Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance

The Corporation is the overarching body that governs the day-to-day operations of the College. The Corporation Board, which is a Non-Executive Committee, meets at key stages throughout the academic year.

The board is made up of 12 external members, two members of College staff (one teaching staff member/one support staff member), two student members and the College Principal.


Our Governors

Polly Perkins CBE – CEO/Principal/Governor

Polly Perkins became Principal and Chief Executive at Brockenhurst College in 2021. Before moving into education she served her country in the Royal Air Force for more than 30 years, having joined aged 18 as a direct entrant supply officer.

Polly rose through the ranks swiftly to become an Air Commodore and completed many overseas and operational deployments including to Africa, Kosovo, and Afghanistan where she spent more than a year.  In 2020 she was honoured by the Queen with a CBE for her contribution to the RAF.

Polly has held several senior leadership roles in organisations up to 10,000-people-strong and has held responsibilities related to children and families.

Her final RAF role was as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff British Forces Cyprus. This meant she was responsible for the implementation of safeguarding legislation, as well as early years, primary and secondary education settings.

Polly holds an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London, is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, and spent a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies where she studied strategic planning and leadership.

Graham Beards

Graham was appointed to the board in September 2014 and is Chair of the Corporation. He is also member of the Employment and Personnel, Finance and Standards and Capital Project Committees.

He is the Finance Director for Bournemouth University where he is responsible for the financial management and financial performance of the university, providing strategic and operational direction to ensure the effective utilisation of financial resources.

In addition, he has overall responsibility for procurement. Graham is a graduate of Manchester University; a Fellow Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and has a postgraduate qualification in education from Huddersfield University.

Jane Milone

Jane was appointed to the Board in March 2010 and is a Vice Chair of the Board. Jane is also a member of the Employment and Personnel Committee and Remuneration Committee.  Jane is Human Resources Manager (Policy and Strategy) at West Berkshire Council.

She was previously HR Adviser, Education and Schools at Southampton City Council and has held various HR roles at Hampshire County Council and Surrey County Council.

Jane is also a chartered member of CIPD. She has a BSc degree in Psychology at the University of Bristol and a Diploma in Personnel Management at Portsmouth Polytechnic.  Jane’s son and daughter were students at the College.

Gary Cooper

Gary is a member of the Audit committee and Employment and Personnel Committee. Gary originally joined the Corporation as a Governor in 2008, retiring from the Board in 2013 but continuing as a co-opted member of the Employment and Personnel Committee until 2018.  

He was also re-appointed to the Corporation as a Governor in 2018. Gary is also the Health and Safety Governor Champion for the College. Gary retired from the Police force in 2015 having served in both the Metropolitan Police Service and Hampshire Constabulary for over 30 years.

Gary was first involved with the College whilst he was the Chief Inspector in charge of policing the New Forest District. Gary is now a security consultant and provides advice and guidance for International sports teams and events.

Both his children went to Brockenhurst College and his daughter graduated from Cardiff University this year as a junior doctor.

As a governor and local person originally from Lymington, I am delighted to help all learners at Brock College develop their skills and maximise their opportunities in life whilst attending this brilliant college

Professor Alex Neill

Alex was appointed to the Board in September 2014 and is a member of the Finance and Standards Committee and the Capital Project Committee.

Alex graduated from Cambridge University with a PhD in 1990.  He was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Southampton in October 2012, and University Vice-President in 2016; in this role he leads the development and implementation of the University’s education strategy.

He has previously held academic appointments at Universities in the UK and USA.

Alex is a Member of the Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and other memberships include British Philosophical Association, American Philosophical Association and American Society for Aesthetics.

Hannah Coast

Hannah is our Teaching Staff Governor and has been at Brockenhurst College for 10 years.

Hannah joined the college after studying BSc Psychology at the University of Southampton.

Hannah is a member of the Staff Association and has attended consultations regarding various college policies.

Hannah teaches Psychology A level and recently was part of a team which successfully implemented and delivered the new Criminology Diploma.

Jenny Pitman

Jenny is joining the Corporation in July 2020. She is Headteacher at Testwood School in Southampton appointed in 2014, having been previously Senior Deputy Head at the Romsey School.

Jenny has a BA Hons in French and History and the National Professional Qualification in Headship in 2011.

She has been a Governor at Greenwood Education Centre since September 2014.

Jenny’s son has recently graduated from Brock, starting a higher apprenticeship with KPMG.

Sarah Murray

Sarah began her career as a lawyer working for major London firm, before relocating to Brussels with her husband. In Brussels, Sarah worked for a policy think tank and events organisation working closely with the European Commission.

On returning to the UK, Sarah set up her own software/events business which she ran successfully for a number of years.

Alongside this work, Sarah was Chair of Hampshire Ambulance Service and a member and then a member of the Prison Service Review Body.

Sarah is currently the senior lay member of the Royal College of Surgeons Independent Review body and of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery.

She is the Events Coordinator for the European Maritime Law Organisation and recently returned to Brockenhurst College Further Education College as a Governor. Her daughter attended the college.

James Hiley-Jones

James was appointed as a member of the Board in July 2015 and is a member of the Employment and Personnel and Governance and Search Committees. He is also the Governor’s representative for the Student’s Union.

James is currently the Operations Director of Greenclose Hotels and is responsible for the day to day running of three hotels in the group who employ around 300 staff. Prior to this he was the general manager of Carey’s Manor and was responsible for the daily running of the hotel.

James is committed to developing the skills, knowledge and understanding of all age ranges, but in particular nurturing young people.

Locally, he is known as a promoter of young talent, particularly from his own workforce. James’ son and daughter were both students at the College.

Davina Hawkins

Davina was appointed as a co-opted Member of the Employment and Personnel Committee in June 2012 and appointed to the Board as a Governor in July 2015.

Whilst studying an Access Course from 2007-2008, she was an Adult Student Govenor. She then completed a degree in Applied Biology (Health) at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2013 and using her degree knowledge working for Hildon Ltd.

She also has a NEBOSH qualification in Health and Safety. Davina is now undertaking a PGCE through School Direct in collaboration with Southampton University, in order to teach Biology and Science at secondary school.

Ian Fry

Ian was co-opted to the Audit Committee in December 2017 and appointed as a member of the Board in March 2018.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia and is a Chartered Accountant. He is a member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Chartered Accountants, Australian and New Zealand.

Ian is currently the Finance Director of the Greenclose Hotels Group and is responsible for the finance, commercial and IT functions of the Group. Prior to this he was Head of Business Performance at Southampton Airport and before that the Company Secretary of the Kenwood Appliances Group.

His career in the accountancy/finance profession extends over 32 years beginning in public practice and has included finance roles in a variety of industries.

Mi Trinh

Mi was appointed to the Board in March 2017 and is currently a member of the Audit Committee. She was an international student in Brockenhurst from 2013 to 2015, coming from Vietnam on a scholarship, and was awarded “International Student of the year” in 2015.

After A-levels, Mi decided to take a gap year in which she joined Vietnam and Friends – an NGO in Vietnam – and became Assistant Director. She has now moved on to be currently reading for Her BA Hons. (Cantab.) in Natural sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Mi’s experience working with young students from different backgrounds, especially those with learning difficulties, and organising educational outreach, combined with her recent experiences as a student at Brockenhurst allow her to make valuable contributions to the perspectives available on the board.

Christian Underhill

Christian Underhill was appointed to the Board in July 2013 and is a member of the Capital Project and Governance and Search Committee.

Christian obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management in 2003 and an MA (Hons) in Human Resource Management in 2005.

He has been a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) since 2002.

Becoming a Governor

Are you interested in becoming a Governor in an outstanding College? We are currently seeking applications from people of diverse backgrounds who are interested in becoming Governors.

As a Governor, you will play a key role in the future of our College. You will receive regular training and an induction programme arranged to support you in your role.

Correspondence for Governors can be sent to Brockenhurst College, it will then be forwarded on to the relevant board member.

Information pack for potential Governors’

Committee & Board Terms of Reference & Minutes


For more information about the Corporation, its structure, or for information about the meeting dates, agendas and minutes, contact:

Clerk to the Corporation

Lynn Payne

Please contact via the Corporation Administrator.




Brockenhurst College
Lyndhurst Road
SO42 7ZE

Corporation Administrator

Lisa Marshall

   01590 625505