Pat Brennan-Barrett, MA SEN, PGCE, SPLD DIP, SPLD CERT CEO and Principal
Pat is a good communicator and motivator with excellent people skills, 30 years of senior leadership experience and a specialism in SpLD.
She is passionate about education, believing that all people should be given the opportunity to reach their potential. Pat has led cultural change across many school and colleges, resulting in improved outcomes and financial stability. She can evidence successful delivery of large complex projects including financial turnaround, successful Ofsted IQER and QAA outcomes with commendations.
She is a member of the following boards:
- South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) Skills Advisory Panel (Chair)
- The AoC SEND group (Chair)
- AoC English and maths group (Co-Chair)
- The SEND Portfolio Group (Regional lead, East Midlands)
- The AoC National 14-19 Portfolio Group
- The Northampton Employment and Skills Board
- The Professional Association of Teachers for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties
- AoC Curriculum Reform Group
Pat’s knowledge and expertise includes:
- Change management
- Finance and funding
- Resource management
- Performance management
- Project management
- Estates development
- Data and statistical analysis
- Education reform
- Teaching, learning and assessment
Professor Geraldine Schofield MBE Chair of the Corporation
Geraldine is a microbiologist who has worked in academia (Universities of Newcastle, Cologne, Milan), the public sector (Public Health Service) and the private sector.
She has authored a large number of scientific publications including chapters in two of the standard microbiological texts. Latterly, Geraldine was a senior manager with Unilever plc becoming global Head of Regulatory Affairs Foods R&D.
Geraldine has been an adviser to the UK Government on genetic modification and health and safety, and to the EU Commission on risk and food safety.
Until 2013 she was a visiting Professor at the University of Exeter and a Non-Executive Director of Milton Keynes Community Health Services.
Geraldine is a Trustee of the Society for Experimental Biology and a Magistrate. She was awarded an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.
Dr Philip Hilton Vice Chair of the Corporation
Educated at Cambridge and Liverpool Universities, Philip has a Ph.D. in polymer chemistry.
His career has been in the plastics and packaging industries, initially in operations and then in running businesses. Philip was a director of RPC Group Plc, Europe’s leading manufacturer of rigid plastics packaging (headquartered in Rushden).
Latterly, Philip was based in Germany, with responsibility for a division with eleven businesses across Europe. He served as a member of the Council of the British Plastics Federation.
Following retirement, Philip spent three months teaching at a tribal school in south India. He was also a former member of the Independent Monitoring Board at Wellingborough Prison.
Currently, Philip is:
- Vice-chair of Langley House Trust, an organisation for the resettlement of ex-offenders
- Involved in business start-ups
- A member of the Horners' Livery Company – with a special interest in education, training and apprenticeships in the plastics industry.
Helen Scott Vice Chair of the Corporation
Helen's current position is Dean of the Faculty of Education and Humanities at the University of Northampton, where she has worked for almost 5 years.
Helen is responsible for the academic quality and standards of the Faculty, which includes:
- English and Creative Writing
- Children and Young People
- Early Years
- Initial Teacher Training
- Educational Linguistics
- Special Educational Needs
- Inclusion and Teacher Continuing Professional Development.
Helen started her career in higher education at St Martin's College (now the University of Cumbria), where she led a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course in Art, taught undergraduate Fine Art students, and ran an MA in Education.
Helen was previously Head of Partnerships at Manchester Metropolitan University, collaborating with schools colleges to train teachers at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Before working in higher education, Helen taught art and design for six years at a London secondary school and three years at Luton Sixth Form College. Helen has been very lucky in her career to combine her two passions in life - education and art - and work with talented students and educators.
Helen has one son aged 21 and currently lives in Olney.
After graduating from the University of Hertfordshire as a scientist, David has worked for The Open University in a number of operational and strategic roles.
David is currently a Strategy Manager working alongside the Vice-Chancellor and Executive Team to manage the process of reporting and analysing institutional performance. He also responsible for the development and review of the University Strategy and for addressing key organisational problems through analytical outputs.
David chairs a university-wide group to improve understanding of data, and he previously worked in one of the Pro-Vice Chancellor offices working with faculties to develop and monitor their academic and financial plans. He has also worked in Student Services as a Project Manager and directly supporting students, including as a Director of three Residential Schools. Since then, David completed a MSc in Science and a Professional Certificate in Management with the University.
Tracey Griffiths (Lay Member)
Tracey has worked for the Northamptonshire Chamber of Commerce since 2002, fulfilling various roles within the Human Resource department.
These roles allowed her to complete her CIPD qualification in February 2007 and become a MCIPD in January 2008.
After the spilt of Business Link and Chamber in April 2007, Tracey took on the boarder remit of Head of Corporate Services, and a subsequent reshuffle in April 2009 resulted in the undertaking of her present role as Head of Operations. This role encompasses a mix of operational and strategic duties working with staff, Chamber members and the Board.
In 2013, the Northamptonshire Chamber was successful in its bid to run a Chamber in the Milton Keynes area, so Tracey now takes on the spilt role of Head of Operations for both organisations.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Tracey held various roles, including working with the Armed Forces and their families in Information Offices across Germany.
As a qualified accountant, Mark spent the first half of his career working in various finance roles across a range of industries, including electricity supply, travel, banking and insurance.
After completing an MBA at Warwick Business School, Mark joined the Corporate Development department of Abbey National (now part of Santander UK) and subsequently moved into risk management.
Mark worked at Lloyds Banking Group for twelve years in a number of Director level financial risk management and regulatory change roles.
Mark has lived in Northampton for the last eleven years.
Sharon Bunker Staff Governor
Sharon is proud to have been nominated as a member of the board to represent staff at Northampton College.
Sharon has worked in education for many years, starting in Primary education, then moving into FE at Moulton College, before joining the College in 2005 as a teacher in Foundation Studies.
During her time at Northampton College, Sharon has progressed into her current role as Curriculum Manager for Essential Skills, where she supports her colleagues and provides guidance to the department. Sharon is passionate about teaching maths and is proud to have helped the college to achieve a ‘Maths Centre of Excellence’ badge by increasing achievement rates.
Sharon have a vast knowledge of teams across the college, and is committed to maintaining high standards. Sharon is an avid football supporter having previously coached a girls’ team for over 5 years.
Rod has recently retired after a career in Human Resource management in both the public and private sector, including working at Rolls-Royce, British Gas/Centrica, Remploy and latterly in FE. He was Director of HR at Leicester College for 17 years, reporting to the Principal, and a member of the Senior leadership Team successfully helping to lead the College through challenging times.
Outside of FE, Rod was a school governor for 25 years at two local schools, which his four children attended, and served most of that time as Chair. Rod enjoys travel, tennis, walking, theatre, reading and has a keen interest in politics and education generally.
Becky has worked in the higher education sector for 20 years taking her current position as Executive Director of Estates & Campus Services at the University of Northampton in 2018. Becky led the operationalisation of the University of Northampton’s new and innovative Waterside Campus and most recently directed their strategic response to the Coronavirus pandemic. She is passionate about the influence of the built environment and support services on student outcomes, alongside sustainability, and currently leads development of both the University’s Sustainability and Estates strategies.
Becky has a background in health, safety and risk management and holds a Professional Diploma in Safety, Health & Environmental Management focused in Occupational Health, Safety and Environment from Nottingham Trent University.
Becky sits on several local regeneration boards and often contributes to sector wide working and advisory groups. She is the current Secretary of the Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), a Governor at Northampton College and a member of the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) national Health, Safety & Wellbeing committee.