Governor Profiles

We have an experienced  Board of Governors who continue to support QAC and ensure that we are meeting our strategic aims.

Click on a governor's name to view more details.

Ian Richards - Chair of Governors

Ian Richards

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 was trustee of YSS, a charity that supports young people in the criminal justice system until July 2021.  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 joined the board of Bournville College of FE in January 2015, becoming its chair in April and subsequently overseeing its merger with South & City College Birmingham in August 2017.  He remains a governor of the merged 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 and they also like to make the most of Birmingham’s rich culture, especially Symphony Hall and the Hippodrome.

Ian started at QAC as an independent member of the Audit committee in 2009, becoming a full governor in November 2012. He became Vice Chair of the Board in September 2013 and has been Chair since July 2018.


Rosemary Adams OBE

Rosemary Adams OBE

Rosemary Adams joined the Board in June 2019 and is QAC's Safeguarding Governor.  She trained as a teacher and has had a wide range of posts in education during her 55-year career. She retired in September 2018 but maintains a lively interest in all aspects of education. Her special interest is in special education having qualified as a teacher for students with visual impairment and a degree in cognitive psychology. She has taught students with physical, visual, hearing, language and learning difficulties. She was head teacher of Baskerville School for 18 years before she retired. She has worked in 8 different schools as a teacher, deputy and head teacher across 5 Local Authorities and the RNIB.

Between 1991 and 2001 she worked for Local Educational Authorities as an inspector, specialist advisor and senior advisor involved in school improvement, inspection, leadership policy and provision. She became an OFSTED lead Inspector in 1994 until 2006, inspecting primary, secondary and special schools.

Rosemary has had close working links with Bournville College since 2004 when a Resource Base for Baskerville School students was established and in 2015, she became a Governor of Bournville College.

In 2016 Rosemary had the great privilege of being awarded an OBE for services to education. The students at Baskerville School celebrated the event by hosting ‘This is your life’ for Rosemary which greatly amused the whole school and provided good preparation for the more nerve-wracking event at Buckingham Palace.

She is on the Audit and Quality Committees and is link governor to Rehabilitation and Travel Training Team and the Positive Behaviour Team

Rosemary lives in a small village in Leicestershire and enjoys walking her dogs, swimming and gardening. She greatly enjoys being a Governor of QAC and in meeting ex pupils from Baskerville School. She is particularly interested in the Curriculum and Quality Committee and in Mobility.


Shervjeet (Sherv) Garcha

Shervjeet (Sherv) Garcha

Sherv Garcha joined the Board in March 2022. 

Sherv is an economics graduate and started her career in a graduate training scheme with Sainsburys. She has spent most of her career in various management roles within the private, public and voluntary sectors.

Over the last ten years, she has specialised in disability support and SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).  She is passionate about supporting underrepresented groups to achieve their full potential and in closing attainment and employment gaps for disabled students.  In 2021, she achieved senior accredited member status with the National Association of Disability Practitioners (NADP).

Sherv has also worked in a management role at QAC (2012-2016). She has worked freelance and has a good understanding of the challenges faced by parents when trying to access specialist provision.  In January 2018, she moved into Higher Education and worked as a Disability Support Manager for Birmingham City University.  In September 2022, she will be taking on a new challenge and moving to the University of Wales Trinity Saint David as Learning Support Manager for their campuses in Birmingham and London.  

Sherv lives in Edgbaston with her husband and two teenage children. She enjoys rambling, travelling, eating out and a good book!

She is looking forward to bringing her diverse experience to the Board for the benefit of students at QAC. 


Dr Anne Green BSc, MSc, PhD, FRSC, FRCPath, FRCPCH, FRSB

Dr Anne Green

Anne Green joined the board in May 2014.

Anne trained as a Biochemist at Liverpool and Birmingham Universities and had a full time career as a Clinical Chemist for 39 years in the NHS. She specialised in Paediatrics with posts at Sheffield and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals. She has held several senior positions at Board level including Director of Laboratory services and Director of Specialist services for Inherited Metabolic Disorders for the West Midlands, both based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She was appointed as Honorary Professor of Paediatric Biochemistry at Birmingham University in 2004.  Since her retirement from full time work in 2006 she worked for the Department of Health as Lead Scientist for the Newborn Screening Centre based at Great Ormond Street Hospital until 2011. Her career has involved teaching and research as well as working as part of a multidisciplinary clinical team for patients with rare disorders, many of whom had significant disabilities.

Anne lives in Alvechurch with her husband Richard. They enjoy gardening, walking, canal trips, reading and travelling. Since retirement Anne trained in a volunteer role and has continued to work as a My Sighted Guide with the Guide Dogs Association. She is a member of Bromsgrove and Redditch Soroptimists and volunteered at Sight Village in 2012, 2013, 2015 to 2019 and 2021.  In 2020 she completed a long standing ambition of publishing a book ‘Sheila’ -Unlocking the treatment for PKU. She continues to lecture and present about Sheila’s story.

Anne enjoys her Governor role enormously and finds it very rewarding as the College grows from strength to strength.  She is currently Chair of the Curriculum & Quality Committee.


Dr Ewan Hamnett

Dr Ewan Hamnett

Ewan Hamnett joined the board in February 2018. Ewan qualified from Manchester Medical School in 1980. 

His career path took him abroad to Jamaica and Canada before returning to the UK in 1988 where he spent 26 years as a GP at Lordswood Practice just round the corner from QAC.

He remained full time throughout his career but was also GP tutor and honorary tutor for Birmingham Medical School.  He retired in 2014.

While working, and more so since retirement, Ewan has been a passionate advocate of prevention to cure the ills of the NHS while realising for the most disadvantaged in our community that is more difficult. In terms of wellbeing, climate health and individual health are two sides of the same coin. We must all eat a lot less meat and a lot more fibre and create a society where we cease to become dependent on the car as a means of transport.

He remains keen on activity himself having competed in 3 Triathlon World Championships. Having accepted the limitations of his running he now concentrates on cycling.

Ewan was also appointed by the city in 2014 to champion physical activity and is on the Board of ukactive and the Partnerships Board of the Canal and River Trust.

He is married to another doctor, Mandy, whose days were spent as a consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They have 3 daughters who have perhaps all wisely chosen to avoid medicine as a career.


Bev Jessop - Principal & Chief Executive


Bev became Principal & Chief Executive of Queen Alexandra College in July 2018 and has worked at the College since 2011 when she was appointed as Vice Principal.  She has worked in leadership roles for over 20 years in both mainstream and specialist education and is a qualified teacher.  

Bev was the Regional Director for the West Midlands on the board of Natspec (the association of specialist providers for students with learning difficulties and disabilities) from 2018-2023 and recently completed her term of office.  She represents SEND at both AoC and CWM groups and is a member of the Leaders Council of GB & NI.

Specialisms in leadership and management of multidisciplinary provision; strategic development to maximise income; organisational change and its impact on organisational behaviour; management coaching and ensuring a person centred approach is utilised to maximise opportunities and progression for young people with SEND.  Bev has a keen interest in educational management, with a Masters in Educational Leadership as well as an MBA.

Bev has a book published called 'The Candy Floss Head' and when not working she writes, creates art and handmade jewellery.



Amanda McGeever

Amanda McGeever

Born in Birmingham, 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 is an employee at Gateley PLC.

Her youngest daughter has a range of autistic spectrum disorders and attended Queen Alexandra College studying a BTEC diploma in Hospitality, which she completed in July 2013.

Whilst spending her time pursuing support for Roisin she helps on a number of fundraising events in the area.

Dog walking, cycling and theatre are some of her leisure activities. 


Richard Percival

Richard Percival

Richard Percival joined the College’s Audit Committee as its independent Chair in May 2016 and became a governor in July 2021.  He is a qualified accountant who worked in public sector audit for most of his career. He has a thorough understanding of financial governance and financial management in the public sector.

After graduating in economics from Leicester Polytechnic Richard pursued a career in public sector finance, initially in Local Government then with the Audit Commission and latterly with Grant Thornton.  During his career he was responsible for the delivery of external audits for a broad range of public sector bodies across the West Midlands, including large local authorities and major NHS organisations.  As well as financial audit his also assessed organisational arrangements for securing value for money in the use of resources.  Richard is an experienced communicator at Board level.

As well as his audit responsibilities Richard is also an experienced trainer and presenter.  He has helped to develop and deliver technical training to auditors and public sector finance staff and designed and led the delivery of a career development programme for local authority finance staff.

Richard is also a Lay Member for Coventry and Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group and is chair of their Audit Committee.

Richard is proud to be part of the QAC team.  He is married and has two daughters and lives in Worcestershire.


Dr Julie Reed

Dr Julie Reed

Julie Reed joined the board in September 2017.

Julie is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS since 1986. She has worked with young people with disabilities through most of her career. Julie led and managed a team of psychologists at Birmingham Children’s Hospital until 2015. She has worked as a lecturer in School of Psychology, Birmingham University and has published a number of research articles and book chapters.

Julie is now semi-retired, but continues to work part-time at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Julie lives in Harborne with her partner, Neal, and they have two adult children. She enjoys yoga, travelling, reading and gardening.


Naresh Kumar - Staff Governor

Naresh Kumar

Naresh Kumar joined the Board in October 2021.  He has worked at QAC since 2014 and has held the posts of Residential Support Worker, Senior Residential Support Worker, Learning Support Assistant and is currently a Student Support Officer, a post he has been in since 2018.  In 2021 he joined the colleges safeguarding team and is also a Mental Health First Aider. 

Naresh holds a BA (Hons) degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy and is a NCFE Certified Skilled Helper using Counselling Skills. In the 8 years he has been at QAC he has been motivated by working with students and staff alike and qualified as a Coach and NLP practitioner in 2019 to equip him to serve the needs of those around him in a more diverse and robust manner.

In his spare time, Naresh enjoys walking, reading and photography.


Kimberly Tierney - Staff Governor

Kimberly Tierney

Kimberly Tierney joined the Board in July 2020. Kim has worked at QAC since 2012, starting off as the Residential Coordinator leading to her current role as Residential Services Manager and the nominated individual for CQC. Kim has also been a part of the college’s safeguarding team since 2013, working on residential and IP safeguarding cases in particular.

Over the 9 years Kim has worked at QAC she has also held two advanced practitioner roles, firstly for personal care and secondly for Databridge. Kim is also a dignity in care champion and a member of skills for care local manager network.

Kim’s background is in Psychology, she holds a degree in Psychology and Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Birmingham. She sought a full time role at QAC after completing work experience here whilst volunteering for Mencap during her degree. This volunteer work, combined with her Masters dissertation examining executive functioning in young people with learning disabilities, inspired her to follow this career path.     

In her free time, Kim enjoys walking, reading and gardening.


David Clark - Independent Member (QAC Enterprises)

David Clark

David Clark joined QAC Enterprises Board in May 2016 and became Chair in September 2022.

David is a board level director and retired owner and chair of Mainstay Group, a national property asset management company. He sits on the board of Platform Housing Group, a major housing association in the Midlands and he is on the Board of Housing 21, a specialist retirement and extra care housing provider.  He has previously chaired both the trade and educational bodies in his sector.

David brings business development skills and strategic and governance expertise to QAC Enterprises and is committed to ensuring that we maintain and develop worthwhile and well researched opportunities that support the wider purpose and ambitions of the college.


Nicola Coombe - Independent Member (Audit)

Nicola Coombe

Nicola Coombe joined the Audit Committee in December 2022. 

Nic studied German and Music at the University of Nottingham before training for her CIPFA Qualification with Robson Rhodes LLP in Bristol. She subsequently moved to Grant Thornton UK LLP, and after a two-year stint in Australia working on commercial audits, she is now working in Birmingham, where she specialises in public sector audit.

Outside of work, she is kept busy with her young family, but enjoys reading and playing the piano and loves a night out at the theatre (live comedy and musicals are particular favourites) and taking in classical music performances at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. 


Helen Parks - Independent Member (Audit)

Helen Parks

Helen Parks joined the Audit Committee in February 2018. 

Helen studied for a degree in Geography at the University of Sheffield before training to be an auditor with the Audit Commission.  She has since worked in audit and other finance professional roles for Grant Thornton UK LLP, TNT and HSBC UK.

Helen has worked abroad in New Zealand, Cambodia and Thailand, the latter two being with local NGOs.

Her interests include travelling, reading, cooking and sport. She is a qualified swimming instructor and played hockey for Sutton Coldfield Hockey Club for 15 years.


Monique Royle - Independent Member (F&GP)

Monique Royle

Monique Royle joined the board in March 2021.

Monique graduated from Northumbria with a degree in Estate Management before qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor in 1998. She started her career working for Marston’s at Cameron’s Brewery in Hartlepool as an Estates Surveyor before moving back to the Midlands to work as an area manager looking after an estate of tenanted public houses and then managed houses.

She moved to Birmingham and has worked for a number of property consultancies including GVA (now Avision Young) and Colliers before specialising in the hospitality sector. She is now a Divisional Director and the head of Fleurets Birmingham office, a niche hospitality consultancy.

During this time she has been the West Midlands Regional Chair of the National Association of Women in Property as well National Chair and has been heavily involved in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors being West Midlands Regional Chair for three years and sitting on Governing Council who are the over sight and strategic planning body of the institution reporting into the Privy Council.  Monique is also a Trustee of Dance Exchange a Birmingham-based dance organisation dedicated to making and showing great dance and making Birmingham a place where dance artists can live, work and thrive.

Monique lives in Harborne and enjoys yoga, walking and socialising with friends and family as well as going to the theatre and ballet.

She is looking forward to developing her Governor role.  She currently also sits on the Estates Group at QAC.


Elly Tobin OBE - Independent Member (Curriculum & Quality)

Elly Tobin OBE

Elly Tobin joined the Curriculum & Quality Committee in May 2018. 

Elly Tobin, OBE has over three decades of experience as a senior leader in international and UK national institutions.  She worked for over 25 years in international education and from 2008-2019 was Principal of Joseph Chamberlain College in Birmingham, UK as well as the Director of the College for International Citizenship which offers short programmes in global studies and international relations.  She continues to work as an international school accreditor with WASC and CIS accreditation teams and has inspected international schools at all levels.  She is also a Lead Improvement Practitioner for COBIS (Council of British International Schools). She is one of the founder directors of the International Writing Project (IWP) which delivers teacher training to develop better writing skills most recently in Thailand, Panama, India and Europe. 

Retiring as Principal of Joseph Chamberlain College in January 2019, she retains the directorship of the College for International Citizenship and is now a senior consultant for Consilium Education operating worldwide with the most recent projects being in Siberia and Uzbekistan.  She also coaches and mentors senior leaders and delivers Middle Management training in UK colleges. 

Elly is a respected workshop presenter and keynote speaker at conferences around the world.  She has published two children’s books and continues to write children’s stores as a hobby. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by Aston University for her work in education and is currently living in Birmingham UK.



Dave Heeley - Patron

Dave Heeley

Dave was born 24th November 1957.  He 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 his guide dog Seamus.

He was always known as a clumsy kid, never a day passed without cuts, bruises or a broken pair of glasses, until at around ten years of age all was revealed, he was diagnosed with an eye complaint called Retinitas Pigmentosa, just a slight problem, it meant he was going blind.  When first diagnosed he was quite a celebrity at school, “Wow Dave’s going blind”, no one else was so it was a case of “I’ve got something you haven’t got”.  He attended mainstream schools, Greets Green Junior and George Salter High School, his only claim to fame; he was the town champion at 1500 metres for five years.

The realisation of his eye complaint hit him with some force at the age of seventeen, his career in the army shattered and with all his friends taking driving tests made him realise the true implications of going blind, it was at this point he inwardly started feeling sorry for himself, “Why me”, but in life there are two paths to tread, negative or positive and as he will tell you he took the positive route.

Regardless of his sight problem, he’s had a varied working career, mainly office bound, other than his short stint on a fork lift truck, he admits he wasn’t always honest about his sight problem, he had his own company for around seven years, distributing suspended ceilings, partitions, dry lining and joinery, he loved the buying and selling but with bad luck, bad debt and bad eye sight, all good things come to an end.  After spending three years at the Queen Alexandra College for the Blind where he achieved skills in Braille, computers, carpentry and wood turning, it’s now easy for him to lose himself in his workshop where he loves to design and make all kinds of furniture.  He now even has a weekly radio slot on Insight radio called DIY with Blind Dave and still no fingers missing!

Dave tried hard over the years to conceal his blindness but with his eyesight gradually declining the accidents kept increasing until he had to admit defeat and resort to using the white stick, which made him feel incapable, vulnerable and extremely frustrated.  Suddenly overnight Dave’s life was changed when he was introduced to Peter his first Guide Dog. No longer the hunched figure trawling the footpath, but full of confidence, standing and walking tall, feeling very proud, striding out with a sure footed four legged friend, mobility assured, as for independence, the perfect recipe for adventure, with a social life, second to none, his only regret is not having a Guide Dog sooner.

For fun he’s up for most challenges, he’s had a go at most things, ski-ing, water ski-ing, horse riding, cliff jumping in Corfu, drove around Brands Hatch, rode motor bikes, drove a tank in the Highlands of Scotland, abseiled, was let loose in a speed boat, completed the Go Ape course in Grisedale forest, an Aerial assault course in the trees and he certainly enjoys his running. Competing in many half marathons, including the Great North and South runs along with the New York marathon and to date completing his 7th consecutive London marathon.  Oh! And of course completing 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents the ultimate challenge! Not forgetting he is now also the first blind person in the world to achieve this.

After completing the epic challenge, which took him on a running journey around the world, as stated previously, running 7 marathons, in 7 days, over 7 continents, which began on 7th April 2008 in the Falkland Islands (Antarctica), Rio, Brazil, (South America), Los Angeles, (North America), Sydney, (Australasia), Dubai, (Asia), Tunisia, (Africa), with the challenge ending in the Flora London marathon, (Europe), on 13th April 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.

A fitting end to 2008 was Blind Dave and his running guide being acknowledged at the BBC Midlands Sports Awards as the winners of the “Outstanding sporting achievement of 2008".

2009 sees Dave becoming the Physical Activities Champion for Sandwell Council and an Ambassador for the Birmingham Half Marathon.  He was also acknowledged with an award by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.  Since the challenge he has been involved with many charities, including running the first Birmingham half marathon for the Kidney Kids appeal with “Team Blind Dave” and the last Flora London Marathon with a personal best time of 3 hours and 24 minutes.

2010 - Appointed to the Board of Governors at QAC, Patron of Ideal for All and Ambassador to West Bromwich Albion Football club.

2011 - Top2Toe challenge ten days of running/cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End for Macmilliam Cancer Support.  Received West Bromwich Albion Players award “Contribution to the Community”.  10th consecutive Great North run.

In recognition of Dave’s charity work over the years he was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Christmas reception with the Queen, her summer garden party and also to a function at the House of Lords.   Honoured by the Wolverhampton University with an Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

2012 - 11th consecutive London Marathon.  Changing our Lives charity 240 miles bike ride.  Received 2 awards “Justgiving Endurance Fundraiser” and “Griffin Trophy”.  11th Honoury Freeman of the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell.  Took part in the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012.

2013 events included:

  • 12th consecutive London marathon in April.
  • September - 7 in seven bike ride, 7 countries, in 7 days covering over 700 miles from Switzerland, into Germany, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Holland and finally England and Birmingham New Street.

2014 - Wheels for Change 100k bike ride in aid of Unicef.  Aberdovey bike ride.  Coast to Coast Challenge East to West across England and through Ireland for Teenage Cancer.  13th Great North Run.  50 mile Gower Coast Run.

2015 - Dave completes 6 gruelling days running over 160 miles across the Sahara Desert for the Albion Foundation.

2016 - New year, new challenge; Escape from Alcatraz! Considered by many the toughest annual triathlon in the world this event tested Dave to his limits.

Dave’s book “From Light To Dark” was launched at Waterstones flagship store in Birmingham and a book signing tour was organised.

2017 - There are 24 Great runs in the 2017 series, starting January in Edinburgh and finishing November in Ethiopia  with a variety of distances including 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half marathons and marathons. Fundraising for The Albion Foundation, Dave will aim to complete the whole series.

Please take a moment to have a look on his website,


John Hilbourne - Patron

John Hilbourne

John Hilbourne is visually impaired and latterly dyslexic. He has a slight hearing problem and suffers from visual agonisia. He was a Governor at the College between 1999-2018.

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 also has an honorary Associate Professorship at Brunel University and an Honorary Visiting Professorship at Leeds Metropolitan University.

He has been Chairman of a Community Health Council and a Health Authority member. He is an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and has an honorary DSc from the University of Brighton for his contribution to the education quality and quality assurance of the professions allied to Medicine.  He has been an HMI for Further & Higher Education, a registered Ofsted team member and a member of the national Low Vision Services working party.  He is a JP.  John has recently stepped down from being a trustee for Guide Dogs for the Blind. He has recently retired from the Chairmanship of the Governors at Queen Alexandra College and remains a trustee.

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.

He is a Rotarian, a member of the Lunar Society, the Birmingham and Edgbaston Debating Society, U3A and The Birmingham Book Club.


Mikail Huggins - Patron

Mikail Huggins

Mikail Huggins is a former Paralympic Guide Runner for visually-impaired athlete Libby Clegg. Mikail and Libby were Gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Silver medallists at the London 2012 Paralympics.  He joined QAC as a Patron in October 2016.

In 2015/16 Mikail worked with students at QAC in a variety of ways and governors at the college saw the impact and benefit this had on students. Using his experience in athletics, and his role as Mentor with The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Mikail was able to engage and inspire many of the students, some of whom showed little interest in their studies and/or sport.

Although no longer guide running, Mikail is still heavily involved in his athletic routes, coaching for Welsh Athletics and Team GB and working with local schools, clubs and individuals.