Meet the Board

Nigel Hopkins - Chair

Nigel Hopkins qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982 before working in Italy for six years, first at Coopers & Lybrand and then with United Technologies. On returning to the UK in 1989, Nigel first worked for Fiat manufacturing subsidiaries before moving to Laporte in 1994, managing across both the UK and the USA as CFO for their Pool and Spa Chemical business.

After a short spell at Burmah Castrol, Nigel returned to Fiat in 2000 to work in Fiat’s global engineering business (Comau). In 2004 Nigel became FD for Remploy, and over the next 9 years managed the strategic and financial areas of the business, including the exit from government control of its manufacturing and service operations for disabled people. In 2013, Nigel joined the CBI as Resource Director.

Nigel is currently Non-Executive Director for the Places for People Group, and has a very strong interest in helping people aspire to achieve the most in life through work and improved housing.

Judith Norrington

Judith has over 25 years of experience working at senior management and leadership level in the further education and skills sector. She has led on national vocational education and skills policy development, working closely with government, the opposition and directly with organisations in the sector.

She has operated as an influencer and advisor with expertise in strategy, stakeholder engagement, leadership and staff development, change management, quality assurance and the practical delivery of learning and assessment.

Judith has represented the sector on a range of groups including the UK Vocational Reform Board, the Tomlinson Committee and the Equality and Diversity Committee of the national funding council, led national training programmes on inclusive learning and literacy and numeracy and has been involved in research into learning and skills including leading the Centre for Skills Development at City & Guilds.

She has also been a board member of the Joint Council of Qualifications, the Guidance Council, NIACE and a member of the Court of Imperial.

Formerly the Group Director of Policy, Research and Regulation at City & Guilds and prior to that, the Director of Learning and Quality at the Association of Colleges, Judith became an Education and Skills Consultant in 2014 and continues to serve as a Skills Commissioner. She has recently contributed to two publications on the curriculum and apprenticeships.

Ann Clayton

Ann has 25 years leadership and management experience in companies ranging from small local to large international, and sectors including finance, education, manufacturing, and retail.

Ann is a Chartered Director and since 2006 has held Non-Executive Director positions for a number of companies, one as Chairman. For 12 years she was a Director of an educational charity, 3 years as its Chairman.

Since 2003 Ann has worked as a Consultant, specialising in Corporate Governance and the development of directors and managers. She delivers IoD training courses and was a lecturer on CMI management qualifications for 5 years.

She was also a member of a team, commissioned by the Chief Minister of the Isle of Man Government, investigating the effectiveness of the Manx Government and its delivery of services.

Simon Mercer

Simon is a change agent that has over 35 years’ experience working in a variety of Director/senior executive roles in both the private and charity sector.

His main respectabilities have been managing large complex supply chain and logistics operations both in the UK and international.

This includes 8 years as Head of Operations at City and Guilds which is the UK’s leading vocational awarding body. While at C&G he implemented a major change program that reduced the time it took to process candidate results by c 50% while also reducing the cost to serve.

In addition to his work at Instructus he is also Head of Operations at Book Aid International a UK charity that provides new books to over 3,400 library’s in Africa. Simon is a fellow of the institute of Leadership and Management.


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