Meet our board of directors and senior management.

Susie Simon-Norris Chief Executive

Susie began working with SS&L as a tutor in 1991. Since then she has had a variety of roles, including District Manager, Staff Development Officer, MIS and Finance Manager and Head of Foundation Curriculum, and she became Head of Service in 2011. She has a passionate belief in the value of education, and a commitment to lifelong learning.

Peter Harvey Non Executive Director and Chairman

Peter Harvey joins the board of Somerset Skills and Learning CIC as non-executive director and chairman. He comes with a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors. He trained at the Royal Agricultural College and spent a number of years managing large agricultural estates before entering the agricultural supplies industry where he was the chief executive of a number of co-operative and private organisations. Following this he was the Managing Director of Business Link Somerset Ltd and Director of Advisory Services at Business Link Devon and Cornwall Ltd. He has held a number of non-executive directorships including being the vice-chairman of Cannington Agricultural College and is currently chairman of the Elizabeth and Prince Zaiger Trust.

Kathryn Baker Director of Curriculum and Business Development

Kathryn was appointed in June 2015. Prior to this she was the Director of Funding, Information & Resources at Somerset College. During her twenty two year career within the education and training sector she has undertaken a variety of roles including, Senior Manager for SS&L, Curriculum Manager (ICT / Business) for Somerset County Council and Corporate Training Officer for Bristol City Council.

Richard Wilkins Non Executive Director and Chairman of the Business Development Committee

Richard Wilkins is joining the board bringing twenty years of experience working in the information technology sector in business development, sales leadership and digital transformation. Richard has held a number of senior management positions at global technology companies including Zones Inc, Skillsoft Inc, and Insight Inc. Richard has a degree in Chemical Physics from the University of East Anglia.

Steve Lay Non Executive Director and Chairman of the Quality and Curriculum Committee

Steve joins the SS&L board as a Non Executive Director after returning to Somerset following a four year appointment in Essex as Principal of an Adult Community College. He is currently working as a Further Education consultant which so far has involved projects on localism/devolution and area reviews. Steve is also working part-time in a training and development role at Somerset County Council. Steve spent a significant period of his working career in various roles with the former SS&L organisation and he is excited to see the new social enterprise grow and prosper as a major learning provider in the South West.

Hilary Bedford Curriculum Team Leader (Staff Director)

Hilary trained as a primary school teacher and worked for many years with Key Stage 2 children as class teacher with curriculum responsibility for IT, DT and art. After completing ESOL qualifications, she joined SS&L in 2003, moving on to teach Literacy and Functional Skills English. She now leads the team of English tutors, as the Curriculum Team Leader, and teaches GCSE English Language. She was selected by SS&L staff as their representative Director in 2016.

Andy Norris Staff Board Director

Andy has worked for SS&L for 14 years in a variety of roles including Disability Project Worker, Adult Learning Coordinator, Widening Participation Coordinator and Community Partnerships Coordinator. He is keen on supporting groups in the third sector to deliver education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and has been involved in a number of National Projects. He is a keen believer in the power of education to enhance and transform lives.

Justin Speirs Assistant Director, Curriculum

Justin's passion for teaching and training began while teaching English as a foreign language in Spain. For the last 10 years, Justin has worked in the youth sector supporting young people to reach their full potential through access to education, employment or training. Prior to his appointment to SS&L, Justin formed part of the Somerset Rural Youth Project's senior management team as Programme Manager.

Vera Ixer Head of Marketing & Communication

Vera joined SS&L in early 2016. She has an extensive background in marketing & communications gained both in the UK and her native Australia. Her background lies mainly in the B2B Services area, particularly the recruitment sector, with roles including Head of Asia Pacific Marketing for Michael Page International, UK & Ireland Marketing Director for Robert Half International, Head of Recruitment Advertising Sales for The Sydney Morning Herald and Regional & National Marketing Manager for British Army recruiting. She has undertaken a rebrand for SS&L and is looking forward to further building the profile and awareness of SS&L and its brands.

Dave West Employer Engagement Manager

Dave joined SS&L in 2017 after almost 15 years managing the commercial team in the West Country for Global – the media group behind Classic FM, Heart and Capital. With an accomplished background in managing client relationships and leading sales teams, Dave works with employers to help develop and grow their businesses through apprenticeships and staff training.

Andy Hobbs Operations Manager

Andy was appointed as SS&L's Head of Technology in September 2016 after an absence from the Company of nearly ten years. During his time away, Andy spent seven years as the Head of Learning Technology & Learning Resources at Somerset College, as well as two stints with Carbase, firstly as a Project Manager and last year as their HR and Training Manager. Andy says that SS&L, or Community Education as it was then, has played an important part in his career development. Whilst he was driving lorries for a living he started an evening class as a tentative step back into education. This led to him studying for an HND in Computing at Bridgwater College and eventually to him returning to where it all began at SS&L.

Tineke Winfield Finance Manager

Tineke joined SS&L in March 2005 first as an Area Admin and Finance Officer and later as the Finance Manager. Prior to working for SS&L Tineke worked in various finance related roles in the industry/commercial sector and later for a national wildlife and environmental charity.

Steven Marshall MIS & Contracts Manager

Steven has been working in the Education & training sector for over 21 years, having started out as an Apprentice with SS&L (then Somerset County Training.) Steven has held a number of roles during this time, including: IT Technician, Management & Information Data Analysis Officer, MIS Team Leader and currently MIS & Contracts Manager.

Kay Morgan Area Business Manager

Kay began her 18 year career working in Adult Education by teaching vulnerable adults how to read. She joined SS&L in 1998 and spent a number of years teaching Computer Skills Courses within Community Education. Kay then became a Lead Tutor within the Business and IT sector in 2007 and spent nine years leading a variety of Community Learning and Accredited Business and IT courses. In January 2016, she was promoted to the role of Curriculum Manager for Community Partnerships, working with partners across the County to deliver community courses to disadvantaged learners from some of Somerset's most disadvantaged wards.