Careers start here.

Take control of your future!

Harlow College Further Education Corporation Governors


Sonny Bazzoni

Sonny is one of the Student Governors at Harlow College and is in his first term of office and provides a student perspective on important College matters. He is also an active part of the College’s Student Ambassador team and has been involved in numerous College and outside-of-College events. He is studying the new Policing Level 3 course and is in his first year after doing a year of A-Levels. Following this, he hopes to be able to work in one of the emergency services.

Sonny is a Student Governor and a member of the College’s Health and Safety Committee.

Caroline Betts

Caroline is a seasoned professional with over three decades of dedicated service at Essex County Council, primarily in skills development. With a robust portfolio of achievements, she has spearheaded numerous initiatives, including the acclaimed Essex Apprenticeship Programme and the innovative Essex Opportunities Portal. Her expertise extends to navigating complex challenges, evident in her pivotal role in establishing solutions to skills shortages, notably the HGV driver programme. Passionate about apprenticeships, careers, and future-proofing the workforce, Caroline collaborates seamlessly with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders, from colleges and independent training providers to universities and employers. Her unwavering commitment to upskilling ensures a brighter future for individuals and communities alike, marking her as a stalwart advocate for lifelong learning and professional advancement. 

Caroline is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Standards and Curriculum Committee.

Rod Bristow

Rod has led digital transformation at FTSE100 board level and has worked internationally in schools, colleges and universities. 

He is former President of Pearson's Global Online Learning business, including partnerships for lifelong learning with Arizona State University and King’s College London and the operation of over 40 fully online schools. He was also President of Pearson UK, including publishing, assessment, the exam board Edexcel and BTEC qualifications.

He is a Visiting Professor at University College London Institute of Education and Honorary Group Captain in the RAuxAF. Rod chairs the Academic Advisory Board for the education technology business, Kortext.

Rod is an Independent Governor, Chair of the Corporation’s Standards and Curriculum Committee and a member of the Corporation’s Remuneration Committee.

Hannah Cheesman

Hannah is one of our Student Governors here at Harlow College. This is her second year in the position, her main role is to put across the student perspective in these meetings so that the students’ voices are heard. She often attends governance meetings so that she is able to improve herself in this role and learn from other people with more experience. She also enjoys helping out at other College events such as open evenings and job fairs. She is currently studying our BTEC information technology program and will complete this two year program in June 2024.

Hannah is a Student Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Standards and Curriculum Committee.

Julia Fillary

Julia has extensive project and change management experience introducing new tools and processes across a variety of large organisations.  Julia believes that her current role at a local employer, combined with her previous business knowledge will contribute towards the College’s strategic growth plan.

Julia is an ardent supporter of education for all and understands the role education plays in allowing each person to fulfil their potential. Julia is also the Team Leader of the Harlow and Chelmsford branch of the charity ‘Read Easy’ which helps adults learn to read. 

Julia is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Audit Committee.

Vic Goddard

Vic has served the Harlow community for over 25 years as a teacher and senior leader. Vic has been the CEO of Passmores Cooperative Learning Community since 2013 and oversees the running of Pear Tree Mead, Potter Street, Purford Green, The Downs and Passmores academies.

Alongside Vic’s work locally he is a founding member of the educational think tank Headteachers’ Round Table that works with MPs and other o􏰀icials to influence government policy. He has also contributed to numerous national projects with the Department for Education focussed on behaviour and inclusion.

Vic contributes regularly to the national debate on education in the media having written or contributed to hundreds of newspaper articles and appeared in numerous items on national news channels.

Vic is in demand as a public speaker in the UK and overseas on education and leadership; delivering training to tens of thousands of education sta􏰀, both teachers and non-teachers. Following the series Educating Essex Vic wrote the best-selling book on being a headteacher called ‘The Best Job in the World.’

Vic knows it is a privilege to be able to serve the Harlow community and to work in partnership with as many local organisations as possible.

Vic is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Standards and Curriculum Committee.

John Godley

John has been a teacher and in quality roles in Further Education for 15 years. Prior to that he worked with homeless young people and in outdoor education. He holds an M.A. in Outdoor Education (Merit) from the University of Wales, Trinity St David, alongside a QTLS and a PGCE from the University of Greenwich. He is currently serving as the Head of Quality Assurance at Harlow College, leading in organisational quality compliance visits, accreditation and supporting with innovation and development of teaching, learning and assessment across the College. He has recently completed a Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management. 

John is a Staff Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Resources Committee.

Stephen Isherwood

Stephen was appointed Chief Executive of the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) in June 2013. He is currently responsible for the ISE’s market intelligence, thought leadership and policy strategies. Stephen has managed student recruitment and development programmes in both the private and public sectors, and has extensive experience in the recruitment and development of students. He has worked closely with education throughout his career. 

Outside the ISE, Stephen is a charity trustee and also provides freelance consulting services. He has presented to various committees in the Houses of Parliament and is often asked to contribute to national and local media regarding student recruitment and development issues.

Stephen is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Standards and Curriculum Committee.

Liz Laycock 

Liz worked in the FE sector for over 30 years including over 10 years at senior management level mainly in curriculum development and quality improvement. Liz was also an Ofsted additional inspector for the sector concentrating mainly on the quality of provision, leadership and management and safeguarding.

Liz is passionate about the FE sector as this is the sector that enables young people to develop skills and careers and gives adults that second or third chance to do the same. These are key values of Harlow College. Liz is proud to be a member of the Harlow College board and represent, at board level, both the hardworking staff who are providing first class teaching, support and facilities and the students who are fantastic ambassadors for the College.

Retired Liz now has the time and opportunity to use her experiences with the College as well as spending precious time with three grandchildren and pretending to keep fit!

Liz is an Independent Governor, Chair of the Corporation, a member of the Corporation’s Remuneration Committee, Resources Committee and Standards and Curriculum Committee and a member of the College’s Safeguarding Committee.

Ray Levy

Ray is an Associate Director at Interpath Ltd and started working in the UK Restructuring and Insolvency profession in 1984. He currently specialises in corporate simplification, helping to prepare and implement the elimination of redundant legal entities. Ray provides innovative closure and simplification solutions for entities/groups of all sizes, and across multiple sectors/industries.

Ray volunteered as a Governor at Mark Hall Academy from May 2014 to July 2016. 

Ray is an Independent Governor, Vice-Chair of the Corporation, Chair of the Corporation’s Audit Committee and a member of the Corporation’s Remuneration Committee and the College’s Health and Safety Committee.

Lily Lin

Lily was born and educated in Shanghai, and worked as a teacher and manager whose outstanding success led to her arrival in the UK in 2005, in a post initially funded by The British Council and subsequently by Essex County Council, to build education partnerships between Essex and Jiangsu Province, China.

She then went on to work for Edison Learning where she worked as Business Development Manager for China and Vice President at a joint venture with Wake Forest University, before joining Excellence First Enterprise Consultancy (EFEC) full time in 2013. Meanwhile, Lily gained a master’s degree from Cambridge University. Lily is CEO of EFEC, leading its development by building on its success in creating UK – China education collaboration, to the wider field of partnerships for growth in business, innovation, skills and careers.

Lily’s business focus means that she is particularly keen on the relationships the College can develop with employers to enhance the part Harlow can play in the ‘Innovation Corridor’ as a key hub for industry between Cambridge and London.

Lily is an Independent Governor Vice-Chair of the Corporation, Chair of the Corporation’s Search and Governance Committee and a member of the Corporation’s Remuneration Committee and the College’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Operational Group.

Karen Spencer

Karen Spencer is Principal and CEO of Harlow College and Stansted Airport College which prides itself on being the first FE College (UK) awarded Apple Distinguished School status for digital innovation in learning, teaching and assessment.

Karen holds an honours degree in Mathematics and was a member of the Advisory Committee for Mathematics Education, providing policy advice to Government Mathematics Education and was involved in the setup of a National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics.

Karen Chairs the Colleges Aviation Network and is also the Chair of an APPG group focussed on STEM jobs and skills in the Aviation sector.  In 2018 Karen established Stansted Airport College, the first purpose-built on-site College at a major UK airport

Karen is a member of the 4 Nations Leadership Group for Colleges and is also part of the AoC 2030 group. She was awarded an MBE in 2020 for her services to Education and Aviation.

Karen is the Ex-Officio Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Resources Committee, Search and Governance Committee and Standards and Curriculum Committee. 

Paul Taylor

As a former student and part time lecturer at Harlow College, it is Paul’s privilege to serve and support the organisation as a Governor.  Paul brings links to industry and employer engagement through his work and other avenues which include 25 years’ IT experience and over 20 years’ aviation experience.  

Paul holds a PhD in Law (Employment related) and have extensive practical experience in the criminal and family courts. Paul has, and continues, to deliver guest lectures in these and other subjects.  He has also worked for the local authority to deliver Governor training sessions.

Paul is a huge supporter of lifelong learning, something the College values and offers, providing students of all ages and backgrounds the with opportunities to develop and extend their learning.

Paul is an Independent Governor, the Chair of the Corporation’s Resources Committee and a member of the Corporation’s Remuneration Committee.

Michael Travers

Michael currently works for the College as the Health, Safety & Estates Manager. He has been working with the College since 2010 originally joining us as a Level 2 Business Admin. Michael has progressed from this into numerous roles within the College linked to Campus and Health and Safety.

Michael is a Staff Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Audit Committee.

Dawn Turner

Dawn is an Internal Audit Manager at Price Bailey LLP, a top 30 accountancy firm and is based in the Bishops Stortford office. She is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). 

Dawn works with a number of public sector organisations including Academy Trusts, charities, membership organisations, town and parish councils, to help provide assurance on risk management, governance and internal controls. 

Dawn previously worked in a top 10 accountancy firm, and in a district council providing internal audit services to the public sector. 

In her spare time, Dawn loves spending time with family, going on walks with her dogs and keeping active at the gym. 

Dawn is an Independent Governor, a member of the Corporation’s Audit Committee and a member of the College’s Safeguarding Committee.

Ed Whittle

Edward is the Head of Finance for Mindful Education, a provider in the further education sector. As part of this role he works closely with over 70 colleges across the UK, helping them to deliver professional courses with an emphasis on blended-learning. Edward also works closely with finance teams at different colleges to understand their funding priorities. 

Prior to joining Mindful Education in 2017, Edward trained and qualified as both a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Tax Advisor with the international professional services firm EY, advising multinational companies. 

Ed holds an MA from the University of Cambridge.

Ed is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Resources Committee.

Heather Wilson 

Heather has over 15 years’ experience working within the not-for-profit sector, most recently as a learning and development subject matter expert for a leading disability charity and as part of the NHS. Currently, Heather is employed as the Learning and Development Partner for Manchester Airport Group, based at Stansted Airport, with a focus on career pathways, management, leadership and soft skills development.

Prior to this, Heather had a 20-year career working in delivering customer experience, managing contact centres and customer journey mapping.

Heather is an accredited c-me behavioural profiling facilitator.

Away from work, Heather lives in Harlow and is married with two children, both of whom attend a local secondary school.

Heather is an Independent Governor and a member of the Corporation’s Resources Committee.