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The Prospect Trust


Helen Manning (Chair)

Helen Manning is a Maths graduate of The University of Bath.  She joined the Sixth Form College Farnborough AQC early in 2019 having been appointed as a parent councillor.  Helen was previously a school governor for Tomlinscote School for four years as Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee and SEND governor.  Helen is keen to ensure the AQC holds the College leadership to account and to help the College maintain their “Outstanding” status.

In the past Helen has worked for Nokia and the defence industry where she was a software architect.  Now she works for the Citizens Advice Bureau helping people who are in debt and/or on benefits. Helen is married to Tim and they have three children (two have previously attended the College) and the youngest is due to start at the College in September 2022.

Rachel Holmes (Vice Chair)

Rachel was appointed to the AQC in January 2019.  Her eldest daughter completing A levels at the College in the same year.  For the last 18 years Rachel has run a consultancy business specialising in personal, team and leadership development within the private and public sectors.  Rachel provides 1-1 executive coaching (often around a change of career or position) and programmes designed to help teams work together more effectively. 

Currently, much of Rachel’s work is in the Higher Education Sector with universities across the UK. Clients include senior academics and professional services staff whose role it is to ensure the quality of the student experience, both from a teaching and an extra-curricular perspective.  Rachel is particularly interested in how the College can best support students to make the right choices for their futures, whether this is university, an apprenticeship or work, and thoroughly enjoys her time on the AQC.

Angela Cowdery

Angela currently works in publishing, responsible for a Maths website used by secondary schools nationwide.  Previously, Angela has worked as a maths teacher in a variety of roles.  An understanding of the education sector as well as market knowledge means Angela is well-placed to contribute effectively to the AQC on post-16 education.  Angela has one child at the College and joined the AQC in January 2022.

Andrew Freeman

Andrew has spent over 20 years working in educational publishing and assessment and is currently Vice President, Secondary Schools Portfolio with Pearson Education Ltd.  Previously Andrew was a Governor at Potters Gate Primary School and appreciates the critical role of governor in the on-going success of an educational institution.  Andrew joined the AQC in February 2020.

Justin Slater

Justin is a barrister with 20 years' experience, predominantly in the family courts.  An emphasis on 'Care' cases for children and young adults has provided him with an extensive knowledge of safeguarding issues.  Justin also volunteers as a Parent Supervisor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award enjoying witnessing the growth and development of the young people who take part.  Justin has a daughter currently attending SFCF.

Greg Thornton

Greg has always been a keen advocate for training and promoting young people at the start of their careers to help them to achieve their goals.  After a career in IT, Greg is used to reviewing projects, programmes and ongoing operations to evaluate their outcomes, strengths, threats and weaknesses.  He has worked with stakeholders at all levels in organisations on identifying and implementing corrective and preventive action plans.  Having recently taken early retirement Greg feels that now is the time to “give back” and to bring his skills and experience to the community to help enable today’s students to achieve their potential.

Kirstie Van Oerle

Kirstie studied Law at Nottingham Trent University and spent over twenty-five years in various leadership roles in technology and blue chip companies.  Having sat on a number of Boards involved with encouraging diversity and inclusion in the workplace, Kirstie has experience of the barriers that can exist for young people entering the world of work.  She is passionate about the education and development of young people and believes the schooling environment is critical to the health and wellbeing of young people. Inclusivity is of utmost importance to Kirstie who offers a different view and perspective on College life.

Peter Williams

Peter has recently retired following a career spanning 24 years in education.  He started his professional life as a Lecturer, later becoming Head of Learning and Standards and managing a curriculum area with over 900 students and 30 lecturers.  Peter's approach, throughout his career, was student focused with a strong emphasis on learner satisfaction and achievement.

Peter also served on an Awarding Body's Quality and Development Committee, a sub-committee of the Board of Governors.  This enabled him to contribute to the development and quality of the organisations provision for much of the south east of England.  Further experience came from his time as a External Validator, carrying out objective critiques of college's self-assessment reports.

Dan McGrath

Dan is a Senior Curriculum Manager of Film and Media Studies with 15 years of experience working within the sixth form sector and The Sixth Form College Farnborough. Dan has a detailed understanding of running a large department that spans both A level and vocational courses and is a keen advocate of promoting learning beyond the curriculum. Prior to working in the education sector, Dan had a successful career in marketing, working for brands within the film, fashion and art industries.

Emily Jones

Emily is a Curriculum Manager of Vocational Business with 8 years experience in Post-16 education. Emily has experience managing large numbers of students completing BTEC Business, but has experience teaching A Level Business and BA Business Management. Prior to working within the education sector Emily completed a BA Business Management degree and has since completed an MSc in Educational Leadership and Management. Emily prides herself on providing quality education for all students and supports students to meet her high expectations. Emily was appointed by the AQC in Spring 2023.