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Corporate governance

Ensuring the smooth running of Activate Learning.

Activate Learning Further Education Corporation

Activate Learning is a Further Education Corporation, registered under the Further and Higher Education Act (1992) on 01 April 2003, as Oxford and Cherwell College. The Corporation was renamed Oxford and Cherwell Valley College on 17 August 2005, and became Activate Learning on 01 September 2013. Activate Learning is an exempt charity under Part 3 of the Charities Act 2011 and until July 2016 was regulated by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills as Principal Regulator for all Further Education (FE) Corporations in England, and since July 2016 has been regulated by the Secretary of State for Education.


Corporate Governance Structure

The Activate Learning Corporation Board is responsible for providing strategic leadership, oversight and accountability to the Activate Learning group. The Board set the strategic direction of the group and appoint senior post-holders, who are responsible for day to day leadership and management. By setting a clear mission, strategic objectives and robust progress measures, the Board are able to:

  • Ensure the solvency of members of the Activate Learning group;
  • Safeguard public funds and assets in our care; and
  • Ensure sustainable, high quality provision that meets the needs of our local communities.

The Activate Learning Corporation Board have adopted a structure of governance based on a Carver, policy-driven model, and therefore focuses on outcomes and impact (the ‘ends’), whilst ensuring that all other statutory requirements are effectively met. 

Framework for Governance

Meet the Governors

The Board comprises governors from a wide range of personal and professional backgrounds, who are highly committed to the vision and mission of Activate Learning. For the purposes of company and charity law, the governors also fulfil the role of non-executive directors and trustees.

The Board is advised by a clerk who is employed directly by the Corporation, and meets seven times per year, including an annual strategic away day. In addition to external governors and the CEO, the Board includes elected members of the staff and student bodies, who provide valuable insights from their unique perspectives. 

Andy Stone

Merger Partner Governor, Bracknell & Wokingham College

Ben Sims

Staff Governor

David Goosey


Dermot Mathias

Vice Chair of the Corporation

Emma Shipp


James Dipple

Chair of Remuneration Committee

Jamie Wade

Clerk to the Corporation

John Cope


Meheryar Khan

Co-opted Governor

Pauline Odulinski

Chair of Search and Governance Committee

Sally Dicketts

Chief Executive Officer

Sue Sturgeon

Chair of the Corporation

Tracey James

Chair of Audit and Risk Committee