The Board of Management is responsible for the governance of Glasgow Kelvin College. The strategic direction of the College is set by the Board which is responsible for all College policy. It conforms to legal responsibilities as defined by the Further and Higher Education (Scotland) Act 1992 and is an Assigned College of the Glasgow Colleges’ Regional Board.
The Board of Management has 18 members, including two staff representatives elected by the academic and support staff respectively, and two student representatives and the College Principal. Members of the Board serve on a voluntary basis, without remuneration, take an active interest in the work of the College and attend various college events.
The Board normally meets five times a year and observers are welcome. Papers relating to the Board of Management are published on this website after meetings.
Meet the Board...
Ian took up post of Chair of the Board of Management on 1 August 2018. Previously a Board Member at John Wheatley College he has been a Board Member of Glasgow Kelvin College since its formation in November 2013. During this time he has Chaired the Human Resources Committee, the Audit and Risk Committee and since August 2016 has been Vice Chair of the Board.
Ian, a graduate of both the University of Glasgow and the University of Stirling brings over 30 years of experience of working in FE/HE to the Board. He started his career as a Maths teacher and then moved to Bell College in Hamilton as a Computing Lecturer, spending his subsequent career entirely in FE/HE. Within Bell College he held positions of Senior Lecturer in Computing, Director of Quality and finally, in the run up to the merger of Bell College and the University of Paisley to form the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), Acting Vice-Principal. After the formation of UWS he was Campus Director of the Hamilton Campus and until his retirement in 2014, Director of College Partnerships. Ian played a significant corporate role within the University as Chair of the University’s Collaborative Forum, its Student Disciplinary Committee and as Vice-Chair of its Student Experience Group.
With this considerable experience of both Education and Governance, Ian hopes to lead the Board in its role of constructively challenging and supporting the Senior Management of the College in its work of providing appropriate educational opportunities to the communities of North and East Glasgow.
Originally from Wishaw but having lived in the nearby small village of Bonkle for 30 years, Ian is married with two grown-up children both of whom are Chartered Accountants. His main hobby is Bridge which he plays competitively in national competitions within Scotland. He also enjoys keeping fit, travelling and supporting Motherwell FC.
Derek’s early working life began with 15 years’ service in the Royal Air Force and as an avionics development engineer with Marconi Avionics. A graduate of the University of Stirling and the Open University, he began his 19 year career in further education as a Lecturer in engineering, progressing to Curriculum Manager, Head of Faculty and then Senior Management at Cumbernauld College and New College Lanarkshire.
Derek’s life was changed by his first year in the classroom. A challenging year but one that ignited his passion for Learning & teaching and instilled a pride in an education sector which gives everyone a chance to change their lives.
Derek took up the role as Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College on 1 August 2019.
Marion Allison is currently the Head of the Community Learning and Development (CLD) Standards Council for Scotland, the professional body for people working and volunteering in youth work, adult learning and community development. She leads the organisation across all business areas including the registration of professional practitioners, approval of CLD academic courses in the college and university sectors, professional learning and the overall strategic direction of the organisation. She works with a wide range of professionals from the public, voluntary and private sectors with partnership programmes across the United Kingdom and beyond.
Marion brings over 20 years’ experience of working within CLD and Education and is a Member of the Institute of Directors and a Board Trustee at Impact Arts. After graduating with an Honours Degree in Commerce from Glasgow Caledonian University, Marion undertook post-graduate study in Community Education at the University of Strathclyde. She was worked all over Glasgow in various youth work roles before moving to South Lanarkshire Council where she managed two large youth centres. Most recently Marion completed her doctoral study into young people, enterprise and social capital at the University of Stirling. She hopes that her contributions to the Board will support new opportunities for the college, its students and surrounding communities.
Marion lives in South Lanarkshire with her teenage son. She is a football fan and her main hobbies are travelling, keeping fit and spending time with family and friends.
Born in Glasgow, Rob developed a career in organisational development, education, learning technologies and contract, programme and project management. In his current role he specialises in relationship management, educational technology and software, programme and contract management, training and product embedding.
Rob brings a wide range of experience in the public and private sector and knowledge of technology, education and service development to Board activities.
In his spare time, Rob enjoys karate, reading and going to the gym. He is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the army reserves with thirty years’ service and operational experience.
Born and educated in Glasgow, Laura Birch gained a BA Honours Degree in Accountancy at Glasgow Caledonian University and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. She joined Scottish Enterprise in 2008 where she currently works as a Senior Commercial Manager. Her role at Scottish Enterprise involves bringing her strong financial and commercial business experience to a number of industry sectors which enables her to bring a different perspective to the Education Sector, particularly from a strategic and governance perspective. As a member of Scottish Government’s pool of Gateway Reviewers, she provides independent assurance to Accountable Officers, Senior Responsible Owners and Ministers in the delivery of major public sector projects and programmes.
As a member of the Board of Management, Laura feels she has benefited from an excellent education system and aims to give something back and support others in terms of developing the young work force and giving them skills which lead to employment and ultimately increase economic impact in Scotland.
In her spare time, Laura has a keen interest in fitness. She enjoys travel and outdoor pursuits, including hiking, cycling, white water rafting and kayaking.
Fiona has lived most of her life in Lanarkshire and has worked across the private, public, education and voluntary sectors. Her Third Sector experience has involved the setting up and day-to-day running of a Council for Voluntary Services which led to being on the North Lanarkshire Partnership Board and Lanarkshire Women’s Aid board. In Financial Services, she was an international programme manager with Lloyds Banking Group in Liquidity and Solvency and responsible for evidencing their compliance when the FSA transitioned to the FCA.
Within the education sector, Fiona has worked at the Scottish Funding Council supporting Scottish Government priorities into policy and at the Association of Scottish Colleges with policy thinking.
Fiona gained a BSc (Hons) at Glasgow University and continued her continuous professional development by attaining an Executive MBA from the University of West of Scotland. Her enthusiasm is for helping and supporting continuous improvement which she has done through mentoring and being a speech coach.
Her passion is sailing on West Coast of Scotland as well as, often as possible in warmer climes. She is now in her 11th year as Secretary and Treasurer of the Clyde Fleet, International Yachting Federation of Rotarians. This voluntary work motivates her values of service, fellowship, integrity and leadership which she will bring as part of her contribution to the success of the Glasgow Kelvin College Board.
Originally from Airdrie and residing in Glasgow, Michaels career path has been Marketing with a wealth of Marketing and Communication experience in Private and Public sectors. Currently working with the SQA, he raises the Scottish Education profile across the UK.
Michael aims to ensure that he supports the work of the Board to achieve its Strategic Objectives, by utilising his Commercial and Marketing skills. Michael was shortlisted by the Scottish Business Awards in 2010 for his Digital Strategy work.
In his spare time, Michael is a coffee enthusiast who enjoys reading and football.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Heather began her career in Strathclyde Regional Council where she took the opportunity to study and develop a career path in Public Administration, gaining entry to the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD). This led to more senior positions in South Lanarkshire Council at Head of Service level in Planning and Economic Development, Enterprise Resources and Finance and Corporate Resources. These involved responsibility for a number of functions including Personnel, Estates Management, Audit and Risk Management, Community Planning and Performance Management and Improvement.
Heather aims to contribute constructively to the scrutiny and governance processes of the College. To assist in setting the strategic direction and ultimately make a positive difference to those communities served by the College. Heather will bring a positive ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to help improve the quality of life for those most in need in Glasgow.
In her spare time, Heather enjoys the occasional house renovation project. Heather has studied Spanish both in Scotland and in Spain. She also enjoys keeps fit and hopes to complete the West Highland Way later in 2020. Heather is also involved in a voluntary capacity with both Barnardo’s Children’s Charity and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
In her current post as Student Association President, Lauren feels that her insight to the workings of the college will allow her to ensure that all students are fairly and properly
Born in Liverpool, Stephen Birrell gained an Arts Degree (Photography) and began his career in various voluntary sector settings in youth information work as well as organisations dealing with addiction and homelessness and with a focus on people and communities.
Stephen’s recent career has involved working in the public sector on policy. He is currently a Programme Officer for a ‘Smart Cities’ ERDF Strategic Intervention.
Stephen believes the Board of Management should provide an effective and positive governance function and an informed contribution to planned strategic development. He also believes that the Board of Management should seek to enhance the reputation of the Glasgow Kelvin College as a Centre of Excellence in Learning and Communities.
In his spare time, Stephen enjoys arts and cultural activities. He is an active member of Dennistoun Community Council, a filmmaker and photographer and an aspiring writer.
Born in Scone, Perthshire, John began his career in the recruitment industry and has worked in a variety of roles in Higher Education. He is currently Director of Continuous Improvement at the University of Strathclyde.
As a member of the Board of Management, John aims to work with other members and the College’s senior management team to contribute to the ongoing success of Glasgow Kelvin College.
John likes keeping fit, going to the gym and running. He also enjoys socialising with friends and is a keen supporter of St. Johnstone Football Club.
Born in Glasgow and educated at Notre Dame High School, Deborah Thomson gained a BSc in Manufacturing Engineering with Accountancy at the University of Strathclyde. She joined BBC Scotland in 2006 where she currently works as Production Accountant. Her role at the BBC involves advising executive staff on cost reductions and savings plans, managing BBC drama and children’s programme budgets, developing financial strategy and undertaking financial analysis to inform decision making.
As a member of the Board of Management, Deborah’s aim is to provide support to the Principal and staff of the College to deliver the best education for its learners. She is particularly interested in the development of partnerships with business and apprenticeships and aims to assist with the facilitation of any future partnerships and opportunities.
In her spare time, Deborah enjoys travel, outdoor pursuits and learning Spanish. She also undertakes outreach work and actively participates in STEM events particularly those for women in engineering. Deborah trekked the Great Wall of China in 2014 and Machu Picchu in Peru in 2015. She has completed the West Highland Way in 2016.
Dr Elaine Clafferty is a chartered electronic and electrical engineer with a doctorate in engineering education. She is currently a senior lecturer and year tutor at Glasgow Caledonian University and specialises in electronic and electrical engineering, software development, learner transition, widening access to education and the student experience.
Elaine was born in Edinburgh and brought up on the south side of Glasgow, she continues to live in south east Glasgow. She attended Glasgow University and, after graduating, worked in the electronics industry. After a 10 year career break during which she raised her four sons Elaine returned to education on a part time basis to update her skills before working in a series of part time and temporary roles leading to a full time post as a lecturer in analogue electronics at Glasgow Caledonian University. Elaine has held a number of educational leadership roles including Year Tutor, Student Success Centre Director, Head of Learning and Teaching, and Associate Dean of Learning, Teaching and Quality in the university’s technical schools. Elaine voluntarily works for her professional body, the Institution of Electrical Engineering and Technology (IET) participating in and chairing their engineering degree accreditation panels across the UK and beyond.
Elaine’s aim is to work with other Board members and the College’s Senior Management Team to contribute to ongoing improvement in the learner journey at Glasgow Kelvin College. This will lead to more people successfully completing qualifications that open the door to the good jobs and life chances that they deserve. Elaine brings a passion for the best experience for every student, her own track record in this area, and knowledge of what is happening in the wider education sector.
Elaine is very interested in diet and healthy eating and grows her own fruit and vegetables in her garden. She also buys lots of kitchen gadgets! Elaine’s four sons were educated in the Gaelic Units of Sir John Maxwell Primary and Hillpark Secondary schools.
Born in Dublin, Colm has lived and worked in Glasgow since 2007. Colm has worked in education throughout his career, firstly as secondary school teacher, then as HE lecturer in the University of Strathclyde and currently as FE lecturer at Glasgow Kelvin College.
Colm aims to ensure that the views and needs of the College teaching staff are represented on the Board and aims to make a positive contribution to the future development of the College. His priorities would also include maximising the democratic participation of staff and students in College planning and governance, as well as contributing to the College’s work in increasing the successful participation in education of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
In his spare time he enjoys reading and walking and spending time with his family and daughter. Colm is a native Irish Gaelic speaker.
Dermot has a doctorate in Mathematics, specialising in pure mathematics, and since graduation has worked as an actuary for various companies, consultancies and the UK Government. He is currently the Company Actuary with the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland. Dermot has also spent time teaching at London School of Economics where he studied for a Masters in Population and Development.
In his spare time Dermot enjoys various sports, although he admits he’s more of a spectator now. He has climbed several Munros and has a few more in his sights over the next couple of years. Dermot has also had the chance to appear on both radio and television a number of times, discussing topics related to demography and population. Alongside his hobbies Dermot also supports the Glasgow based charities Citywise Mentoring and Pollockshields Community Food Point.
Dermot brings with him a wealth of Risk Management experience and is keen to help improve the lives of, and opportunities available to, the people of Glasgow.
It is James’ aim as part of the Board of Management to ensure equity in learning. He would also like to promote, both digital and on-Campus, social events at the College.
In addition to his studies James has many hobbies including swimming, coding and robotics. He also has an interest in astronomy and enjoys stargazing. James is a keen creative writer and is currently working on his own novel.
Linda is a qualified accountant who has served on the senior executive teams of a number of public sector organisations. She was appointed as a member of Glasgow Kelvin College Arm’s Length Foundation in 2020. She was born and brought up in the East End of Glasgow and having had a number of roles in the education and skills area over her career, has a particular interest in the work of the College.
Linda retired from the role of Director of Finance and Strategic Planning and member of the Senior Executive Team with the Scottish Qualifications Authority at the beginning of 2020.
She was recently re-elected as a member nominated trustee with the Scottish Enterprise Pension and Life Assurance Scheme. She has served on the Trustee Board for many years as both an employer nominated and member nominated trustee and is a long serving member of the Investment Committee.
Following her retirement Linda became a director and board member of Clackmannanshire Economic Regeneration Trust which seeks to secure funding to invest in employment and wealth generation activities in the Clackmannanshire area.
Prior to her SQA role Linda was Director of Finance and Investments with Historic Scotland and was a member of the senior executive team.
In 2007 she was asked to be a member of the small Scottish Government Task Team formed to establish Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and she was subsequently appointed to the position of Corporate Services Director with the new organisation.
Linda held various roles with Scottish Enterprise including Director of Finance with responsibility for National Skills Programmes and Careers Scotland Services.
Linda lives in Uddingston with her husband, Stewart and their Great Dane dog, Axel.