Senior Leadership Team
The United Colleges Group is lead by a management team with a wealth of experience in the Further Education sector.
Tony Johnston - Chair of Corporation
Tony is Managing Director of Engage Media Training. Prior to this, he spent 10 years overseeing the strategic management and operational aspects of The Press Association’s training business for 10 years. During this time he worked with a range of clients across the world from The Daily Telegraph to Al Watan in Saudi Arabia and The China Daily in Beijing. In conjunction with Newcastle University, Tony developed the highly successful MA in International Multimedia Journalism with Newcastle University - a unique collaboration between a Russell Group university and industry. He has also worked with a variety of FE colleges and schools developing and delivering a range of contextualized learning programmes based around the media aimed at delivering employability and literacy skills to young people. Tony was Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber East Lifelong Learning Network Partnership from 2008 to 2012 - a partnership between Hull University and colleges of further education.
Tony has been a Governor of the College of North West London since 2015 and became Chair of Corporation for the United Colleges Group in August 2017.
Keith Cowell - Group Chief Executive Officer
Keith joined the College as Principal and Chief Executive in 2009. He is a member of the Finance & General Purposes Committee, Quality, Standards & Student Affairs Committee, Search & Governance Committee and Strategy & Estates Committee.
Amanda Thorneycroft - Group Chief Operating Officer
Amanda has a wide range of responsibilities across the College Group including Property and Estates, Finance, Business Development, IT, Central services, Risk Management and Health & Safety.
Prior to joining the College Amanda spent her early career in the accountancy profession before becoming Finance Director of a number of varying organisations predominantly in emerging businesses. In 2002 she was appointed Finance Director of Centurion Electronics which floated on AIM later that year. Subsequent to this she joined Keronite Plc, an equity backed business in 2005.
Amanda has an MA in Geography and International Studies from St Andrews University as well as a Post Graduate Certificate in Shared Services from Canterbury Christ Church University. She is a qualified chartered accountant having trained with Ernst & Young in their London office.
Jackie Grubb - Principal, City of Westminster College
Jackie has more than 30 years’ experience in further education having commenced her career as a Lecturer. Jackie has substantial experience in senior roles in the sector including Principal at a National College, Deputy Principal at Basingstoke College of Technology and Director at Swindon College. Jackie also has substantial Ofsted experience and considerable experience in curriculum development and in the delivery of high quality teaching, learning and assessment.
Stephen Davis - Principal, College of North West London
Stephen has worked in further education for 25 years joining his local further education college as a lecturer pre-incorporation in 1992. For the most part, Stephen’s career was in Scotland where he held various posts however for the last four years has been working at City & Islington College as a member of the Senior Management Team. As Deputy Principal for City & Islington College Stephen has shown a passion for improving the life chances of students and delivering for the College stakeholders.