cheshire.  The group have developed the Energy innovation District in north Cheshire, which aims to become the UK’s first low carbon industrial cluster by 2030. 

Ged is also a main Board member of the Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, where he leads on Energy & Innovation Policy.  He is a former member of the CBI’s North West Regional Council and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Mark Dewhurst (MRICS)
Mark Dewhurst (MRICS)

Mark is a Senior Director within Arcadis and is responsible for their Project and Cost Management  Property teams across the UK. With a background in Quantity Surveying Mark has been instrumental in delivering successful projects across various sectors, ranging from commercial and residential to education and manufacturing.

Previously Mark has held senior positions in national construction consultancies and led his own Cost Management business Christal Cost Management prior to its acquisition by Arcadis in 2014.

Major projects include the construction of the Co-operatives 330,000sqft Head Office in Manchester,  strategic advice on the 155 hectare Victoria North regeneration Masterplan in Manchester City Centre and the delivery of Manchester Metropolitan University new flagship Science and Engineering building.

Louise Durose
Louise Durose Director of Total People Ltd, MOL Divisional Board

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.

Justice Ellis
Justice Ellis Member of The Manchester College Divisional Board and UCEN Manchester Divisional Board

Justice has held senior Marketing positions in private and public sectors across Sport, Media and Entertainment. Justice joined Liverpool Football Club, initially in a senior Marketing role and is now a Director for Strategy. Here, he also sits on a variety of committees including the Club's Diversity and Inclusion, as well as the Digital, Media and Marketing Leadership Team - a division that is responsible for all the Club's global digital media platforms, Social channels and Marketing output.

Prior to Liverpool FC, as Head of Marketing for Manchester City FC, he was an integral member of the Senior Leadership Team, responsible for all UK and Global Brand Strategy and Marketing Leadership. Before Sport, he held Marketing roles at the BBC, as well as credible radio network Xfm (as it was known then), as part of the launch team when it came to Manchester.

Justice was born, and studied, in Manchester - graduating from the University of Manchester with a Bachelors in Multimedia Journalism.

Mark Fletcher
Mark Fletcher Member of The Manchester College Divisional Board

Mark Fletcher is the Chief Executive Officer at Manchester Pride, one of the UK's largest GBTQ+ charities. Since his appointment in 2014 Mark has been responsible for spearheading a programme of change within the LGBTQ+ charity which has springboarded its profile and positioned the Manchester Pride Festival as one of the world’s most recognisable pride celebrations.

Mark chairs a specialist panel of experts on the LGBTQ+ Advisory Panel to Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the first of its kind in the UK. Mark also sits on the Editorial Advisory Panel for British newspaper, magazine and digital publisher, Reach Plc, representing LGBTQ+ communities.

Catherine Hill OBE
Catherine Hill OBE The Manchester College Divisional Board

Catherine is the former Deputy Principal of Blackpool &The Fylde College.  The college was designated Outstanding by Ofsted in 2013, was awarded Foundation degree awarding powers in 2015 and TEF Gold in 2017.

Catherine has worked in the further education sector for over 30 years; initially as a lecturer in science and maths, progressing  to executive roles.  She has worked in a number of North West colleges and has been involved in national level work such as Best Practice networks, National Challenge Initiative and Study Programme review.

As a former Ofsted associate inspector and a reviewer for the QAA, Catherine's work has always focused on high quality learning and teaching to help bring about life changing opportunities for all students. 

Catherine is involved in a range of work involving both education and community work. Catherine was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s honours of 2016 for services to further education.

Philip Wheatley C.B.
Philip Wheatley C.B. Member of Novus Divisional Board and Novus Transforming Lives

After gaining a law degree, which included the study of criminology, Phil joined the Prison Service as a Prison Officer in 1969 and was promoted Assistant Governor in 1970.  In 1986, he became Governor of Hull Prison; moving on in 1990 to a variety of headquarters’ roles.  In 1995 following a series of high profile escapes, Philip became the Director, in charge of the six highest security prisons. He led security improvements that prevented high security escapes.

In 1999 he was put in charge of all prison operations with the task of improving prison performance. He set clear standards for decency, improved the management of Governors and secured greater effectiveness and efficiency. In 2003 he was made Director General of the Prison Service, becoming Director General of the National Offender Management Service responsible for all prisons and probation services in England and Wales in 2008. He delivered improvements that reduced reoffending, escapes, drug abuse and suicide and increased efficiency in both prison and probation.  He also led the development of the policy for dealing with extremist prisoners.  He retired from this role in June 2010.  

He has had since then a portfolio of roles; he was a Non-Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Prison Service from Jan 2010 to December 2016, he was an advisor on a Scottish Prison Service Initiative to professionalise the role of the Prison Officer, he is a Trustee of St Giles Trust, he contributes to training, international conferences and academic study on penal practice. He is a non executive member of the Management Committee of the Institute of Criminology of Cambridge University.

He advises both public and private sector prison operators in the UK and internationally. His international work has taken him to Pakistan, Belgium, Latvia, Ukraine, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Romania, Mexico, Bermuda and Barbados.

John Thornhill
John Thornhill Chief Executive Officer

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 is a member of the Remuneration Committee . John 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
Peter Cox Managing Director Novus and Group lead for bids and tenders

Peter is the Managing Director of Novus, the Group’s national organisation dedicated to working within the justice sector. 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.

Alison Close
Alison Close Chief Financial Officer

Alison has spent the majority of her career at the Co-op Group, before joining LTE Group in 2021. Alison is a Chartered Accountant, who has had an extensive career in various senior finance, commercial and business development roles with the Co-op. She has operated as Director of Finance, Chief Commercial Officer and latterly as Managing Director, Life Planning, Risk and Regulation within one of the Co-op’s largest divisions, Life Services. Alison has predominantly worked in the Funeralcare, Life Planning, and Legal Service businesses.

Alison has also held a number of non-executive positions, including Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Finance Committee for St Helens & Knowsley NHS Teaching Trust, Board Director Co-op Legal Services and non-executive Director for the Funeral Planning Authority. In addition, Alison has recently served as a Co-op Academy Governor for Co-op Connell College.

Alison is responsible for providing strategic financial and commercial support to the Group and its business units, financial planning & forecasting, and leading on all operational finance matters including treasury management, audit, financial governance and ensuring robust systems and processes.

Rachel Curry
Rachel Curry Deputy CEO / Principal

Rachel joined the College in 2015 in the role of Vice Principal before becoming Deputy Principal in 2019. Prior to her appointment as Principal, Rachel was the strategic lead for the College’s ambitious £140m estates transformation project which successfully completed in 2022, delivering industry standard facilities. Rachel started her career at the FE Funding Council (FEFC) where she spent 9 years, including leading investigations into underperforming colleges and overseeing the smooth transition from the FEFC to the Learning and Skills Council for all 13 Lancashire colleges. She then moved to Blackburn College, where she progressed to become Deputy Principal.

Lorna Lloyd-Williams
Lorna Lloyd-Williams Company Secretary and General Counsel

Lorna has many years of experience leading on governance and regulatory compliance in the FE sector and previously held a role as a practising solicitor specialising in family law. Her role as Company Secretary and General Counsel includes acting as professional governance advisor to the Board and Executive Team, advising and guiding on statutory, regulatory, constitutional and ethical matters.  She is responsible for managing the Group legal and data protection teams, providing leadership on industry best practice and compliance.

Melanie Nicholson
Melanie Nicholson Managing Director of MOL and Total People

Melanie joined us in 2020, bringing with her 15 years director/executive level experience across organisations including Capita and Serco. In her previous role as Executive Director at Seetec, she was responsible for the strategic leadership, development, growth and direction of the apprenticeships, skills and quality directorates. Having worked in the apprenticeships and skills sector for over 25 years, Melanie is now ensuring quality of provision and a clear growth strategy for both MOL and Total People.