Trustees are the people who are ultimately responsible for controlling the work, management and administration of the charity on behalf of its beneficiaries.

The ܽƵ is a charity, with a single body of Trustees which is responsible for all aspects of governance. The ܽƵ's fifteen trustees are collectively and individually responsible for the management of the ܽƵ's assets and resources at all levels.

The ܽƵ's Trustee body is made up of:

  • Four National Officers
  • Three representatives from the ܽƵ's Regions in England.
  • One representative from ܽƵ Scotland.
  • Eight externally co-opted Trustees (including the Chair)

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John Widdowson, ܽƵ Chair of Trustees
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John Widdowson

Chair of Trustees

John began his career as a lawyer but worked in Further and Higher Education for nearly forty years, the last twenty-two of which were as Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham. 

Pat Kynaston, ܽƵ President & National Officer
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Pat Kynaston

President & National Officer

Pat started her main career in TSB Bank as a clerk and moved through cashier, marketing, assistant to an area manager and finally as banking liaison & support in their computer centre. In 1992 she left the Bank and set up her own company offering privately organised coach tours to social groups.

Lindsay Pearson, ܽƵ Deputy President & National Officer
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Lindsay Pearson

Deputy President & National Officer 

Lindsay has been involved with the ܽƵ for some 40 years. He started as a learner and joined a local Committee running classes and discussing ܽƵ matters with colleagues in East Kent and wider. He was the first Southern Regional Chair at the creation of the Region and has also been a member of Council and was a nominated Trustee Committee member before first being elected as a Trustee in 2016. 

Kevin Doyle ܽƵ, Treasurer & National Officer
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Kevin Doyle

Treasurer & National Officer

On his retirement in 2016, Kevin got involved in his local ܽƵ branch and was branch chair for five years. Before taking his current role, he was a member of a regional committee and of the Finance and Capital Resources Committee. 

Karen McArdle, Deputy President & National Officer 
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Karen McArdle

Deputy President, National Officer & Interim Acting Chair Scotland Board

Professor Karen McArdle FRSA has more than 30 years’ experience of adult learning, working in Australia and Scotland.

Robin Cook, ܽƵ English Regional Representative
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Robin Cook

ܽƵ English Regional Representative

Robin has  spent his whole career within the Public Service, retiring from Senior Management. As a Civil Servant he had many and varied duties from which he gained a great deal of administrative, operational and strategic experience.

Malcolm Grady, ܽƵ English Regional Representative
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Malcolm Grady

ܽƵ English Regional Representative

Malcolm has spent his professional career in the world of education. He qualified as a teacher after graduating from York University and taught history and politics for a number of years before moving into educational administration.

Peter Threadkell, ܽƵ English Regional Representative
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Peter Threadkell

ܽƵ English Regional Representative

Peter left school at 16 to join an insurance company.  At the age of 30, thanks to a marvellous and inspiring ܽƵ tutor, he decided to become a teacher. He attended the local College of Education as a mature student, subsequently spending over thirty happy years teaching in various Norfolk primary schools, finding time on the way to get an Open University degree in History and Education. 

Tracey Irving
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Tracey Irving

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Tracey has significant HR, General Management and Strategic experience as a Senior Leader with extensive experience across multiple sectors.

Abda Khan
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Abda Khan

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Abda is a lawyer turned writer, creative practitioner and tutor. She joined the Board of Trustees in November 2023.

Cathy Armor picture
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Cathy Armor

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Cathy had a 30+ year career in Human Resources at a variety of organisations - private, public and not for profit. She joined the Board of Trustees in November 2023.

Christine Grant, Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee
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Christine Grant

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Christine joined the Board of Trustees as an external co-opted trustee in July 2022. She chairs the Audit and Risk Committee and is a member of the Nominations Committee.

Geoff Layer, Externally Co-opted Trustee
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Geoff Layer

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Geoff Layer recently retired as Vice Chancellor of the University of Wolverhampton, having worked for over 40 years in post compulsory education. He is now working on strategic development for Coventry University. 

Jamey Johnson
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Jamey Johnson

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Jamey is the Director of Command and Control at the Metropolitan Police Service where he leads 999, 101, dispatch and control services for London.

Vacant position
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Stephanie Mason

Externally Co-opted Trustee

Stephanie is a chartered accountant and an experienced governor. She has worked in the further education sector in various forms since 1993.