Governor Biographies

Amanda Montague

Amanda Montague - Chair

Amanda is a freelance consultant who uses her skills and experience to support organisations developing and implementing apprenticeships, employment and skills programmes. Amanda previously worked for the Skills Funding Agency and its predecessor bodies for 20 plus years. She has a good working knowledge of skills policy and having worked in Essex for the last 10 years has developed a good understanding of the local skills issues and challenges. Amanda lives locally and her interests include the family pets, DIY and cars!

David Warnes - Principal

David Warnes - Principal

David Warnes has been working in the Further Education sector for over 25 years. After qualifying as a lecturer in 1996, he started his teaching career at Richmond upon Thames College. teaching A-levels, vocational courses and assessing Apprenticeships. He progressed into various management positions, including Curriculum Director of IT, Business, Travel, Sport and Leisure. He then went on to chair the national network of Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) in Sport, before being seconded to work on the education programme for the London 2012 Olympics.

David has been the senior strategic lead for Apprenticeships, Business Development and HE at both East Surrey College and London South East College, and was most recently Deputy Principal at West London College, before joining Chelmsford College as Principal and Chief Executive in October 2022.

David is a keen amateur gardener and walker, and particularly enjoys exploring the remote corners of the West coast of Scotland.

Trevor Bolton

Trevor Bolton

Trevor started his career in the merchant shipping industry before moving into education, working mainly in universities. He ‘retired’ in 2019 as a University Pro Vice Chancellor. Since then he has developed a portfolio career, running his own growing consultancy company and serving on several boards, including the Architectural Association. Trevor holds degrees from three universities including a PhD from Lancaster.Trevor joined the Board in March 2020 and serves on the Audit Committee.

Rachael Cornwall

Rachael Cornwall

Rachael is a Director of Human Resources in the Higher Education sector. She is a Chartered member of the Chartered Institute of Personal and Development with a Masters degree in Strategic HR Management. She has extensive experience in the HE sector and has also worked for Professional Service firms Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers in specialist HR roles. Prior to HR, she worked in retail which ignited a passion for good customer service. Rachael and her HR colleagues won the Universities HR ‘exceptional HR team of the year’ in 2023. She is opposed to tick box and performative approaches to people management and welcomes the opportunity to work with colleagues at the College to enhance the student and staff experience.

Jan Church

Jan Church

Jan is the colleges business support staff governor and is a member of the Policy, Sustainability & Resources Committee. Jan joined Chelmsford College in 2004, as part of the Learning Technologies team and quickly moved to a Lead Role in the Learning Resource Centres. In 2013 with the new Assessment Centres on the horizon, Jan was offered a Lead Role and during this period achieved the Professional Certification to CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). During 2015 Jan became the Co-ordinator for both Learning and Assessment Centres. Jan enjoys using technology and is passionate about sharing information to support learning. Jan collaborates with other colleges by being a member of JISC and has joined their Community of Practice where she takes an active role in discussions and sharing knowledge across the South East Region. Jan spends her spare time outdoors as much as possible and has a real passion for gardening.

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson

Richard Davidson is a Director at Balfour Beatty, responsible for business development, early tendering and market engagement. A strategic thinker and believer in constant improvement, Richard is frequently engaged in local and national initiatives turning his holistic thinking and energy to whichever challenge is presented.

He is involved with construction and development schemes across England and Wales, bringing his knowledge and expertise to those looking to pursue a green growth agenda. He is a passionate believer in the power of strong networks; always taking the time to connect people, promoting collaboration as the most important factor in building successful outcomes. Away from work he is a married father of two, spends many hours cycling and running a local youth rugby club.

Ra Hamilton-Burns

Ra Hamilton-Burns

Ra has been a Governance Professional and Clerk in Further Education for over 20 years. She has worked in various sixth form and General Further Education Colleges and enjoys working with Boards to ensure that they support their colleges and learners to grow and thrive. She is an associate of the AoC, ETF and Institute of Directors, working to co-design, deliver and moderate training for Governance Professionals and Governors alike. Her previous roles as a Public Relations specialist and journalist in Information Technology have fed her interest in how technologies can be harnessed to deliver education that enables and appeals to learners. When not working, Ra is a devoted beekeeper, has a wonderful family and enjoys swimming in the sea.

Christian Norman

Christian Norman

Christian is a highly experienced leader and manager in the education sector having had a long career with Colchester Institute and previously with North Lindsey College. He has held a range of senior cross-college and departmental positions, including Curriculum Manager, Head of Centre, and Director of Faculty where he focused on strategic and operational curriculum management. He has a broad knowledge of the post 16 education sector, quality improvement and general project management. He is a qualified teacher and has developed a large range of business courses from pre-GCSE to postgraduate level. Christian formerly chaired the Colchester Aimhigher Partnership and is particularly keen that all students are inspired and have the opportunity to progress to achieve their goals. In addition, having established the Career Ready Business programme at Colchester Institute, he remains on their ‘Business and IT Local Advisory Board’ and also volunteers as a Speaker for Guide Dogs.

Jaya Patten

Jaya Patten

Jaya comes from a Corporate and Investment Banking background. He held senior leadership and transactor roles in Fixed Income Capital markets at leading American and European financial institutions in Europe and Asia for over twenty-five years. He set up his own financial markets consultancy in 2011, advising financial institutions in Europe and emerging markets in areas around capacity building and technical assistance. He is also a member of the subject matter expert panel of a couple of global consultancies in US (Gerson Lehrman Group) and Singapore (Asean Advisory). More recently Jaya has been involved in Expert Witness assignments in financial litigation and regulatory investigations in Europe. These carry important lessons learnt applications to improve Governance, Risk and Compliance frameworks. He is a founding member of the International RegTech association (Zurich, Switzerland).

Alan Pitcher

Alan Pitcher

Al has lived in Essex for most of his life and has worked within public service for over the last 20 years. He is an experienced leader; responsible for policy setting, investigation and critical decision making. As a qualified project manager, Al is also experienced in leading change, wide ranging stakeholder collaboration and performance management. Al joined the team of governors in 2022 and is a member of the Audit Committee. Away from work, Al helps to run a local amateur dramatics group and enjoys musical theatre.

Paddy Reilly

Paddy Reilly

Paddy is Chief Executive of University of East London Students' Union. He has worked in five universities and students' unions, including being Director of student life in the University of Essex and Chief Executive of Durham Students' Union and University of Suffolk Students' Union. He has been a governor in two universities and two primary schools. Paddy is a member of the Quality and Learners' Committee, is the Safeguarding Governor and is one of the governor Champions for Maths, English and Extended Learning. His wider interests include rugby (Connacht abú!) and walking.

Jon Selvage

Jon Selvage

Jon is an Advanced Practitioner specialising in Educational Technology. This role includes leading the staff and student Digital Innovation Team at Chelmsford College. Additionally, he teaches on the Graphic & Digital Design pathway, while supporting other courses within the Art & Media department.

Doug Zeeman

Doug Zeeman - Co-opted Governor

Doug is a highly experienced contracts officer with a long career with BAE Systems (formerly GEC Marconi), focusing on defence engineering and electronics. He has a wide knowledge of commercial contracts and general project management. He is a professionally qualified manager and had a vast technical exposure to negotiating techniques, contract law, exporting, research & development, as well as employment law and practice. In his work, he has had to deal on complex and commercially sensitive contracts with various Governments, European Space Agency, and the European Union. Doug is a co-opted member of the Quality & Learners Committee.