Our governing body

Chair of Governors Alastair Da Costa with students

Alastair Da Costa, Chair of Governors

  • The WKCIC Group is an independent Corporation with exempt charity status formed under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.  The Group was formed on 1st August 2016 through the merger of Westminster Kingsway and City and Islington Colleges. The WKCIC Board is our governing body.
  • The Instrument and Articles (I&A) of Government set down the powers, membership, roles and responsibilities of Corporations in further education (FE) colleges.
  • The Board is accountable for the use of public funds and has a duty of care for the assets of the colleges and the role of its members is similar to that of non-executive directors or trustees. This body is advised by a clerk who is employed directly by the Corporation and who has access to independent professional advice.
  • The Board meets five times a year. Its size and composition is drawn from businesses, the community, local authority, students and staff. You can view the Board Minutes here.
  • A number of committees have been established to undertake more detailed work. The committees are:

Audit (terms of reference and minutes)

Curriculum and Performance (terms of reference and minutes)

Finance and Resources Committee (terms of reference and minutes)

Search and Governance (terms of reference and minutes)

Remuneration (terms of reference)

Members of the Corporation

Alastair Da Costa

Executive Director, Nicholson McBride

Alastair has over 20 years’ experience developing teams in various sectors across the UK, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. He joined Europe’s leading business psychology consultancy Nicholson McBride as a Board Director in 2016 following a career which has included roles as Partner, Managing Director (for Asia Pacific and Middle East), Global Board and Executive member at DLA Piper, one of the largest international law firms, CEO of Prince’s Trust International which he helped set up and Chairman of The WKCIC Group which through merger in 2016 became London’s largest further education college group.  As well as chairing The WKCIC Group, Alastair is also Chairman of Warren Partners, the boutique executive search firm, he is on the Council of the University of Sussex and a Governor Member of The London School of Economics.  Alastair has a law degree from the University of Leeds, an MSc in development management from The London School of Economics and he is a qualified lawyer.

Ruth Duston

Regeneration consultant, Primera Ltd

Ruth Duston is MD of Primera Corporation a specialist regeneration consultancy, creating public and private sector partnerships to positively shape and influence local environments. Ruth has over 25 years’ experience in social and economic regeneration, leveraging over £35m of private sector investment into central London. In the last decade, Ruth has specialised in the development and management of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and voluntary led business partnerships. Ruth has spearheaded some of London’s most prestigious BIDs, from the city of London through to some of London’s most iconic locations. Ruth is a member of the Guards Museum management committee and was instrumental in raising over 70% of private sector funding for the Flanders Field memorial garden.  Ruth is the former Chair of Governors for Westminster Kingsway College.

Professor Anthony Smith

Vice Provost, University College London (UCL)

Anthony Smith was appointed Vice Provost (Education and Student Affairs) at University College London (UCL) in 2012 where he takes the strategic lead for all matters related to education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  Prior to his appointment at UCL, he was Principal and Dean for six years at the School of Pharmacy, University of London.  The School merged with UCL in January 2012.  He is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.  He is Chair of Trustees at Pharmacy Research-UK, a Trustee of Villiers Park Education Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Amelia Sussman

Investment Director at Impetus – Private Equity Foundation

Amelia was most recently an Investment Director at Impetus Private Equity Foundation, a venture philanthropy funder, which she joined in 2005.  Prior to that, Amelia was COO at Common Purpose, a social enterprise running leadership programmes internationally.  Having trained as a solicitor, and qualifying in England and Israel, Amelia worked in central and local government and then as an in-house lawyer in the IT sector.  Amelia has deep knowledge of the education, youth and reducing re-offending sectors in the UK, having worked closely with 15 organisations from these sectors, whilst at Impetus PEF.

Dr Leslie Brissett JP

Principal Consultant & Company Secretary, Tavistock Insitute

Leslie has been involved in FE governance for over 20 years, having been a governor at College of North East London (where he was Vice Chair and acting Chairman), Sussex Coast College, Hastings and Westminster Kingsway College. He has held roles in NHS and charity governance, both at Non-Executive Director level and senior management. He has worked in and with large complex organisations, including two Chief Executive appointments. He leads on Board Dynamics for the Tavistock Institute and consults to Group Relations clients in China, Argentina, Peru, USA, Israel and across the EU.  He is a leadership coach to senior teams in Government and at Board level in industry.

Dame Martina Milburn

Group Chief Executive of the Prince's Trust

Dame Martina started her career as a journalist, working for a wide range of broadcast and print media.

In 1993 she became the Chief Executive of the Association of Spinal Injury Research Rehabilitation and Reintegration (ASPIRE). In July 2000 she became the Chief Executive of the BBC Children in Need Appeal, a post held for four years before moving to the Princes’ Trust.

Dame Martina is a member of a number of boards, including a Director of Prince’s Trust Trading and a Non-Executive Director of the National Citizen Service. She is also Vice-Chair of the Government’s Youth Action Group, a Trustee for HRH The Prince of Wales US Foundation, based in Washington DC, and a member of The Movement to Work Advisory Board.

Simon Pitkeathley 

Chief Executive Officer, Camden Town Unlimited

Simon has been CEO of the multi-award winning, public/private partnership, Camden Town Unlimited, since 2007. He is also CEO of Euston Town and Camden Collective.  He is currently Co-Chair of Cross River Partnership, sits on the London LEP (LEAP) and is Chair of Camden Giving. Simon was No.8 on the On Office Power List 2016.

Earlier roles included working for the Prime Minister in 2001 and 2005, Executive Director of the British Bankers’ Association between 1999 and 2003 and consultancy work for various clients including JP Morgan and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) between 2003 and 2007.

Simon attended INSEAD in 2002, is married and has two adult sons.

Joel Featherman

Chief Executive with PublicCo

Joel is Chief Executive with PublicCo, a joint venture with the Learning and Work Institute and an experienced management consultant with broad private and public sector experience.  He qualified as a chartered accountant.

Fiona Thompson


Fiona has worked as an independent consultant and researcher focussed mainly on the energy sector, international development and foreign direct investment, and has served as a board member of several not-for-profit organisations including CARE International UK, where she was vice chair. She is currently a director and chair of the audit committee of Forum for the Future and serves on the board of Transparency International UK and the Overseas Development Institute. She is also a member of the audit committee of the UK Department of International Development. She is a UK Chartered Accountant, has a PhD in international development and has lived and worked in India, Brazil and South Africa as well as the UK.

Kay Willis

Chief People Officer for Hogan Lovells

Kay Willis has more than 25 years of experience of HR within professional services firms.  She is currently the Chief People Officer for Hogan Lovells, a major global law firm.  Based in London, she has overall responsibility for the HR, recruitment and learning & development functions across the firm.  She was voted HR Director of the Year 2011 in The Lawyer HR Awards.  Prior to joining Hogan Lovells, she was an HR Director at Andersen.

Catherine Boyd-Maunsell

Head of HR at Process Systems Enterprise

Catherine has worked for a number of start-up and high growth research and technology businesses for over 20 years. She has experience in setting up HR for global organisations, creating consistent cultures and change management. She is currently Head of HR at Process Systems Enterprise, a global process modelling software and consultancy company.  She was previously Global Head of People at Hall & Partners and before that worked as a Research Director in several market research companies, presenting consumer marketing insights about advertising and branding to FTSE 100 clients.  She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and holds a Social Psychology degree from Sussex University.

Shane Chowen

Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Learning and Work Institute

Shane has worked in further education for the last ten years and has held a number of roles in policy and campaigning in the sector, including Vice President (FE) and Deputy National President at the National Union of Students and now Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Learning and Work Institute. In that time, he has held other Board roles at City College Plymouth and Learning South West, and has completed a teacher training course at City and Islington College. Shane has a monthly column in sector newspaper FE Week where he writes about the latest developments in skills and employment policy from Westminster.


Andy Wilson

CEO, The WKCIC Group and the Capital City College Group

Following a career of over 30 years in the FE sector, Andy recently led the formation of the Capital City College Group.  Prior to this, Andy was Principal of Westminster Kingsway College.  Previously, Andy was Deputy Principal at Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College and Vice Principal at the College of NE London.  Andy took a particular interest in Apprenticeships and adult skills through his six years as a member of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Board, its Skills Portfolio Group and a number of other groups developing and advising on policy.  He was a partner in establishing and chaired the London Apprenticeship Company, the UK’s first Apprenticeship Training Agency, and is a founder member of the London Capital Colleges group of the largest London colleges.  He has been a member of groups advising the AoC, SFA and LSC on capital projects and chaired the RIBA Learning & Skills Client Forum during the Building Colleges for the Future initiative.

Heather James

Staff Governor and maths lecturer

Heather is a maths lecturer and Lead Tutor who has worked at City and Islington College for over 15 years. Heather works at both the Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) and the Centre for Business Arts and Technology (CBAT), and teaches across the cohort of adult learners and 16-19 students.  She also chairs the Student Union at CLL.

Mike Magras

Staff Governor

Mike is Student Engagement Manager at Westminster Kingsway College.

Student governors

Alex Booth

Student Governor for City and Islington College

Alex is the Student Union President at City and Islington College and is currently studying his A2s in Biology, Computing, Computer Science and Music Technology

Vidusun Edirimanasinghe (Vinny)

Student Governor for Westminster Kingsway CollegeVidusun is studying English, Law and Psychology A-levels at the College.  He has organised wide range of community events such as the “Find Your Roots” campaign for Black History Month, workshops to support the LGBT community, tutorials on mental health and the services that WKC provides and “The Festival of Sport” to encourage students to try new sports and promote a healthy lifestyle.