SET Management Board

SET is steered by two groups: the Practitioner Advisory Group (PAG) and the SET Management Board (SMB). 

Who is the SMB made up of?

SMB comprises six SET members, appointed from the wider PAG group, one of whom is Chair, two in-house ETF staff, one lay member and two Trustees of the ETF.

Chair: Jim Crompton - Education and Training Services Officer, British Army

Jim CJim has worked within Further Education and training for over 18 years; from initial teacher training, to management and leadership of training delivery, to creation of strategy and policy to shape professional development for the British Army and Armed Forces. 

He has broad experience of working with colleges around the UK to deliver Functional Skills and apprenticeships and with teaching agencies and independent training providers for delivery of ESOL. He has been responsible for sourcing and management of contracts of values up to £10 million in training design and delivery, including Training Needs Analysis, development of Technology Enhanced Learning solutions to procurement of satellite television services and creation of new teaching materials.  

Originally educated as a linguist, Jim holds a PGCE (PcET) and MSc in Human Resource Management and Training and is a member of the Chartered Management Institute. A Fellow of SET and member of the Practitioner Advisory Group, he is fully committed to the benefits of education and training and helping people to reach their potential as individuals and in high-performing teams.

Vice Chair: Dr Barbara Van der Eecken - Director of Quality and Service Standards at Babington

Dr BarbBarbaraara Van der Eecken has 27 years’ experience in the Further Education and Skills sector, along with some HE experience. For nearly 20 years she was a modern foreign languages lecturer delivering A-Level, vocational and adult classes in colleges around the Midlands and at Birmingham University.

A passion for quality and a constant focus on learners and customer experience have led her to become a teaching and learning coach, curriculum manager and a quality manager. More recently, she has worked for Independent Training Providers, leading on Apprenticeship development and liaising closely with employers, awarding organisations and EPAOs. She is an Ofsted nominee,  achieving a Grade 2 with the Capita Apprenticeship Team. Barbara has a particular interest in developing and mentoring staff in their teaching and management careers.   

Sarah Simons - Writer, Lecturer, Director of The UKFEchat Community

Sarah S 1

After a career in show business, Sarah took a teacher training course in an FE college. As well as teaching English and drama, Sarah is a TES columnist and judge on The TES FE Awards.

She contributes to a range of publications, conferences, sector-wide discussions, and FE projects across colleges. Sarah is Founder and ‘Matron’ of #UKFEchat, a community of FE professionals who get together on Twitter every Thursday at 9pm.

Wendy Coley - Teaching Skills Adviser, The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London

Wendy Coley

Wendy Coley entered the FE Sector 19 years ago as a visiting lecturer specialising in CAD for printed textiles. Following completion of a PGCE PCET she became an Advanced Practitioner teaching creative subjects to learners aged 14 years to adults.

As Head of Learning and Development for a private provider Wendy delivered award winning apprenticeships at level 3 and level 4 and developed new qualifications with industry partners. She also supported the creation of the Fashion Technology Academy.

Now a Teaching Skills Advisor at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (part of Capital City College Group), Wendy trains teachers to improve their practice including eLearning. She co-writes winning bids and co-manages collaborative projects including OTLA, Flexible Learning Fund and Taking Teaching Further.

A successful ATS mentor and LNG leader.Wendy is passionate about Further Education and the transformational impact it has on learners’ lives. A voluntary church youth worker with 20+ years’ experience. She recently completed an MA in Education at IoE UCL, with a strong focus on the uses of technology in education.

Phil Green – Athletic Coach Education Tutor at England Athletics

Phil GPhil has been coaching and teaching since 2000. With a diverse range of experience, from working in Malaysia as an Outward Bound Instructor to coaching football to young offenders, to teaching and managing on Schools Groups and Youth Engagement projects in FE as well as teaching on and then programme managing Sports and Public Services again within FE.

In the last six few years being an Advanced Teaching and Learning Coach at his previous and current FE College as well as currently Centre Course Leader for Initial Teacher Education.

In his spare time he works for England Athletics as a Coach Education Tutor as well as volunteering at his local running club where he coaches both the junior and senior runners as well as being part of the running clubs committee.

Phil is a Fellow of SET and a member of the Practitioners Advisory Group. He is also a Member of the Chartered College of Teaching who has gained his QTLS, ATS and Chartered Teaching Status. Phil is always keen to use his experience as well as his mentoring and coaching skills to support those around him to see and achieve their full potential as individuals, as teams and as an organisation.

Anita McGowan MBE – Lecturer in Business management and HR, University of Roehampton

Untitled Design 3Anita is a qualified QTLS FE teacher and has recently achieved Advanced Teacher Status (ATS). In 2016 she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year for her services to working with students in the FE sector and also for her volunteering work as a governor in a secondary school of her local community. Anita has experience of teaching students from level 3 up to level 7 and has worked in the FE sector for over 12 years.

Her experience has contributed to raising the standards of internal quality assurance within her programme area and the recognition of improved success rates. She is passionate in enabling students to achieve their potential particularly with those students who may not have had the same opportunities as others and this being their second chance. 

Anita is a Fellow of SET and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (FCIPD). She is currently finishing her Education Doctorate where she is investigating the Professional Identity of the FE teacher. In addition to her career in teaching, Anita had a successful career working in senior HR roles in the City in law firms before making a career change.

Sarah Whiteside-Jones – Head of Membership Engagement, The Institute of the Motor Industry

Sarah WjSarah has over a decade of experience working in the membership profession, including roles that are responsible for inspiring talent into the sector, recognising World class talent through running skill competitions for World Skills UK, to shaping various strategies for growing membership and membership engagement for the IMI.

Sarah brings with her a wealth of experience in managing member networks and volunteers, a deep understanding of the challenges that face membership organisations, and is passionate about recognising the skills people have and helping people reach their full potential.

David Russell - Chief Executive Officer, Education and Training Foundation

David Russell

David was appointed as the first permanent CEO of the Foundation in January 2014. He has a wide range of experience in education and skills in England, including on Academies Policy and Performance, the Adult Skills Strategy, Apprenticeships and on National Curriculum reform.

David is a qualified teacher and an experienced school and college governor. Previous senior policy roles included leading the Open Academies programme, and managing the cross-government Skills Strategy. David was educated in Scotland at Crieff High School, St Andrews University and Moray House Institute of Education, Edinburgh. He is a member of the judging panel for the annual TES FE awards, and an assessor for the Queen’s Anniversary Trust Awards in Higher and Further Education. He is also an experienced school and College governor. 

Martin Reid - Director of SET

MMartin Reid Smbartin joined the Society for Education and Training in March 2018 as Head of Membership. He has spent the last 15 years working within the membership sector for other professional membership bodies and providing consultancy services.

During his career he has also worked within the public and private sectors in a variety of senior management roles. He started his career in financial services, becoming a Chartered Insurance Practitioner and then progressing his career in Marketing.

He has managed award winning teams in each of his membership roles and led the initiative for the College of Occupational Therapists to become a Royal College.

Palvinder Singh - Group Deputy Principal, NCG based at Kidderminster College


Palvinder has been involved in the further education sector for over twenty years. He was a FE student himself and one of the first cohorts following incorporation of the sector in 1992.  Palvinder began FE working life at a large GFE in West Yorkshire.  He has since worked in a number of colleges in various roles spanning the breadth of the country. More recently, moving from Leeds City College (Luminate Education Group) as Executive Vice Principal for Growth and Development to Group Deputy Principal at NCG based at Kidderminster College.

Palvinder has successfully led transformational change and quality improvement across large, complex organisations operating in diverse settings; a number of which having attained outstanding outcomes. Palvinder has a demonstrable track-record in leading with clarity of vision, instilling a high performing culture, realising the potential of others and earning the trust of staff, students and the stakeholder community.

Palvinder has written and presented a number of educational articles, from leading with compassion through to challenging unconscious stereotypes.  More recently, a topic close to him on ‘social consciousness of the FE sector’ in particular for social mobility and race impact

Palvinder’s passion is working with people to be the best they can be and he firmly believes that once this happens, everything else often falls into place.  The best organisations are those where staff are empowered, clear about purpose and are travelling in the same direction.

Lynette Leith - Education Consultant in FE, working exclusively on technical and vocational curriculum


Lynette is a consultant in FE who specialises in technical and vocational curriculum. With 12 years-experience she has worked in a range of roles across a diverse set of subject areas including Health & Education, Inclusive Learning, Engineering and Construction, Digital Technologies, Business, Tourism, Hair & Beauty and cross college English and maths.

Lynette believes that curriculum should be inspiring, holistic and accessible; her role as a Senior Leader is to make further education count. She is passionate about creating curriculum and environments that are enriching and that strive for the excellence that staff and students deserve. Lynette has driven improvements across all college provision types and is working extensively on T Level implementation.

With a personal and professional commitment to addressing underrepresentation and inequality, Lynette feels that we have a responsibility to avoid simply embedding E&D and therefore pulls from this to create a truly inclusive curriculum and culture that embraces diverse perspectives.  Twitter: @LynetteLeith

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