"Excellent strategic leadership and governance have generated a culture of improvement and accountability in the college." - Ofsted 2010
Robert Bellfield is responsible for the overall running of Craven College, ensuring that we continue to enrich lives through learning. He oversees the college’s strategic direction and is responsible for the efficient and effective day-to-day running of the organisation, ensuring budgets are adhered to and continuing to develop the high-quality provision of Craven College.
Robert has worked in Further Education for almost 30 years, starting his career as a teacher of Agriculture at Northumberland College of Agriculture and most recently was director of Resources for Learning at Aberdeen College. He holds a BSc (Hons) Agriculture degree from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and in 2008 obtained his MBA through the Open University. Actively involved in both educational and environmental associations, Robert is currently a Director of the Environmental Association of Universities & Colleges (EAUC). He has spent 14 years as an Associate Assessor for Education Scotland, reviewing and reporting on the performance of Scotland’s colleges.
Born near Wakefield and now living in Settle, he knows the area well, but also brings valuable experience in education from other parts of the UK.
Cath Ambler is Vice Principal, moving from her previous role as Assistant Principal – Services to Business. The Vice Principal role involves a range of duties and responsibilities. As ‘number two’ in the organisation Cath deputises for the Principal whilst having direct responsibility for a range of cross college functions such as Marketing, Services to Business and Community, Apprenticeships, Technology Services, and income generation. Cath first came to Craven College as a mature student seeking a career change after working for many years at senior level in the private sector. She started lecturing in Business in 1993 and a few years later launched Tyro Training, which has gained a reputation for delivering high quality bespoke training for businesses, along with fantastic apprenticeship programmes with success rates 15% above the national average.
Originally from Ilkley, Cath attended Skipton Girls’ High School and knows the area well.
Director of Finance
Phil Blakey is the College's Director of Finance and responsible for all the financial aspects of the college. He heads a small finance team which processes all payments to suppliers, travel expenses to staff and students and raises all the invoices to collect the income due to the college from course fees etc. The team also operate and maintain the finance systems so that they meet the stringent audit requirements and provide the financial information required to manage the college and to help the team plan for the future.
Phil was born and brought up in Skipton, but left to go to Bristol University. Later in his career he returned to the area to work for Yorkshire Water. Then, 13 years ago, he moved to the college to take up his present post. Returning to Skipton, he says, was not planned but just how it worked out.
Director of Curriculum
Rebecca Walker is the Director of Curriculum, a post which she has held since 2009. This is an interesting and varied role which supports managers and course team leaders to plan and deliver all the courses we run within the college. She oversees processes which ensure that the college meets learners’ demands as well as all the statutory requirements and funding regulations and has also been responsible for the expansion of higher education courses so that we are now able to offer a range of local progression routes to make it easier to access degree level study.
Rebecca has had a long association with Craven College mixing teaching with roles in private industry, but committed totally to the College after successfully completing BA (Hons) Economics and Statistics with the Open University. Teaching mainly in the Business and Management division, Rebecca became the Divisional Manager for that area in 1995. Promotion to Senior Management followed in 1999 as Curriculum Development Manager. These wide ranging experiences combined with local knowledge put Rebecca in a good position to respond to the educational needs and aspirations of the communities of Craven and beyond.
Director of Human Resources
Janet Metcalfe is the Director of Human Resources and is responsible for everything to do with staff with regard to recruitment, induction, terms and conditions of employment; maintaining employment records; ensuring that robust policies and procedures are applied in line with employment law and good practice; making sure appraisals are carried out and importantly making sure that staff get paid. So a central job within the College. Janet has been a member of the Senior Management team since 1997, providing the data which helps inform us about our staffing requirements along with management support and guidance.
Janet first became interested in Personnel Management during her studies for the HND in Hotel & Catering Administration. She then went on to develop a career within Hotel & Catering Management, specialising in Personnel & Training and later extended her experience in Personnel Management within the Food and Textile Retail Industries, achieving full membership of Professional Bodies in both Catering Management (MHCIMA) and Personnel Management (MCIPD), through a combination of study and work experience. She joined Craven College in 1997 as Personnel Manager and now manages a Personnel/Payroll team as Director of Human Resources.
Senior Curriculum Manager/Quality & Performance Manager
As Quality & Performance Manager, Maddy supports the college’s drive to be ‘outstanding’ by working with all areas to improve or maintain the quality of what they do. She leads the self-assessment and performance review processes and is responsible for analysing the all-important success rate data, acting as the Quality Nominee for the successful 2010 Ofsted inspection. Recently appointed to the Senior Management Team as a Senior Curriculum Manager, with line management responsibilities for Sport & Public Services and Rural & Equine Divisions, Maddy contributes to the strategic direction of the college.
Maddy joined the college in 1995 as a part-time science lecturer, after a career in scientific research and the NHS. On the way to becoming Divisional Manager of Community Studies she was involved in a wide variety of programmes, including a spell as Modern Languages Coordinator.
Senior Curriculum Manager - Learner Services
Mary is the Senior Curriculum Manager for Construction and Community Studies and in addition has strategic responsibilities for Services to Learners, Additional Learning Support, Reception and Equality and Diversity. Mary has a BA (Hons) in Community Work and 16 years’ experience of working within an educational setting. She has worked in both schools and colleges as a Psychology Lecturer and was previously the Divisional Manager for Craven College A Level Centre.
Mary has been instrumental in developing the college strategic direction, policies and procedures in terms of community engagement by bringing volunteers from the community into the college. Alongside the Staff Development Manager Mary was active in driving the college forward in terms of embedding Equality and Diversity culminating in the college achieving the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Diversity Champions award in Embedding Equality and Diversity in October 2010.