Ian Bamford

Chief Operating Officer, Paragon Skills

I have successfully worked in the Further Education and Skills sector for approximately 20 years in a wide variety of roles across a number of reputable organisations; including both private training providers and further education colleges. I am currently the Chief Operating Officer for a national, independent training provider responsible for the overall delivery of all aspects in the learners’ journey. In addition to my role there, I am also a practicing Ofsted Inspector with over 15 years’ of hands-on experience, having carried out over 100 inspections with different remits across the sector. As such, I have a very good understanding and detailed knowledge of the inspection framework and the impact Ofsted has on our sector. I currently sit on the AELP Quality forum and the AELP Strategic forum working groups, liaising closely with Ofsted and other AELP members on what the future of quality apprenticeship delivery and its inspection looks like.

I would personally like to join the main AELP Board as I strongly believe that my varied background, relevant and very current experience will add immense value to the AELP membership at what is an uncertain and potentially unsettling time, plus also offer the other AELP board members a confident yet pragmatic and balanced contribution.

Denise Ellison

CEO, Just IT Training Ltd

I have contributed significantly to the delivery of government funding provision across a range of industries in both large national and niche training providers. My most recent work is the development of apprenticeship and traineeship provision for Just IT. Over 6 vears I have built Just IT's apprenticeship team into a high quality provider delivering IT/digital skills directly into the tech sector. In 2016, I led the acquisition by Just IT of Skills Team - a provider facing a second grade 3 Ofsted and potential loss of ESFA contract. Under my leadership, Skills Team was rated grade 2 and is now delivering strong outcomes with nationwide provision in Leadership & Management.

Under my strategic lead, Just IT was a driving-force in the transition from QCF to Standards working directly with Tech Partnership and employers in the creation of key digital standards. My work in bringing together industry partners continues with BCS and City & Guilds; where Just IT are working to ensure end-point assessment meets the demands of both learners and employers.

I have actively participated in AELP IT & Digital sector forums for employers and providers, as well as the BCS Leader Group. As part of Campaign for Learning I have provided a balanced view of Training providers' challenges in meeting government agenda, quality and curriculum. I has also demonstrated best practice on how training providers adapt internally to the changing market with Just IT receiving 2-star 'Outstanding' for Workplace Engagement by the Best Company organisation alongside Matrix accreditation.

Robert Foulston

South Thames Colleges Group, Vice Chairman


I have almost twenty years of experience working in the education and training sector through the following activities:

ITEC - I owned and chaired ITEC (the International Therapy Examination Council), an Awarding Organisation in the health, beauty and sports sector, for 18 years until its sale in 2016

I purchased Remit Training, a large Independent Training Provider, in 2010 and currently Chair the Remit Group board, working very closely with Sue Pittock (Remit Chief Executive and AELP Board Director)

I was a Governor of Kingston College until the recent merger of South Thames College, Kingston College and Carshalton College to form the South Thames Colleges Group, of which I am now Vice Chairman. The Group has 20,000 learners, approximately 1,200 of which are work based learners

I am also professionally qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court and have retained my Practicing Certificate from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority since I qualified in 1989.

I am passionate about the sector and believe that AELP is the most influential sector body at a Governmental level, adding significant value to members through its lobbying activities (which have been intense in recent months with the material changes ongoing in the sector).

I believe my legal skills, sector knowledge and commitment to the sector, particularly apprenticeships, will allow me to add value to the AELP board and its initiatives.

Nicola Hay

Director, Outsource Vocational Learning

Since joining the board in 2015 the sector has seen a lot of change with Policy and the move from frameworks to standards. In order to support and guide the sector the industry needs a strong body to represent its needs, I believe AELP provides this, and as such needs strong experienced board members to provide that advice and guidance.

My level of attendance and active contribution at the AELP Board/Strategic Forum over the 3 yrs demonstrates my commitment and contribution. I feel very passionate about lobbying for flexibility on 20% off the job, funding for functional skills/social mobility, standards are fit for purpose and are sufficiently funded. I recently volunteered to join the ESFA/AELP Intervention Group to help share experiences and influence a better outcome.

I have taken an active role in many EPAO SIG meetings to help influence and give the ITP view to the EPAO's about designing a system and service of value. My involvements in the AELP/Ofsted Quality Forum have led to a number of changes in policy by Ofsted. I believe the regional networks play a key role in sharing local knowledge; I became a board member of the LWBLA to provide a link between AELP nationally and the alliance locally.

I am enthusiastic about partnership working, particularly in making sure all providers can operate in the new world, if re-elected I would continue to provide a voice for the smaller provider and the challenges we face by lobbying and protecting our members.

Ashley McCaul

CEO, Skills for Growth

I currently have a dual role as CEO for Skills for Growth (a charitable apprenticeship provider in London) and Director of Apprenticeships for London South East Colleges.

I have over 20 years of experience working within post-16 education and training, in both the public and charitable sectors. In the past I have worked alongside colleagues in London as Vice Chair of the London Work Based Learning Alliance, Chair of the London East Provider Network and latterly, nationally as a Board member for AELP. These roles have demanded a strong and coherent representation of the sector and working closely with civil servants and funders at a strategic level supporting policy implementation. I’m also a member of the Ofsted London Stakeholder Group which is an important vehicle for bringing together the Ofsted and Provider view of inspection outcomes.

My real passion is working with young people furthest from the labour market, and working hard to shine a light on issues negatively impacting on social mobility. If re-elected to the AELP Board, I will continue to work hard to represent the interests of Apprenticeships and Traineeship Providers and those organisations working with the most disadvantaged.

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