Queen Alexandra College
Court Oak Road
Tel: 0121 428 5050 (main switchboard)
Fax 0121 428 5048
Arrange an informal visit: 0121 428 5041
Check progress of your application: 0121 428 5015
Fundraising: 0121 428 5064
Advance2work: 0800 234 6859
QAC Senior Management Team
Hugh J Williams
T. 0121 428 5016
T. 0121 428 5012
Director of Human Resources and Estates
T. 0121 428 5014
Director of Finance and Resources
T. 0121 428 5030
Director of Business Development, QAC Sight Village
T. 0121 428 5041
Director of Residential Services
T. 0121 428 5026
T. 0121 428 5015
College Healthcare Team
T. 0121 428 5080/5081
Ashwood – 0121 428 5065
Hambland – 0121 428 5066
Mary Badger House – 0121 428 5067
TSB – 0121 428 5068
Winfield – 0121 428 5044
Woodville – 0121 428 5069
The number 24 bus stop is right outside the College, this can be caught from Colmore Row in Birmingham City Centre
Those coming by train from outside Birmingham will need to get a taxi from New Street Railway Station.
The nearest Railway station is Five-Ways from there you can catch the number 21, 22, 23 or 24 buses to Queen Alexandra College, check train times at RailTrack.
Alternatively go to the Multimap.com website.
QAC's Governor Pen Portraits
Professor John Hilbourne (Chair of Governors)
Dr David C Mitchell
Dr Madhava Rao
Clerk to the Governors
T. 0121 428 5022
Minutes of the Student Services Forum are available to parents/guardians from Alison Lydon
Chair of Governors
Professor John Hilbourne
John Hilbourne is partially sighted and latterly dyslexic. He has a slight hearing impairment. He was educated at Worcester College for the Blind and the London School of Economics where he studied sociology. He taught in a number of universities holding a number of senior academic posts. Between 1985 and 1993 he was HMI for further and higher education. Latterly he was an Assistant Director for the Higher Education Quality Council from which he retired in 1996. Between 1996 and 2008 he worked as a Review Chair for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and has an honorary Associate Professorship at Brunel University and a Visiting Professorship at Leeds Metropolitan University. He has been Chairman of a Community Health Council and a Health Authority member. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and has an honorary DSc from the University of Brighton. He has been a registered Ofsted team member and a member of the national Low Vision Services working party. He has also served as a JP.
John is currently a trustee for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, chairs its research committee.
John is the author of several reports on quality enhancement issues in higher education and quality assurance in health care and the relationship between further and higher education in England and Scotland.
John is married and has one daughter. He is a Rotarian, a member of the Lunar Society and a member past president of the Birmingham and Edgbaston Debating Society. Hobbies include music, particularly opera, reading, talking, good food and travel.
Naeem Arif is Executive Director ofIdeal for All(IFA) which is managed and controlled by disabled people themselves and provides a range of social and health care services to support disabled people, carers and disadvantaged groups, to learn new skills and live as independently as possible.
He is also Governor at Queen Alexandra College and is currently working in partnership with academics and leading professionals on disability in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Finland, sharing best practice and learning from mutual experiences on the promotion of collaborative working between profit making business and social profit organisations.
Prior to these Naeem worked for over 10 years in Local Government and National Health Service at senior management levels.
At the IFA Naeem successfully pioneered a radical user-led governance model which was recognised as a best practice in the UK by the Houses of Parliament in their 1997 White Paper on the promotion of independent living.
Naeem has been highly successful in developing the voice of and engaging disabled people in the redesigning of local public services to be more responsive within the fields of health and social care. His particular interests include the promotion of public health agenda through close collaboration with the Director of Public Health for Sandwell.
Naeem is married with 3 boys and spends his spare time with his boys in the pool, play grounds or helping them with their schools work.
Chris Bradshaw is a Chartered Management Accountant and lives near Solihull. His youngest son has an autistic spectrum disorder and was a student at the college where he completed a BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design. He has been a governor at QAC since 2005.
Chris is Director of Finance & Performance and Deputy Chief Executive of George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust. Prior to joining George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust he was Director of Finance, ICT and Performance for Sandwell PCTs where he was also the Public Sector Director for Sandwell LIFT Company - a joint venture with the private sector, which he led to financial close in 2004.
His NHS career began in 1993 when he was appointed Director of Finance and Contracting for Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust where he was part of the management team responsible for the relocation of the hospital in 1998. He has spent periods as Acting Chief Executive at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and at George Eliot Hospital.
Before joining the NHS he worked in the automotive components industry for Automotive Products plc, the aerospace and defence industry for Smiths Group plc and as a management consultant for Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers).
Catherine Cadbury was born and grew up in Monmouthshire. On leaving school she trained as an Orthoptist at the Oxford Eye Hospital and, after Qualifying, she worked in various hospitals and clinics in South Wales. During this period she obtained the Demonstrators Certificate which subsequently involved her with students in their practical training as Orthoptists.
Catherine came to the Midlands in 1968 to work at West Bromwich District Hospital and Birmingham Eye Hospital. Later that year she became Head Orthoptist at Wolverhampton Eye Infirmary.
From 1973 – 1980 Catherine enjoyed a career break to raise her children, and then returned to work as a part time Senior Orthoptist at Selly Oak Hospital. This also involved visual screening of children in clinics, infant schools, and special schools including Longwill School, Dame Ellen Pinset and Uffcolme Schools.
Following the re-organisation of the services in Birmingham, Catherine was employed part-time by the South Birmingham Community Trust and the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Several years before this re-organisation she was invited to take on a Private Orthoptic Practice in Harborne Road, Edgbaston where she worked with four Opthalmic Surgeons until her retirement in 2003.
Catherine was Chairman of the Midland Branch of the British Orthoptic Society, and in 1993 organised and Chaired a National Conference in Cardiff.
Away from Orthoptics Catherine served as a member of the Management Committee and as a Trustee of the Selly Oak Nursery School for many years and was also a Governor of Bournville Infant School and Junior School for 23 years. During her time with the Bournville Schools she became Vice-Chairman, Chairman of the Staffing Committee and a member of the Pay Policy Committee.
Currently Catherine is a member of the Management Committee of the Bournville Almshouses in Mary Vale Road, Bournville.
Catherine is married to Duncan, who recently became Chairman of the Bournville Village Trust. They have two adult children, a daughter who is a GP in South Wales and a son who is a Director of Finance with a large international food company.
Living in a converted barn in a village just outside Pershore in Worcestershire, Catherine enjoys cooking and entertaining friends, walking her very lively cocker spaniel, gardening, theatre trips and singing in the village community choir. Her greatest pleasure is being with her three little grandsons.
Born in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1939, David was educated at King Edwards School, Birmingham and worked all his life in the City.
Articled at Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG), he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1963. He joined another leading Birmingham firm which became (in 1990) Coopers and Lybrand. He specialised in audit and accountancy work and was also a licensed Insolvency Practitioner acting as Liquidator and/or Receiver of hundreds of companies as well as dealing with Bankruptcy and Voluntary Arrangements for individuals. He retired from practice in 1995.
David has been involved with charity work for many years, in addition to being a Governor of Brib and Queen Alexandra College he is a Trustee of the local village Charity where he lives and Almshouse Charity.
In his spare time David is involved in field sports, watching rugby, football and sailing - both racing and cruising.
Dave is married to wife Debbie whom he whisked off to Gretna Green (a romantic at heart). They have a hat trick of girls whom he is very proud of; also an important member of the family is guide dog Shamus.
At 10 years of age he was diagnosed with Retinitas Pigmentosa, which meant he was going blind. He attended mainstream schools, Greets Green Junior and George Salter High School and was already a runner being champion at 1500 metres for five years.
The realisation of his eye complaint hit him at the age of seventeen, with his career in the army shattered and with all his friends taking driving tests. After an initial period of feeling sorry for himself he moved on to take positive action.
Regardless of his sight problem, he’s had a varied working career and owned his own business until sight problems led to it’s demise. After spending three years at the Queen Alexandra College for the Blind where he achieved skills in Braille, computers, carpentry and wood turning he became a keen DIY enthusiast and has had his own radio slot on Insight radio called DIY with Blind Dave.
Dave’s life was changed when he was introduced to Peter his first Guide Dog and gained the confidence and mobility to become independent and begin new adventures and a great social life.
For fun he’s up for most challenges and has had a go at most things: skiing, water skiing, horse riding, cliff jumping in Corfu, driving around Brands Hatch, riding motor bikes, driving a tank in the Highlands of Scotland, abseiling, and completing the Go Ape course in Grisedale forest to name a few. He also certainly enjoys his running and has competed in many half marathons, including the Great North and South runs along with the New York marathon and many London marathons. Famously he completed 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents in 2008.
The challenge launched Dave into a new career as a “Motivational Speaker” with a diverse audience i.e. After Dinner, Corporate, Colleges, Schools, Special needs etc.
Since the challenge he has been involved with many charities and won numerous awards. In recognition of Dave’s charity work over the years he was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Christmas reception with the Queen and also to a function at the House of Lords.
Bill Houle was born 20 July 1953 in Hertfordshire UK. He was educated at Christ College, Brecon. He achieved professional qualifications as an Associate of the RICS in 1979 and is a Fellow of the Institution.
Bill has an extensive property background and as a former director of Phoenix Beard managed departments in Agency (industrial, office and leisure), Professional and Corporate Client. He has acted as expert witness and undertaken a number of consultancy roles in both the public and private sectors. He formed partnership development company Trigram Properties in 2001 and has been developing and investment managing over 1 million sq ft of commercial, industrial and residential property. Part of his current work is in the education sector.
Bill is a member of Birmingham’s Conservation Heritage Panel, a former Trustee of the Birmingham Conservation Trust, treasurer of the Birmingham Design Initiative and a member of the Lunar Society. His interests and hobbies include old performance cars, sailing and reading science fiction. He has two grown up children and three grandchildren.
He lives with his wife on a farm at Wolverley near Kidderminster with 3 dogs, 6 cats, 4 geese and 4 horses.
Janet McCall BSc, PGCE, BPhil Ed (Visual Impairment), QTVI
After studying for a degree in Geology at Leicester University where she met her husband Steve, Jan completed her PGCE and began her career as a teacher in a mainstream secondary school in Liverpool.
In 1986, after living for seven years on the Isle of Wight, Jan moved to Birmingham and became a secondary school teacher at Priestley Smith School for the Blind and Partially Sighted. There she became responsible for Maths, Geography and input to PE. In 1990 Jan qualified as a teacher of the visually impaired at the University of Birmingham. In 1999 she became Head of the Secondary Department at the school, teaching and supporting many students who went on to QAC.
At Priestley Smith Jan gained experience in safeguarding, curriculum development and underwent senior management training. Jan is a fluent sighted reader and writer of Braille and for many years was a member of the VIEW Curriculum Groups for Maths and Geography. She has been a guest lecturer on training programmes for teachers of the visually impaired at the University of Birmingham and has supervised teaching placements for trainee specialist teachers.
Since her retirement in 2011 Jan has undertaken consultancy work for Sightsavers International in Sierra Leone and for British Council in Morocco. Her consultancy work has involved her in delivering teacher training and evaluating education services for children and young people with visual impairment.
Jan lives in Sutton Coldfield, has three grown up children and enjoys travelling, Sudoku puzzles and reading. Her ambitions include establishing the first Special Education Teacher Training programme in Sierra Leone. Jan serves on the College’s Curriculum Committee and is the governor responsible for Safeguarding at the College.
Dr Steve McCall retired in 2011 from his post as Senior Lecturer at the School of Education at in the University of Birmingham. He is a qualified teacher of the visually impaired and started his career as in a school for the visually impaired in Liverpool and later worked as an advisory teacher, supporting children with visual impairment in mainstream schools. In 1986 he joined the University where he was responsible for the mandatory training programmes in teaching children with visual impairment and managed the 1 year training programme for supporting learners with visual impairment in Further Education.
Steve became co director of VICTAR (the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research) in 2001. His publications include the books ‘Visual Impairment – access to education for children and young people’, ‘Learning Through Touch’ and 'The Birmingham Braille Course': He was World Vice President of the International Council for the Education of the Visually Impaired (ICEVI) from 2002 - 2006.
His research interests include literacy for children who are blind and education for children with VI in developing countries. Over the last 6 years he conducted research in East and Central Africa for Sightsavers International, a British based charity, and was joint editor of the British Journal of Visual Impairment. He has been awarded an honorary senior lectureship at the University and is currently working as a consultant with both Sightsavers and the RNIB. Among his personal goals is to establish a training programme for teachers of the visually impaired in Sierra Leone.
He supports a wife, 3 children and Liverpool Football Club.
Born in Birmingham in 1958, Amanda was educated at King Edward VI Camphill School for Girls. She read law at Birmingham University and practised in the Midlands specialising in matrimonial and criminal litigation until the arrival of her second child.
Amanda is married with four children and lives in Edgbaston. Her husband continues to work as one of the senior partners of Gateley LLP.
Her youngest daughter has a range of autistic spectrum disorders and is currently a student at Queen Alexander College studying a BTEC diploma in Hospitality.
Whilst spending her time pursuing support for Roisin she helps on a number of fundraising events in the area and has been part of the Edgbaston Committee for Arthritis Research (UK) for over ten years. Dog walking, cycling and theatre are some of her leisure activities.
Dr David C Mitchell
Upon leaving full time education with “O” and “H” qualifications I joined BP as a laboratory assistant leaving after two years to read for a B.Sc at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland joining the Courtaulds Textile Group upon graduation. During this time my interests focused on the medical applications of engineering and textiles. This interest prompted me to return to study for a Ph.D. in Bio-engineering at the Wolfson Centre University of Strathclyde. I spent part of this study seconded to the NHS monitoring the clinical use of the developed product, a device for the rapid reduction of toxic substances circulating in the blood stream. The output product of this research became a commercial product with IP rights sold to a medical company.
After graduation I joined The University of Newcastle upon Tyne as a Research Associate a post from which I was head hunted by a major medical company in 1978, transferring to The Coats/Maersk Medical group in 1980 reaching board level as Director of Research, Development and International Regulatory Affairs. I took early retirement in 2003 after loosing my sight as a result of major bilateral retinal detachment. I continued to act in a consultation capacity for the company for a further two years.
Since retiring I have been active as a Fundraiser, Speaker, Centre Guide and Trustee (for three years) for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. My hobbies include music, mainly classical with occasional periods of jazz, walking (country and coastal) and assistive technology as applied to blind and partially sighted users.
After serving an industrial apprenticeship with the English Electric Co, John was a member of staff at Aston University for over forty years and was sometime Head of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Dept and later Director of Research in the School of Engineering. He is now retired and is an Emeritus Professor. His professional interests were, and still are, structural and rotor dynamics. He has written and continues to write books on dynamics and mathematics.
His hobbies include reading, walking, railway history and technology, and astronomy. He frequently gives talks and presentations on aspects of astronomy and is a member of the management committees of the City of Birmingham Group of the Ramblers and the Birmingham Astronomical Society.
He is a Trustee of Extend Exercise Training, a charity that promotes health and independence for those over-sixty and for less able people of all ages.
John is married with three children and eight grandchildren.
Dr Madhava Rao
Madhava is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist working for the Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He has been in this field since the last 13 years and is currently also the Chair of the Clent Group which is the largest peer group of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists in the country.
The main part of his job is in assessing and helping children and young people with mental health and learning difficulties.
His medical training and postgraduate MD in Psychiatry were from NIMHANS, Bangalore in India. He came to the UK in 1998 for further training and continued to specialize in Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in which he now holds a specialist degree.
He is married to Jyoti Ahuja and most of his free time is consumed by running around his two children, Siddharth who is 9 years old and his sister Nandita who is four. When he has any energy left he tries to climb walkable mountains and has had peaks ofKilimanjaro and Toubkal under his hiking shoes.
Ian is a chartered accountant, who qualified with a major international firm after completing a degree in chemistry at the University of Birmingham. During his career he has been finance director of a number of small and medium sized enterprises in the West Midlands, including a subsidiary of WH Smith. He also spent four years as deputy principal and clerk to the corporation of Rugby College of Further Education, from where his interest in FE stems. In 2002 he started working as an interim manager, undertaking short, trouble-shooting projects in a wide variety of businesses.
In recent years Ian has concentrated on voluntary work and is trustee of ABPlus, a charity that supports people living with HIV, and YSS, a charity that supports young people in the criminal justice system. Between January 2009 and July 2012 he was a governor of City College Birmingham, playing an active role in its eventual merger with South Birmingham College.
Ian has been a student at the Brasshouse Language centre for many years and is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. He and his partner are frequent visitors to France, where they own a house. He is also a regular visitor to Symphony Hall, especially when the CBSO are playing.
The College is a charity and specialist provider of education, training and independence skills for people with vision impairment and other disabilities.
The Trustees are looking for motivated and dynamic volunteers to complement their current Board of Governors. Of particular interest will be those with expertise and skills in the following areas:
Applications from women and members of minority ethnic communities are particularly welcomed as the Board is under-represented in these areas.
For an informal chat about the role of governors at QAC, please contact Alison Lydon, Clerk to Governors on 0121 428 5022 or email@example.com. Further information about the College is available at www.qac.ac.uk.
Applications in writing to demonstrate the above should be made to Alison Lydon, Clerk to Governors, Queen Alexandra College, Court Oak Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9TG.