Governing Body

The Governing Body of the South Eastern Regional College (SERC) plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficient and effective management of college activities and its property. Here are some key responsibilities of the SERC Governing Body:

  1. Employer Role: As the employer of all college managers and staff, the governing body ensures fair employment practices, staff development, and a positive working environment.
  2. Strategic Oversight: The governing body provides strategic oversight, ensuring that the college’s mission, vision, and strategic goals are aligned with its educational objectives and community needs.
  3. Policy Formulation: It participates in policy development, including academic policies, financial management, and human resources policies. These policies guide the college’s operations and decision-making.
  4. Financial Stewardship: The governing body oversees the college’s financial health, approves budgets, and ensures responsible financial management. It also monitors financial performance and compliance.
  5. Appointment and Evaluation: It appoints the Principal and Chief Executive, who serves as the college’s leader. Additionally, the governing body evaluates the Principal’s performance.
  6. Quality Assurance: It monitors the quality of education and services provided by the college, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards and continuous improvement.
  7. Risk Management: The governing body assesses risks, including financial, operational, and reputational risks, and takes necessary measures to mitigate them.
  8. Community Engagement: It fosters strong relationships with stakeholders, including students, staff, local communities, employers, and industry partners.
Image of a meeting room
Image of John Nugent

John Nugent

Date of First Appointment: 01 August 2022

Expiry of Appointment: 31 July 2026

Mr John Nugent has gained extensive leadership, strategy formulation and governance experience in Northern Ireland and overseas over the last 35 years. This includes the delivery of major capital development programmes and environmental initiatives in the Further and Higher education sectors. He was a Board Member of Southern Regional College since 2015 and Vice-Chair from 2017. During this period he chaired the Audit and Risk Committee and provided Governing Body oversight and assurance for the College’s £105m Capital Investment Programme. Mr Nugent retired from Queen’s University Belfast in 2020 having successfully delivered the University’s £750m Capital Investment Programme together with the institution’s award winning Carbon Management Strategy. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and was formerly a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (retired in 2020).

Image of Ken Webb

Ken Webb Principal and Chief Executive

Date of First Appointment: 03 Dec 2008

Expiry of Appointment: Not time bounded

Ken has a wide and varied professional background, including working in Central Government, Local Government and the Private Sector. His extensive roles have included leading and managing diverse areas from PPP/PFI projects, through national advertising campaigns to international sales in Agri-food industry and IT consultancy. Ken is a former student of the FE College in Lisburn, a qualified teacher, and Chartered Accountant. He holds a number of further qualifications from Queen’s University Belfast, University of Ulster and Warwick University Business School.

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Mr Mark Huddleston

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Mark has had significant experience in advanced manufacturing and skills across the UK over the past 20 years.

Over that time he has worked in a range of advanced manufacturing sectors including space and automotive and is currently a director of King & Fowler in Liverpool and jheSOLUTIONS in Newtownards, working in aerospace and wider advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering (AMME) sector respectively. From 2015 until its closure he was the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Employment and Skills at the UKCES. He is currently a member of the Matrix Panel, an industry led panel advising government and informing academia and industry on the commercial exploitation of R&D and science and technology. Mark is also chair of the PMC for Connected, supporting innovation in micro and small SME’s and vice chair of the Skills Strategy Advisory Group to the Department for the Economy. He previously volunteered as Institute of Directors Management and Leadership Ambassador in Northern Ireland and continues to volunteer as a business advisor for Young Enterprise.

Mark is also a parent governor in Regent House School, Newtownards.

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Dr Danny McConnell

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Danny leads the technology consulting practice in Deloitte in Northern Ireland and has over 25 years’ experience, primarily working with clients across the UK public sector focusing on data and digital transformation.

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, has a BSc in chemistry from Queens University, a Masters in business administration from Ulster University and a PhD from Loughborough.

Danny was previously a board member of Helm Housing Association and Radius Housing Association.

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Alan McCrum

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Alan has over 30 years' policing experience in the Royal Ulster Constabulary and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. He is a graduate of the highly prestigious UK College of Policing, Strategic Command Course 2015. He has extensive leadership experience and was previously commander for policing in Belfast, County Antrim and County Armagh. He has widespread experience in strategic partnership working, change management, critical incident management, and leadership and ethics.

As commander for Belfast, he had responsibility for a wide range of major capital events including: the 2012 World Police and Fire Games; European MTV Awards; and numerous high profile international visits to Belfast.

He led the design of the PSNI Policing with the Community 2020 Strategy and introduced an integrated offender management approach to policing in Northern Ireland, in addition to leading a number of significant change projects.

Since his retirement from policing in 2015, he established his own security sector reform consultancy. Subsequently, he led the British government’s support to policing reform in Lebanon for over four years as the project director for the UK government-funded Conflict Security and Stabilisation Fund policing programme in Lebanon.

Alan holds a postgraduate diploma in legal studies and a Masters in public administration from Ulster University. He is an alumnus of the Windsor Leadership Trust.

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Deborah O’Hare

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Deborah has been principal of The Wallace High School in Lisburn since 2009. Previously she was principal of Portadown College and has held a range of leadership positions in Antrim Grammar School, Methodist College and Banbridge Academy. She has a BA Hons degree in French, a post graduate certificate in education, a Master’s degree in educational management and a professional qualification in headship.

She has particular expertise in curriculum development, matching the curriculum to meet the needs of both the individual and the economy, leadership training, leadership development and digital learning. In Wallace she has led the school through a large scale one-to-one digital device roll out, with the associated training and educational programmes placing Wallace at the forefront of digital learning in the UK.

Deborah is a former president of the Association of Schools and College Leaders, Northern Ireland; a former member of the education committee of the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), and is a regular contributor to consultations on a range of education, mental health and financial policy across primary, post-primary, FE and HE sectors.

She does not hold any other current public appointments.

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Darren Stewart

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Darren has extensive involvement in providing strategic and commercial finance leadership and leading the IT function as the group director of finance within Inspire Wellbeing Ltd.

Darren has over 20 years’ experience working in a number of senior finance roles delivering improved financial performance and business growth, transformation and enhanced system, process and control environments across a variety of sectors including financial services, FMCG, charitable and social enterprise. He has a BSc in accounting, MSc in computer science and applications, as well as being a fellow of the Chartered Accountants Ireland. Darren is also a member of the Ballyholme Primary School board of governors (non-remunerated).

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Derek Wilson

Date of First Appointment: 10 Dec 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 9 Dec 2024

Derek has almost four decades' experience in financial services, having most recently worked in the senior management teams of two local banks, where at various times he managed mortgage businesses in NI, GB and RoI. A business graduate of Queen's University, Belfast he served as chairman of the NI mortgage committee of UK Finance, formerly the Council of Mortgage Lenders, for ten years.

Since June 2015 Derek has served on the board and audit and risk assurance committee of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), where he has recently been re-appointed for a further five years. Following a structural change in January 2021, Derek became the inaugural chair of a new finance and operational performance committee in NIHE.

On 1 January 2021 Derek took up a three year appointment as a Commissioner with the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland.

Derek has also served on the board and finance and human resources committee of Co-ownership since January 2019. He is a member of the statutory committee of the Pharmaceutical Society of NI. Derek has experience of the education sector having formerly worked as a part time lecturer for both the Institute of Bankers and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He was formerly the chair of the board of governors of Lambeg Primary School. Derek brings a wealth of experience of governance, risk management, finance, strategy and transformational change from his varied business experience.

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Majella Corrigan

Date of First Appointment: 1 Apr 2021

Expiry of Appointment: 31 April 2025

Majella is Director of Planning and Schools Provision in the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS). She has over 20 years’ experience working in education, working in adult education and training before starting her career as a post-primary teacher. She transferred to the Northern Ireland Assembly to establish the Assembly Education Service. Majella then undertook the role of English subject officer in CCEA, subsequently moving to work with the Northern Ireland Qualifications Regulator which included the role of programme manager on the Ministerial Review of GCSEs and A levels, before returning to CCEA Awarding Body as service improvement and STEM programme manager.

Majella is a member of the board of governors of Stranmillis University College (non-remunerated).

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Sam Hagen

Date of First Appointment:18 October 2021

Expiry of Appointment: 17 October 2025

Sam is a qualified Accountant and has worked in various public sector service delivery organisations for most of his career.

He has operational management experience of financial accounting, management accounting, budgeting and financial planning for large public sector organisations. He has also management experience in corporate planning, performance and risk management, and public accountability and corporate governance, and is currently head of corporate planning and performance for a large Non-Departmental Public Body. 

Sam has served for two years as the independent member on the Performance and Risk Committee at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, and receives remuneration of £250 per meeting, and travel expenses for this position

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Michael McQuillan

Date of First Appointment: 28 October 2021

Expiry of Appointment: 27 October 2025

Michael McQuillan is Chief Executive at Enterprise NI. Previously he was Director of the Business Institute and the Centre for SME Development at Ulster University and was appointed as a Visiting Professor to the Ulster University Business School in 2010. Prior to that, he was Managing Director of McQuillan Associates - a business growth consultancy supporting the SME sector in Northern Ireland and has been involved in several businesses, throughout his career, notably, as co-founder and Managing Director of The Streat Café Chain and The Streat Franchising Ltd. He has been engaged as a Non-Executive Director with several SME’s. He was a Member of the Tourism Northern Ireland Board from 1 July 2013 to 31 March 2020.

Image Andrew Corbett

Andrew Corbett

Date of First Appointment: 10 Apr 2020

Expiry of Appointment: 10 Apr 2024

Andrew studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh before returning to take up a position with a Design Consultancy in Belfast. He established his own consultancy soon afterwards and combined this work with part time lecturing. He was appointed an Associate Lecturer and subsequently became a full time lecturer with SERC. He is currently a Deputy Head of School in the School of Performing and Creative Arts and represents the Lecturing Staff on the Governing Body.

Image of Mrs Carolyn King

Mrs Carolyn King

Date of First Appointment: 24 Oct 2022

Expiry of Appointment: 23 Oct 2026

Carolyn King is the Work Placement and Competitions Manager at SERC, this is her second term representing the Corporate Staff on the Governing Body. She is a former student of the FE College in Bangor who worked in the private sector before taking up a position in Further Education in SERC in 2002. Carolyn’s expertise is in work placement, over the last fifteen years she has standardised the Further and Higher Education placement process and played a leading role developing a college wide placement system. Carolyn has also led on the expansion of the college internal competitions for students and represents SERC as a Skills Champion in the sector.

Image of Ms Vikki Pinkerton

Ms Vikki Pinkerton

Date of First Appointment: 1 Oct 2023

Expiry of Appointment: 30 Sept 2024

Governing Body Information

Length of each term of appointment

Chair-4 years

11 members-4 years (1 year for student member, Principal not time bounded)

Renumeration (per annum)

Chair-£20,000 per annum

Members (Principal and staff members excepted)-£250 per Governing Body meeting; £150 for a committee meeting or event sanctioned by Chair


Chair-Approximately 7-9 meetings per annum

Members-Approximately 7-9 meetings per annum


Date of First Appointment

Expiry of Appointment



Mr John Nugent

01 Aug 2022

31 July 2026



Mr Kenneth Webb MBE

03 Dec 2008

Not time bounded

Mr Mark Huddleston

10 Dec 2020

9 Dec 2024

Dr Danny McConnell

10 Dec 2020

9 Dec 2024

Mr Alan McCrum

10 Dec 2024

9 Dec 2024

Ms Deborah O’Hare

10 Dec 2020

9 Dec 2024

Mr Darren Stewart

10 Dec 2020

9 Dec 2024

Mr Derek Wilson

10 Dec 2020

9 Dec 2024

Ms Majella Corrigan

1st April 2021

31 Mar 2025

Mr Samuel Hagen

18 October 2021

17 October 2025

Mr Michael McQuillan

28 October 2021

27 October 2025

Mr Andrew Corbett

10 April 2020

10 April 2024

Mrs Carolyn King

24 Oct 2022

23 Oct 2026

Ms Vikki Pinkerton

01 Oct 2023

30 Sep 2024

Further Information

Any correspondence to the Governing Body should be sent to the Secretary to the Governing Body, Claire Williamson or Tel: 07919597703.

The Secretary can also be contacted by writing to the address below:

Secretary to the Governing Body
South Eastern Regional College,
Lisburn Campus,
Castle Street,
Co. Antrim,
BT27 4SU