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Previous Speakers

Andy Cole - Principal - College of North West London

Andy has been leading the College of North West London since January 2014, and has overseen a turn-round in its performance, re-establishing it as the leading specialist provider of education and training for construction and engineering in the capital.


Andy joined the college from City of Westminster College, where he was Vice Principal, and has previously worked with a number of further education colleges and national Sector Skills Councils. Andy has also been involved in national curriculum developments including Apprenticeships and other vocational skills qualifications. Andy is currently the Association of Colleges WorldSkills champion for London and sits on advisory and collaboration boards for City & Guilds and Pearson.


Before entering the educational world, Andy was for many years a practising artist and exhibition organiser, working in London and New York.

The College of Northwest London is just in the process of implementing its £350milion masterplan which will involve the provision of 100 residential units to provide a capital receipt to redevelop the College Estate.

Steve Maslin - Associate Director - Bond Bryan

Steve is an Associate Director at Bond Bryan specialising in education property strategies, briefing and concept design.

Steve has worked with dozens of Further Education Colleges over the last 18 years, acting as the "Client Champion" to develop options-based property strategies. These focus on increasing efficiency and reducing capital/revenue costs and releasing disposal receipts that can be reinvested in capital projects. Strategy work has also included Higher Education, latterly the University of Sheffield Faculty of Engineering’s Development Framework, whose multi-phased £200m recommendations are currently being built out.

Steve has carried out research into floor space standards and utilisation rates in Education; his direct consultancy to the former Learning & Skills Council forms the basis of current advice on floor space efficiency to colleges in England for Property Strategies and Area Based Reviews.

On the back of strategic work he has also led the briefing on a number of complex multi-user buildings in Higher and Further Education. One recent example was The National College for High Speed Rail, a two-campus 13,000 m2 new college, for which Steve led the inception briefing and concept design. His role on this challenging project involved developing the strategic brief with rail industry representatives including HS2 alongside Doncaster and Birmingham Councils.

Roger Leighton- Chief Executive - Partnership Learning

Roger is the Chief Executive of Partnership Learning, a Multi-Academy Trust based in East London, which is responsible for nine schools and 5,000 pupils, across three local authorities. The Trust plans to grow to 15-20 schools over the next two years. Partnership Learning is heavily involved in the Free School programme, with four already open and further bids in the system. The Trust is currently overseeing the construction of a £43 million new-build integrated campus for co-located Secondary, SEN and Primary Free Schools and is about to embark upon a £27 million secondary build.


Prior to his current role, Roger spent 18 years as Headteacher of The Sydney Russell School in Dagenham, one of the largest schools in the country, becoming a National Leader of Education. Roger oversaw a £25 million BSF building programme at the school, providing the best general teaching spaces in the UK. The school achieved ‘Outstanding’ status in its 2013 Ofsted inspection and is a Teaching School and a National Support School.

James Hodgson - School Investment Manager - London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

After University, James Hodgson worked in the Port industry in London before joining Local Government where he worked in a consultancy roles He was principal policy adviser to a London Borough Council before setting up his consultancy and publishing firm.


He has a life long interest in education having written a book on Local Management of Schools and has worked for Local Authorities as well as schools.


He has served on a number of school governing bodies (both primary and secondary) and is currently chair of the governing body of a junior school. Professionally he is presently School Investment Adviser in LB Barking and Dagenham.  Opinions expressed in the debate are his own, and not those of any client.

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