Governors Profiles and Information

The Board is comprised of the following Governors:

  • Andrew Watts - Chair of Governors
  • Lindsey Whiterod - Chief Executive
  • Alain Reynier - Staff Governor
  • David Byrne - College Governor
  • George Clark - College Governor
  • Mark Overton - College Governor
  • Andy Walton - College Governor
  • Malcolm Grady- College Governor
  • Peter Davidson - College Governor
  • Susan Wear - College Governor
  • Nick Whalen-Griffiths - College Governor
  • Terry Cornick - College Governor
  • Desmond Young - College Governor
  • Stanley Mere - Student Member

Clerk to the Board

The independent Clerk to the Board is:

Neil Longstaff

South Tyneside College
St. George's Avenue
South Shields
Tyne & Wear
NE34 6ET

Telephone: 0191 427 3903



Andrew Watts

Andrew Watts, the Executive Director of ‘changing places and changing lives’ charity Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle, became a college governor in 2011 and was appointed chairman of governors in August 2014.

His priorities include expanding the global influence of the college’s world-famous South Shields Marine School, building greater business and community partnerships, and increasing educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Andrew spent 15 years working in the public sector in various environmental positions before joining Groundwork in 2005. His role as Executive Director is varied but includes helping create strategic partnerships across Tyneside and developing Groundwork’s asset portfolio, which includes the One Trinity Green business centre in South Shields and The Beacon enterprise centre in Newcastle.

He is also an active board member of a voluntary sector organisation in South Tyneside.

Susan Wear

Susan Wear is director of corporate affairs at the Port of Tyne, a high-profile position in which she is helping develop the port as a global trading hub to bring greater economic success and growth to the North East.

Brought up in a former shipyard house overlooking the Tyne at Gateshead, she began her career as a trainee journalist on the Shields Gazette. In 1988 she became the first female chief reporter on the Newcastle Journal.

A variety of positions which followed focussed mainly on supporting the region’s economic regeneration.

Susan is married to BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown and the couple have one daughter, an actress based in London.

Terry Cornick

Terry’s career started in 1965 as an Engineer Cadet at South Tyneside College apprenticed to a company called Ellerman Lines. After completing his training he spent nearly 20 years as a sea-going engineer before coming ashore to work in the London office of Ellermans as a superintendent in the technical department.  There was a lot of consolidation in the UK shipping industry in the 1980s and as a result of mergers and acquisitions Terry eventually ended working at P&O Containers still in the technical department.  After leaving P&O in the early 1990s Terry joined Sea-Land, an American shipping company, initially as a superintendent but after a short while became Managing Director of the UK ship-owning subsidiary.  Sea-Land was subsequently taken over in 1999 by the world’s largest container shipping company, Maersk which was based in Copenhagen.  Terry remained at Maersk until his retirement in 2014 in a variety of positions mostly based in London and Newcastle and for the last 4 years he was Chief Executive Officer of The Maersk Company, the UK ship-owning and ship-management subsidiary of AP Moller-Maersk.

Terry is involved in the Marine Society and Sea Cadets at branch and unit levels.  Terry enjoys many leisure pursuits but his main interest is the acquisition of knowledge and to this end he has been studying  with the Open University since 1986 and has completed 16 modules thus far, his current course is The Roman Empire.

Alain Reynier

Alain was born in Pyrenees in France and moved to the UK in 1964. High School educated in Warwick and left to join the Merchant Navy as a Deck Cadet with Silver Line in 1979.

Alain completed Class 3 (OOW Certificate) in 1983 and came ashore to operate in road transport. He joined Loughborough University of Technology in 1986 to read for a BSc (Hons) in Transport Management and Planning and joined the National Freight Corporation’s Graduate training scheme becoming a Depot Manager with Pickfords Removals in 1990. Alain went back to sea in 1992 with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary serving in both dry cargo, fleet tankers and Landing ships, which included service in the Former Yugoslavian conflict for which the UN medal was awarded. Alain transferred to P & O Princess in 1996, after gaining Chief Mates certificate at South Tyneside College, then Joined Stena Line in 1999 on the Stranraer to Belfast ferry service after gaining a Masters Certificate of Competency at South Tyneside College.

Alain joined South Tyneside College as a lecturer in the Marine School in September 1999 and was promoted to Curriculum Leader for the HNC courses in Deck Officer of the Watch in 2015. Alain is currently in a second tenure of UCU Chair and made Staff Governor in 2016.

Des Young

Appointed a governor in 2014, Des Young has nearly 25 years’ experience of the electricity supply industry in the UK and overseas and brings a strong and perceptive business focus to South Tyneside College.

He has been director of Siemens’ Asset Service business since 2010 and was previously the company’s director of Products and Systems.

He started his career as an apprentice, before gaining vast industry expertise and experience working for NEI, Rolls Royce and VA TECH. His apprenticeship background has created within him a strong and committed belief in the benefits of vocational training which he sees as key to the North East’s future economic success.

Des, who is from Jarrow, but now lives in South Shields, is dedicated to the promotion and growth of South Tyneside, making positive extra contributions as an active member of the South Tyneside Business Forum and Economic Regeneration Board.

Andrew Walton

With over 20 years in senior positions within the North East of England, Andy gained significant experience running high performing, technology focused teams within both the public and private sector.

This experience has allowed Andy the ability to set, and then execute high level strategies in both the public and private sector, which have in turn, generated significant new business opportunities / revenue streams for businesses and significant economic regeneration benefits within the North East.

Currently the CEO / Co-Founder of The Nine Software Company, which is an innovative software development company delivering solutions to organisations such as P&G, Nike, Nissan, the NHS and UK Police forces.    

Alongside Nine Andy is a Founder Director of Asset55, which is a software and consultancy business focused on the Oil and Gas Market.  Asset55’s disruptive technology is deployed to clients such as AMEC Foster Wheeler, Baker Hughes, BP alongside others.

Andy and his wife (Kelly) live in North Tyneside with their two children Mac & Nia.

Dr Malcolm Grady

Malcolm graduated from York University in 1973 in History/Education and stayed to complete a PGCE in 1974. He then began his teaching career in secondary schools in South Tyneside, during which time he was awarded a School Teacher Fellowship at St Chad's College, Durham University. After completing a Masters in Education at Durham, Malcolm moved into educational administration at Newcastle and South Tyneside LEAs working in fields such as Adult and Further education, School Governance, School Workforce Development, Succession Planning and Ofsted Inspections.

He also contributed to several national organisations in an educational advisory capacity such as the BBC Schools Broadcasting Council, the National Institute for Continuing Education and the National Employers Organisation for School Teachers.

Malcolm gained his Doctorate in Education from Newcastle University in 2001 in the field of School Governance. He has worked as a lecturer in Continuing Education for Durham, Newcastle and Sunderland Universities and currently contributes to the education programme for the Joseph Cowan Centre for Lifelong Learning, Newcastle. He is married with four children. Now retired, he spends his time part-time lecturing, researching and sitting as a magistrate.

Peter Davidson

Peter’s professional background is risk management and corporate risk financing and he acquired knowledge and experiences of the operational and strategic issues facing public and private sector organisations.

He moved into insurance broking with Furness Houlder (Furness Withy/OCCL) as UK Marketing and Sales Director, before moving to Sedgwick UK as Branch Director and following their take over by Marsh & McLennan inc. He became Head of NE & Cumbria Region and Practice Leader for Public Sector Risk with officer title of Senior Vice President.

During this period he was active in CBI, Chamber of Commerce, an elected Progressive Councillor on South Tyneside Council, Director of Tedco Ltd., Vice Chair of St Clare’s Hospice and Governor of various primary and secondary schools.

In 1996 he was appointed Chair of South Tyneside Healthcare Trust and in 2000 when Foundation Trust status was achieved he was appointed Chair of South Tyneside Foundation Trust. 

He retired from Marsh in 2005 and for a further 3 years, was employed as a Consultant/Advisor in their Public Sector Practice which included Local Authority, Health Education and Housing sectors.

In 2009 he was invited to join the Board of South Tyneside Homes, the Arms Length Management organisation, which manages the 18000 houses owned by South Tyneside Council.  He was elected Chair and led the company through organisational change to achieve 2 star status, which resulted in the Housing Community Agency providing £200m investment for the “Decent Homes” programme.

He has continued his interest in other community services and is currently a member of the following Boards’/Committees:

  • (Independent member) South Tyneside Council Audit Committee

  • South Tyneside Health & Wellbeing Board

  • South Tyneside Economic Regeneration Board

  • South Tyneside Partnership Board

  • Trustee Director Cancer Connections

  • Chair of South Tyneside Housing Venture Trust.

He continues to act as an unpaid advisor to his son and daughter in their respective businesses; Café BarOne Ltd and Horizonworks Marketing Ltd.

George Clark

George Clark became a governor of South Tyneside College and vice chair of its audit committee in August 2014.

Born in Perth, Scotland, but living in Newcastle since 1968, he has over 35 years’ experience in public service, working for the Audit Commission, Newcastle City Council, and Perth and Kinross District Council.

He concluded his 28 years with Newcastle City Council as Chief Internal Auditor and Head of Risk Management and Insurance. He left Newcastle to join the Audit Commission where he worked for nine years, delivering over 50 inspection assessments across public bodies in England and working in local government, police and fire authorities and the NHS. He was the North East regional lead for ethical and good governance work in which he worked with audit and scrutiny committees. George was responsible for delivering workshops on better financial management, ethical governance and change culture, use of resources, risk management and making audit and scrutiny committees more effective.

Internationally he has undertaken four spells of work in Bosnia to introduce proper processes to ensure and maintain public accountability of public funds; he has also undertaken two projects in Macedonia, working for the British Embassy to provide professional advice on anti-corruption measures.

George is a past president North East Region of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and now sits on its Board for the Regions, as well as its Council and Audit committee. In 2011, CIPFA awarded him the Dr Hedley Marshall Award for outstanding voluntary service to the institute.

He sits on two local Housing Company Boards and chairs their Audit Committees. He is also Independent person for Newcastle and North Tyneside Councils.

In his leisure time, George, a married father-of-two and grandfather of three, is a Scout Leader and keen golfer.

Lindsey Whiterod OBE

Lindsey Whiterod has overseen a rapid rise in education standards at South Tyneside College since introducing a new focus on vocational qualifications after becoming Principal and Chief Executive in October 2009.

Her resolute and forward-thinking approach to provision has ensured courses and resulting qualifications target real jobs, a policy that has won the approval of many within the North East business community, as well as education inspectorate Ofsted, which graded the college ‘good’ with some exceptional features during its latest inspection in 2012. At the time it was the only North East College where standards of provision were identified as rising.

Her influence on the college’s academic resurgence is such that she was made an OBE for services to education in the New Year Honours List in 2013.

Lindsey’s achievements include overseeing capital refurbishment and estate rationalisation programmes in excess of £14m, part of which has been a £4.5m upgrade to the college’s world-famous South Shields Marine School and the development of its world-renowned brand into new markets in countries such as China, India and Bangladesh.

Significantly, she has ensured the college is also rated financially outstanding by the Government’s Skills Funding Agency.

Mark Overton

Mark Overton, a retired Consultant in Public Health who spent much of his career working in South Tyneside, was appointed a governor in November 2014.

He combines vast professional expertise, including that of strategic planning, with an intense interest in Further Education, and combines both within a single focus directed towards removing inequalities in health and education.

Mark is dedicated to using his skills and role of governor to progress the education of all young people who attend the college.

The married father-of-two, who lives in Monkton, South Tyneside, is also a governor at a secondary school and at a primary school in South Tyneside.

In 1991 he studied for a one-year Certificate in Management at South Tyneside College, a qualification he used as a foundation course and from which he began his successful and rewarding career.

David Byrne

David Byrne has been a South Tyneside College governor since 2010 and was appointed vice chairman of governors in 2014.

He brings to bear vast experience of the marine industries worldwide and has a particular focus on supporting and promoting the global ambitions of South Shields Marine School. He is active in supporting the professional development of seafarers in the region.

David, a father-of-three, who lives in Gosforth, began his career as a deck officer, later becoming a naval architect. He subsequently worked in marine research and development in the North East.

He works as a marine consultant on marine operations, oil and gas and port development projects worldwide, enjoying a wide range of industry contacts and personal experience beneficial to the Marine School and to the success of the college overall.

He is also active in a number of maritime-related charities in the region including the Marine Society and Sea Cadets.

Nick Whalen-Griffiths

Nick Whalen-Griffiths became a governor in 2012, extending an association with South Tyneside College that started in July 1974 when he began studying to become a deck officer.

Born in Ruthin, North Wales, but living in South Shields since 1978, he returned to the college a number of times to continue his studies until passing his Master Mariners Certificate of Competence in 1985.

Nick left the sea in 1986 and worked as a marine surveyor until a change of course led him to become a lecturer in Nautical Science at South Shields Marine School in September 1989.

He worked his way up to Principal Lecturer/Head of Department, but left in May 2010. He is now Head of Personnel with South Shields-based Pritchard-Gordon Tankers, whose cadets’ train exclusively at the college.

An original motivation for becoming a governor was to represent the marine industry at Board level and to ensure there was sufficient support and focus on the Marine School. Today, that has extended to a personal desire to use his educational and professional experience to help maintain the college’s high academic standards in the North East and beyond.

Appointment Process:

Please click on the link below if you are interested in becoming a Governor at South Tyneside College.

Procedure for Appointment of External Board Members.pdf

For our Committee Terms of Reference, please see below.

Terms of reference of committees 2016-17.pdf