Local Governing Body Members’ Pen Portraits

Information about each of the College’s Local Governing Body members is displayed below and Declarations of Interests are submitted on an annual basis.


Paul Buren BEd, MSc

Paul grew up in the Netherlands before he moved to the United Kingdom in 2016. He was a Economics and Business Studies teacher before he started his MSc course in Finance & Management at Keele University. In the Netherlands he served on different governing bodies as member, secretary and chair.

Paul enjoys football and is active as a coach for the women’s football team at Keele University. He regularly goes for a run, preferably outside to enjoy the nature around Stone where he lives. He is also an active member of the local Baptist church in Stone.

When he isn’t learning or involved in sports he designs websites, advises businesses on strategy and delivers executive coaching.


Joan Durose PhD, MSc, DMS

Joan’s first introduction to the College was many years ago when her daughter was a student. She was elected Chair of the Governing Body at its first meeting on 18 October 2017.

She is a Senior Associate of the Health Services Management Centre at Birmingham University. Her role includes consultancy, teaching and research in matters related to health service management. Previously she held several roles in health service organisations within North Staffordshire, particularly in the field of human resources, was a community worker in the area and began her working life in teaching.

Joan is also a member of the Trustee Board of Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice Bureau.


Geoffrey Eze

Geoffrey is the Sixth form College Chaplain and has been so since he was installed as Team Vicar of All Saints Church in Hanley in February 2012. Originally from the East End of London, Revd Eze has established a number of educational chaplaincies in central Stoke. In addition he has developed a number of community projects based around the strong links which he has with the local council and other community bodies in Stoke-on-Trent.  He is currently developing a project with Heritage Lottery Funding to develop the interior of All Saints Church so that it will be a functional community hub for residents of Joiners Square.

Revd Eze is also a keen jazz pianist and enjoys gardening and photography.


John Gething BA, BTP, MRTPI (Rtd)

John is a Chartered Town Planner and is a graduate of the Common Purpose Programme. Formerly the Business Support and Investment Manager for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, John has worked in the public sector for over thirty years.  His experience includes master planning, community regeneration, housing renewal and leading major bids for external funding.

He is currently Chair of EPIC (“Empowering People, Inspiring Communities”) Housing Association.

John enjoys travelling, the theatre, swimming, and is interested in art and urban design.


Gemanie Hassall-Dendy

As a former student of the Sixth Form College (2004-2006) Gemanie returned to work at the College as Quality Officer in February 2013 after completing an undergraduate degree in English and American Literatures, and a Masters in American Literature and Culture at Keele University.

In her spare time Gemanie enjoys walking in the Peak District, reading and travelling.


Rob Hewitt

Rob is a Chartered Member of the CIPD (HR professional body) and works as the Factory HR manager at Michelin Tyre plc in Stoke-on-Trent.  He has worked in a number of management roles within the manufacturing industry including strategic planning before moving into HR in 2007.  He has studied both business and management and completed several post-graduate qualifications at Staffordshire University including the CMS, CBA and DBA.  Since moving into HR in 2007, Rob has completed a three year post-graduate CIPD qualification also at Staffordshire University. Rob enjoys travelling, DIY, gardening, keeping fit and trying to maximise his family time with his wife and daughter.


Mark Kent

Mark joined the College as Principal in January 2016 from his previous post as Deputy Principal at King Edward VI College, Stourbridge.

This post is now Mark’s sixth post in a sixth form college and his thirty year teaching career has been spent exclusively in this sector. Mark began his teaching in Oxford and worked his way up gradually from teacher of Mathematics to Head of Mathematics, to Head of Faculty before re-joining King Edward’s where he had been Assistant Head of Mathematics for four years.

Mark originates from Liverpool where he studied Maths, F Maths, Physics and Economics A levels at King David High School (a part Jewish state school) and then went on to complete a Mathematics Degree at Leeds University, followed by a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and then a Masters in Statistics at Sheffield Hallam University.

Mark has served on Mathematics in Education and Industry’s Curriculum Committee since 2006 and has also carried out stints as an examiner (15 years), a trustee of an international publication and away from education as church warden of his local Anglican Church.

In his spare time Mark leads worship in his church (playing 12 string guitar and mandolin), is a keen photographer and walker, enjoys reading and spends as much time as he can with his family, as well as following Liverpool Football Club.


Penny Meakin

Penny has had an exciting career; spending 22 years in the travel industry, followed by 25 years in education. Holding the post of Director of Quality and Marketing for 12 years at Leek College of Further Education, has given her a passion for teaching and learning. Her mantra is to ensure that all students get the best possible advice, guidance and learning experience, culminating in the progression into a worthwhile career.

Penny is a published author, having written a book about the First World War, The Meakin Diaries, which was then featured on television with Sir Tony Robinson. ‘Retiring’ from education in July 2016, she is currently completing a degree course in Creative Art and Design; experiencing life as a student.

Penny is a lifelong fan of West Ham United and in her spare time enjoys writing, philately, running and gardening and has recently launched a new career in art making pictures out of postage stamps, under the name ‘Penny Stamp Artist’.


Steve Wyn Williams BA, PhD, FRSA, FRGS

Steve is Vice-Chair of the Governing Body. Steve has worked in the region for a number of years, initially in the Geography Department at Keele University and subsequently at Staffordshire University. In the latter institution he held a number of roles including Head of Geography Department, Associate Dean Science, Head of the Academic Development Institute and, until his retirement in September 2017, Dean of Academic Policy and Development. He has also been involved in Academies developments in the City and is Vice-Chair of the Governors of the Co-operative Academy of Stoke on Trent. Steve is a member of the Executive Board of the Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) which champions increased access to higher education.


Any queries regarding Governance of the College should be directed to the Clerk to the Local Governing Body, Amy Austin or call 01782 854217.