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Strategic Leadership Team

SLT Poster AUGUST 2019

Lee Probert, Chief Executive and Principal

I was appointed Chief Executive and Principal of York College in December 2018 and I took up the role in June 2019. Prior to this role I was Principal of City of Bristol College. This role marks a return to Yorkshire, since I was Deputy Chief Executive of the Hull College Group until December 2015.

Being Chief Executive and Principal of York College is a prestigious role and one which I hold with pride. York College is a hugely successful college and impacts positively on the lives of many thousands of students each year. My primary driver is supporting our students to progress towards and achieve their goals.

Outside of York College I am a member of the Constellation Multi-Academy Trust (East Yorkshire), a member of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme Pension Board and a member of the CBI’s Employment and Skills Board.


Louise Doswell - Deputy CEO and Deputy Principal: Partnerships and Development

I have worked in the Further Education sector since 1999 and took up the post of Assistant Principal for Employer Engagement at York College in February 2008 followed by the role of Deputy Principal Resources in 2012. Prior to that I spent eight years at Darlington College working on projects with employers, schools and the ministry of defence.

In my current role I take responsibility for the strategic leadership of the College’s external relationships, business development and marketing. I have oversight of the College’s Information Strategy and the development of information to support curriculum and qualification development. I am the senior College lead for the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology Ltd.

I am the designated Deputy for matters linked to corporate and professional services

Living in North Yorkshire, I enjoy walking, playing golf and gardening.


Graeme Murdoch - Deputy CEO and Deputy Principal: Quality and Student Experience

I have worked at York College since October 2003. Prior to that I spent 20 years working in land-based colleges. My role is to coordinate and manage the College’s Quality Assurance and Improvement activities, as well as oversee a number of teams who provide the excellent care and support we offer our students. I have a direct link with the Student Association, which is really good. I like to have a high profile around the College and keep in touch with as many people as I can, because it is ‘good to talk'.

In my spare time I am keen on sports (more watching than doing these days), and a little bit of trivia for you ... I have run 24 marathons.

David Hawkins - Vice Principal: Finance and Professional Services

I joined York College in June 2018 having previously spent nearly 10 years at Sandwell College in the West Midlands. Prior to that, I spent over 20 years in senior finance roles in the private sector, mainly working in housebuilding and construction.

My role is to provide a pro-active lead on all financial matters in the College, to enable the necessary investment and support for our students. I also have overall responsibility for Information Systems and Services, Human Resources, Health Safety and Welfare, Catering and Estates.

Away from College, I enjoy playing and watching most sports (I still just manage to beat my 21 year old son at badminton), and always like a holiday or two each year.

Sharon Smith - Vice Principal: Higher, Vocational and Professional Education

I have worked in FE since 1993 and prior to joining York College in August 2017 I have held senior management positions at Calderdale College and The Sheffield College. As an ex vocational student myself who flourished in further education, my teaching background is in Leisure and Tourism and Health and Social Care.

In my role of Vice Principal at York College I am responsible for L1 and 2 vocational curriculum, Adult Learning, Apprenticeships and Higher Education. I am also responsible for the curriculum delivered under the Yorkshire and Humberside Institute of Technology which is new initiative to develop our technical offer to ensure our students develop the right technical skills knowledge to meet employer needs in the areas of Engineering, Construction and Digital Technologies.

In a spare time, I enjoy walking in the countryside with my husband and Labrador and like holidaying in Scotland. I also like to read fiction when I have time including thrillers, horror and science fiction; my favourites being Dean Koontz and Stephen King.

Glyn Jones - Vice Principal: Academic and Applied Education

I have worked at York College since 1996. I was previously in charge of Biology, at the then York Sixth Form College, and then Science. I take a keen interest in our links with local partners, including the University of York, Hull York Medical School, York Cultural Education Partnership, York Music Hub and the Company of Merchant Taylors. I previously taught at a sixth form college in East London and, before going into teaching, I worked as an environmental scientist and as a professional skydiver and aerial photographer.

I have led the College's A Level provision for over 10 years and I am very proud of our students’ achievements and our strong reputation as one of the top performing FE Colleges in the country for A Levels. I now also oversee our 16-18 Level 3 vocational provision, which offers a wonderful range of routes for students to progress to either higher education or employment including the new T Levels - and the College's international provision.

I live in York and am married with two daughters and a dog. In what little spare time is left me, I enjoy playing guitar, running, cycling and photography. 

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