Leadership and Governance


Robert Bellfield – Principal

As Principal Robert implements the College's strategic plans and is responsible for the effective day-to-day running of the organisation, ensuring budgets are adhered to and continuing to develop the high-quality provision of Craven College.

With over 30 years Further Education experience, he started his career as a teacher of Agriculture at Northumberland College of Agriculture, followed by roles at Myerscough College and Aberdeen College. He holds a degree in Agriculture and an MBA. He joined Craven College in 2012.

Robert is Chair of the Environmental Association of Colleges and Universities, Secretary of the Skipton Mechanics Institute and a Director of Skipton Business Improvement District. He is also Chief Executive of Craven Educational Trust, a multi-academy trust set up by Craven College.

Stephanie Tinsley – Vice Principal: Curriculum and Quality

Stephanie joined Craven College in August 2015. She develops the Further Education and Higher Education curriculum and is responsible for the quality of delivery and student outcomes.

Stephanie started her career as a general nurse at St. James' Hospital in Leeds. She then qualified and practiced as a Midwife and Health Visitor within the Airedale District. She combined work with part-time study, graduating with BSc (Hons) in Nursing.

Further study led her to qualify as a teacher, graduating with a MA in Leadership and Management in Education. She has lectured primarily in Further Education. Previous academic posts include Vice Principal for Curriculum and Learning at Bradford College.

Joanne Sherrington – Vice Principal: Finance & Resources

Joanne is responsible for Finance, Facilities, IT, HR, Health and Safety, Administration and MIS within the College and is Company Secretary of Craven Educational Trust. A Fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Joanne holds a BA (Hons) degree in Accountancy and spent the first 12 years of her career doing a variety of roles in practice before spending five years at Places for People, one of the largest property management companies in the UK, as Group Financial Accountant.

Prior to joining the College in 2013 Joanne spent six years as Finance Director of Training 2000, a large national charity delivering training and apprenticeship programmes and was also involved in establishing a University Technical College.

Janet Metcalfe – Director of Human Resources

Janet is responsible for the HR strategy and Department, including payroll, alongside the College's Health and Safety function.

She has a wide remit covering all aspects of HR including recruitment, induction, employment terms and conditions, staff data, policies and procedures, performance management systems and appraisals.

Joining Craven College in 1997, Janet previously developed a career within Hotel & Catering Management after studying HND in Hotel & Catering Administration, specialising in personnel and training. She has extensive experience in personnel management within the food and textile retail industries and has full professional MHCIMA and MCIPD status.

Lindsey Johnson – Director of Business and Community Development

Lindsey is responsible for Business and Community Development in College and leads the Tyro, Apprenticeships, Projects, Leisure and Community and Subcontracting teams. After joining Craven College in 2006 as a project manager, she now works across the College to increase external revenue and ensure our projects and services meet individual and employer needs.


The Governing Body is responsible for the overall functioning of the College and aims to reflect the community the College serves. It consists of 14 members who are recruited from a wide cross-section of the local community and businesses, as well as from the staff and student body.

Robert Bellfield – Principal

Robert is responsible for the overall running of Craven College. He implements the College's strategic plans and is responsible for the efficient and effective day-to-day running of the organisation and continuing to develop the high-quality provision of Craven College.

Joan Matthews – Director of Governance

Joan is Director of Governance and is responsible for advising the Board on governance procedures and practice. She has had a wide ranging career within the education sector in both school and Higher Education.

David Mabbitt – Chair of the Board

David is a retired Mechanical Engineer with extensive business experience following a varied career in industry across the UK and overseas.

David can be contacted via Joan Mattthews


01756 693816

Fiona Thomson – Vice-chair of the Board and Chair, Search and Governance Committee

Fiona is the Managing Director of a Medical Recruitment Business, following a career in the Chemical Waste Processing Industry. Fiona has held voluntary and mentoring roles with young people in various phases of education.

Paul Shorter – Chair, Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee

Paul has worked in Education and Training all his life, retiring as Manager of the Craven College's Funding Development team in 2010.

Scott Boardman – Business Support Staff Governor

Scott is an Academic Quality Officer within the College's Quality Team, providing professional support for the implementation of effective and efficient quality improvement systems to underpin all the College's academic activities and provisions.

Sue Laycock, Chair, Audit Committee

Sue is Director of Human Resources at Incommunities Group Ltd, a housing association in Bradford. Sue has also held HR roles in local authorities and her current role encompasses employee resourcing, employment legislation, learning and development and health and safety.

Mike Bridgman

Mike is an education and training consultant working with a large number of Colleges and Training providers. He has particular experience in improving the quality of learning and teaching, and striving to enhance learners' experiences.

Martyn Stone

Martyn is an accountant and has worked in the financial services sector for 30 years in finance and audit roles, most recently for SBS and HML. Martyn is also an LA appointed school governor.

Chris Woodhead – Chair, Finance, Resources and Investment Committee

Chris is a business consultant in the digital technology sector. He previously led a division of a global software company, founded an independent financial advice business and held a senior management position in a major UK Insurance Company.

Andy Brown

Andy has had a long career in further education which included being Deputy Principal at Keighley College and Director of Young People's Learning across Yorkshire and the Humber. After retiring Andy became the Green Party candidate for the Skipton & Ripon constituency and is currently a member of Craven District Council.

Lee Rollinson

Lee has had a successful career in a number of industry sectors focusing on people development, talent management and senior level recruitment. He holds a MEd degree and is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.

Joanna Baxter – Teaching Staff Governor

Joanne is Centre Manager for Animal, Equine Studies and Engineering at Craven College. Her specialist teaching area is Equine Studies.

David Thorpe

David is Chief Operating Officer of STEM Learning Ltd. STEM Learning operates the National STEM Learning Network which improves lives through great teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). David has also held Finance Director and Chief Executive roles in a wide range of industries.

Richard Johnson

Richard is an A Level student and President of the Craven College Students' Union.

Moira Duggan

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